Back in the Saddle Again -Equestrian Sports NZ

Eventing Sport Manager Hayley Pickmere says, “Cross country design and preparation is the most time consuming and labour heavy aspect of the competition, but it is what sets eventing apart from the other equestrian disciplines and remains the passion of the riders taking part.”

“Having appropriately skilled and qualified course designers will not only allows our organisers to meet their obligations for running the event smoothly and efficiently, but also enable the eventing community to maintain its reputation as a sport of integrity with appropriately designed courses and safely built jumps, always keeping the welfare of the horse and rider at the very heart of our endeavours.”

“The NZ Eventing federation hosts the National Championships every year at the conclusion of the season. Riders from across NZ travel to the event to compete from lower level competition all the way to the top level, depending on the needs of the eventing competitors.”

“Rules governing the eventing sport require course designers of specific levels of qualification to prepare the courses for these events. Course designers are volunteers and their payments generally cover lost wages from their employer for the time they spend building the course leading up to the event, and basic materials such as jump pegs. Like all volunteers in sports, they put more hours into performing their role and the necessary training and qualifications than they receive recompense for.”

“Seven courses needed to be designed and built. Designer Chris Ross prepared the 4* long and short courses along with the 3* short and long courses. John Holmes was Chris’s assistant (unpaid) as part of John’s training and preparation for upgrading of his qualifications. John also designed and build the 2* course. Chris Lever designed and build the 1* long and 95cm Long courses.”

“The National Championships always attracts large crowds from the local community both to spectate and compete in the prestigious Championship event. The grounds are available for community use after the competition for practice and schooling their horses over the cross country.”
Eventing Sport Manager Hayley Pickmere

ESNZ was founded in 1950 by Mr Duncan Holden, with the sole purpose of sending an equestrian team to the 1956 Olympiad in Melbourne, and has been affiliated to the Equestre Federation Internationale (FEI) since 1951. It is the National Sports Organisation for Equestrian in NZ, delivering quality equestrian competitions and administration across five disciplines - eventing, dressage, jumping/showhunter, endurance, and para-equestrian.

Eventing is a discipline at which NZ has excelled with numerous Olympic and World Championship successes. It is also one of a handful of sports where men and women of all ages compete on equal terms and the genuine amateur can compete against a world or Olympic champion.

Equestrian Sports NZ (ESNZ) received a grant of $10,600 towards covering operational costs associated with the cross-country course design for the recent NZ Three Day Equestrian Event Championships in Taupo