mercredi 25 mars 2009

New Zealand: Trail Riding Club looking for volunteers for national champs

Times-age.co.nz

25.03.2009

The Wairarapa Endurance and Competitive Trail Riding Club are looking for volunteer workers to help with the running of the national championships at Whareama over Easter weekend.

A late decision to host the event after other North Island clubs declined has left the Wairarapa club little time to find the number of people required to assist with organisation.

But spokesperson Jenny Champion is hoping a committee meeting at the Masterton Cosmopolitan Club starting at 7.30pm next Tuesday evening will solve their problems in that respect.

"We are inviting anybody who can help out to come along and we'd like to think we'll get enough support to do the trick," she said.

"There are all sorts of jobs to be done over the three days so we won't be turning anybody down."

Champion is expecting about 150 riders from all over the country to participate in the national championships which will see competitions held over distances of 160km, 120km, 104km, 80km and 40km between April 10 and 12.

And she herself will be centre stage as she looks to defend the 160km title she won at Kurow last year and, before that, at Hawerden in 2006.

On both occasions Champion, from Eketahuna was aboard her now 14-year-old mare Freckles and the partnership will continue at Whareama.

While "more than happy" with Freckles' current fitness and mindset Champion is, however, aware that a hat-trick of national titles won't happen unless she is 100 per cent on the day, and even then the expected high quality of the opposition could see her relegated to a minor placing.

"You can taken nothing for granted over 160kms, everything can be fine when you start off and then turn to custard" she said.

"It's very much down to the day, you can never be too confident".

Champion does believe though that the Whareama course, which will mainly be flat in nature and will involve up to seven different farming properties, will suit Freckles because she is small in size and therefore light on her feet. "She handles the hills OK but the flat is more her go," she said.

Start time for the 160km event is 1am and the participants will be guided through the darkness by fluorescent markers and they will also be aided by the wearing by head lamps.

Champion is not the only Wairarapa rider expected to fare prominently over the 160kms with her partner Shane Dougan, Sheree Brown and Deirdre Bartlett all having good prospects as well.

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