Lifeline for Cromwell’s NZ Pony Club champs

The organisers of the NZ Pony Club championships in Cromwell have been given a lifeline for their planned event, which was set to start tomorrow.

The championships were set to attract more than 120 riders and horses to Cromwell for the first time in 14 years, and had involved thousands of hours of both voluntary and paid labour to get the event ready. It was due to start tomorrow at the Cromwell racecourse.

But the Covid-19 pandemic led to the event being canned late last month.

It is not a total disaster though, as it has been decided to simply hold the event next year again in Cromwell. The event would now take place on April 22-25 next year.

Organising committee chairman Geoff Hewson said a lot of work had gone into the event, and though it was disappointing for it to be postponed, at least it was set to go ahead next year.

Hewson said the event was scheduled to be in Taranaki in 2021, but they had kindly allowed for it to stay in Central Otago. Taranaki organisers had not got far in their planning so were not bothered in letting Cromwell stage the event.

The event covered dressage, cross-country and showjumping, and had teams competing along with individuals.

A new cross-country course had been built which had three different sets of obstacles for the three different heights. He said the course was 90% finished and it was looking good. A professional course builder had been employed, although he had left Cromwell when the event was postponed.

Hewson said all the sponsors had indicated they would be keen to continue and the committee members were willing to stay on. The courses would simply be locked up and not used before next year’s event.

Hewson said the upside of the postponement was with the cross-country course having almost been built, energy could now be directed solely to staging a great event.


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