First Harness to Hack "huge success"
By Katie Steffert
On the 17th and 18th of December 2022 the North Island Standardbred Assn held the inaugural From Harness to Hack event at the Waikato Equestrian Center. This event was designed to showcase the versatility of the breed in their life after racing.
Combinations entered into one of three overall categories - Pleasure, Novice, or Open. They then selected four sections to compete in: inhand showing, ridden showing, dressage, show jumping, and musical equitation. To help encourage participation, combinations were able to choose their level of dressage test and show jumping with higher levels and heights awarded extra bonus points. Points from placing in these events were added up to crown our section and over all category winners.
Day one of the show saw the inhand and ridden showing completed under the watchful eye of judge Neil Mckenzie Hall. The forecast leading up to the weekend was dicey and we were very lucky to avoid the rain on day one until after competition had ended. On Saturday night we enjoyed a social gathering sheltering from the rain!
On day two the sun came out and we ran the dressage, show jumping, and the spectator favourite musical equitation. The latter was a routine done to music in costume with some great outfits both human and equine.
Champion in the Pleasure section was taken out by Deanna Harley and Prince Fearless (pictured above) with reserve champion awarded to Liz Clark and The CEO. Lexi Nolan riding No Way Else was crowned champion Novice with Tiffany Hopkins and Let’s elope in reserve. Finally, champion in the open section was awarded to Claire Downey and Major Ouch (pictured below) with Leigh Taylor and Lasvagasherewecome reserve.
Overall, the weekend was a huge success. Competitors enjoyed the weekend with excellent sportsmanship on display. It was awesome to see standardbreds thriving in a range of disciplines, an event with something for everyone!
A massive thank you to our sponsors Janmor Technology, Rintoul Equine, Zoe Cobb, Steffert Family, Paetai Cottage, and Boost Brokers. Further thanks to our judges and stewards, Neil Mckenzie Hall, Kara Lockhart, Tracey Nolan, Marie Macleod, Karen Allen, Chloe Cummings, and Jim Kyte.
We are running this event again on 16th and 17th December 2023. If you are interested in attending or providing sponsorship please get in touch with Katie at [email protected]
Photos kindly provided by CB Photography. If you’d like to see further photos from the event check out photos from CB Photography and LJ Photography.