Global Amateur Tour Raising the Bar at Takapoto
The Global Amateur Tour is back at Takapoto Estate Show Jumping and hopes are high it will be bigger and better than ever.
The Tour is a standalone event at the 2020 show and co-founder Lucy Olphert is looking forward to being back at New Zealand’s leading show. “Takapoto sets itself apart from other shows around New Zealand and we set our sights on being part of it from the get-go,” says Lucy. “Last year was a massive success and we are thrilled to be bringing it back.”
One of the big drawcards for GAT is the overall experience and Takapoto’s location adds to its attraction. “We pride ourselves on providing an experience and this ticks a lot of those boxes. There is the show itself which is such a high standard and with the Waikato and Bay of Plenty right at the back door, our visiting riders are able to experience some of the best and most diverse tourism this country has to offer”
She’s already got confirmations from riders from Brazil, Germany, Mexico, Canada and Australia, with a couple of others working on visa requirements. Riders range in age from 18 through to their 50s. The visitors will be joined by around 45 New Zealand riders in the class. For the first time there will be an A and a B final at the Takapoto event.
The Global Amateur Tour was created by Lucy, Alexander Stefan Dattelkremer (Brazil) and Christian Lopez Redetzki (Mexico) to offer riders the opportunity to experience the excitement, adrenaline and professionalism of competing internationally. Riders must be amateur and competing no higher than 1.3m level.
“There were so many opportunities out there for professional riders but a real lack of them for amateur and amateur sport is essentially what drives professional sport. This is a really rewarding way to give back to the sport,” says Lucy.
“Our real point of difference is the overall experience – offering these riders the chance to compete at world-class international events while exploring unique destinations included on the tour. Our presentations are also a real highlight. We go all out with podiums, champagne, medals, sashes, rugs and trophies. It’s all about the experience!”
The tour continues to grow, with competitions now established across four continents and Lucy says the trio behind it are always looking to refine their processes. “We are learning every time how we can make it better.”
This year they have been stricter on the applications of both the international riders and horses, and are offering a very generous amount for the lease of the horses. “We are continually looking to raise the overall standard of GAT and for this to happen it is critical to create a positive experience for both the international riders and horse owners. Hopefully this will also allow our visiting riders the best chance to give our New Zealand riders a run for their money.”
The GAT gets underway with round one on Wednesday (February 26) in the APL Sand Arena 1 at 2.30pm, with round two on Friday morning at 8.30am. The B Final will run in the same arena on Saturday morning from 8.30am with the A Final in the Bellevue Main Arena at 2pm that afternoon.
For more information, head to https://www.globalamateurtour.com or through the Global Amateur Tour social media pages