Young stars on a big stage

Young stars on a big stage

A newly-introduced class for under 13-year-old riders is proving a hit with things about to get even more exciting for the budding young stars with the announcement New Zealand Olympian and World Champs rider Katie Laurie will be walking the course with them before the class on Saturday afternoon.

Show director Jaime Campbell said the spaces had filled quickly for the 80cm class and included riders from well-established equestrian families. “We wanted to encourage the next generation of riders to the sport,” said Jaime. “It’s about giving them the opportunity to compete in a premier venue and be surrounded by top level riders. They can learn from the best, aim for the top and have the chance to soak up the atmosphere of a show like none other in New Zealand.”

She was rapt when Katie accepted her invitation to be part of the inaugural class. The Australia-based rider had extra incentive too, with her nieces Chloe and Lucy Browne both in the line-up . . . and Chloe is aboard Katie’s former ride Lucca.

“I am so excited to come over and watch at the show,” said Katie who has recently switched her passport to Australia. “It’s super to have the rising star class and for kids to experience the atmosphere and big ring at a young age. I am personally excited to watch Lucy and Chloe as I haven’t been back since this time last year. It is also very special to have Chloe riding Lucca.”

And she can’t wait to walk the course with the young riders. “I am really looking forward to that and hopefully I can give them some helpful advice and they can go out and have a great time!”

Also on the card is Grace Prendergast whose mother Vicki and sister Olivia are both strong showjumpers, along with James Steiner, whose parents Sally and Philip have both ridden at top national level.