NZ horse and pony champs judged
SHOW HORSES: Three locals have just returned from show horse judging in the prestigious New Zealand Grand National Horse and Pony Championships.
Garry and Joanne Robson, from Coraki, and Leanne Bordin from Kyogle, travelled to judge the events in Christchurch from January 27-30.
The three judged on the different show horse classes – Ponies (under 14 hands high), Galloways and Hacks (over 15 hands high).
Show horse judging follows the principles of dressage and each two-minute routine involves a variety of walks, trots and canter changes.
“As judges, we are mainly looking for the conformation of the horse, the presentation, working ability and the exhibition of true excellence,” Garry Robson said.
All three are official judges of the Show Horse Council of Australasia and Robson said they thoroughly enjoyed their time in New Zealand.
“I was invited last year, but I couldn’t go as I was sick,” he said. “But it’s the first time there were three judges from the Northern Rivers judging over there.
“It was the biggest show of its type in New Zealand and it was a great event.”
Robson is keen to judge in New Zealand again but the nature of the sport prevents it.
“It is a subjective sport,” he said.
“Judges have different opinions and it is important that there is a variety.”
Robson previously trained racehorses at Ballina and has had a lifelong passion for horses.
He still prepares horses for events and is president of the Northern NSW Show Horse Association, which organises the Northern NSW Hack Championships.
The event is held in Lismore in May each year.