Above: The Trans Tasman team. Photo by John Archer.
Five riders were chosen to represent Australia at the 2019 Trans Tasman event in New Zealand, held on Sunday the 1st of December. The riders were:
- Tahlia Franke (youth rider)
- Marty Bryson
- Jessie Herman
- Sorsha Stuart Rokvic
- Alison Noble (travelling reserve)
Words below from Sonya Ryan, Chef d’Equipe of the Australian Team.
The Trans Tasman Endurance Competition was held on the first weekend in December. The location was in a small town of Waiouru on the North Island high in altitude with the ride traversing over private property on a Volcanic Plateau with the ride base backdrop that made the team’s jaw drop of a Mt Ruapehu.
The Australian Team were provided local horses for the event ranging in experience from a National Champion to a relatively novice horses. The owners entrusted their horses to the Australian rider and groom, with 2 riders competing in both the 80 & 120 event on a points basis against the NZ riders. Riders had a short opportunity the day before the ride to get to know their horse and work with the owners on ride management.
The event was won by the NZ team by a 2 point lead. The riders and grooms managed their horse well and experienced competition off their home ‘turf’ and all took away an invaluable experience that will assist in international competitions in the future.
There were a number of challenges to deal within a short time frame, under the pressure of competition and travel they all managed these challenges with professionalism and a great deal of teamwork.
In the sport of endurance, as a rider, you are normally competing as an individual. The team was made up of riders and grooms that had little or no connection as a team prior to arriving at the ride base on Friday.
The win for Australian Endurance was that the riders & grooms came together as individuals but in a space of 3 days truly became a team that work so incredibly well together. As Chef to watch this unfold was inspiring and a credit to the riders and grooms.
The Australian team results were as follows:
CEN/CEI 120km Senior:
3rd – Jessie Herman riding Craig Royston Zaria. 9 hours and 1 minute.
CEN/CEI 120km Youth:
1st – Tahlia Franke riding Makahiwi Phoenix. 8 hours and 46 minutes.
CEN/CEI 80km Senior:
4th – Sorsha Stuart-Rokvic riding Tararua Diablo. 7 hours and 15 minutes.
Eliminated – Marty Bryson riding Makahiwi Cercie.
Reserve rider Alison Noble also picked up a ride in the 80km CEN Junior competition. Alison rode Mauku Eve and finished the course successfully in 7 hours and 54 minutes.
Full results from the Trans Tasman can be accessed on the ESNZ website, here.