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2014 World Equestrian Games - New Zealand Endurance News

NEW ZEALAND TEAM:


Chef d'Equipe - Anthony Parsons
Braden Cameron - Karamea Krusader
Alison Higgins - Northwinds Apollo
Susan Latta - Tkiwa
Andrea Smith - Glenmore Tariq
Georgia Smith - Glenmore Vixen


Kiwi Endurance Team Looking Strong at WEG
Scoop.co.nz

Wednesday, 27 August 2014, 4:50 pm
Press Release: Equestrian Sports New Zealand
ENDURANCE PREVIEW

New Zealand's endurance riders will have a world-famous back-drop for their 160km race at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in France on Thursday (France time).

One of the five loops of the race, takes competitors past Mont Saint-Michel, one of France's most iconic landmarks and a world heritage site.

Lining up for New Zealand in the one day marathon are mother and daughter Andrea and Georgia Smith (Mangaweka), Alison Higgins (Nelson), who makes her second WEG team, Braden Cameron (Wellington) and Susie Latta (Otago).

The Smiths are the first such combination to represent the sport at an equestrian championship together, and at 17 years old, Georgia is believed to be the youngest ever.

Andrea Smith rode the test event at the Sartilly venue last year, gathering vital intel for the team.

“It is not going to be a straight foot race in Normandy, which is great for teams like us,” says endurance chef d'equipe Tony Parsons (Taupo). “It’s going to require a lot of mental toughness.”

There was plenty of rain when the team arrived at the endurance stables on Monday, but that didn't bother Parsons.

“This is endurance riding,” he says. “It rains . . . we just get on with it.”

He says the horses have all travelled extremely well and the few weeks the team has had at their Brittany base has been hugely beneficial to them all.

“We're in as good a shape as we could be,” he says. “Anything can happen on the day, and we are well prepared for that.”

The 160 km race will be run over five loops, instead of the usual six, at Sartilly – which is situated just over 100 kms from the main games venue in Caen. It has attracted 173 entries from 47 nations

The Smiths are not the only family combination in the event – six other teams boast similar connections.

The race starts at 7am on Thursday (France time) and horses will be checked by vets at the end of each loop. Organisers say it is one of the most technical courses in recent championship history. Loop one, La Lucerne, is 37.9km long and stretches to the north of the venue. Loop two, Avranches, is 35.8km long, and includes the stunning bay with the incredible backdrop of Mont Saint-Michel. Champeaux, the third loop, is 32.8km long and covers ground to the west of the venue. The penultimate loop, Jullouville, is 33.1km long while the final loop, Dragey, is the shortest at just 20.4km long, stretching out to the south-west of the venue.

The age span of entrants is impressive, with 72-year-old Rouslan Gekiev (Russia) the oldest and 14-year-old Constanza Laliscia (Italy) the youngest.

Organisers are expecting the endurance event to be one of the closet contests in years, and no-one is discounting New Zealand.

The Fact Box

• The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games run from August 23 – September 7 in France.

• New Zealand will be represented by teams in endurance (Aug 28), eventing (Aug 28-31) and vaulting (Sept 2-5), and individuals in para-dressage (Aug 25-29) and showjumping (Sept 2-7).

• WEG is held every four years in different locations.

• A record 76 countries are expected to take part, making it the world’s largest equestrian sport event which includes 1000 competitors.

• More than 500,000 people are expected to attend over the two weeks.

• For more information, head to www..normandy2014.com .


New Zealand endurance team leaves for WEG in France
Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

By Horsetalk.co.nz on Aug 06, 2014

New Zealand’s endurance team heading for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games leave for France this afternoon.

The riders – Georgia and Andrea Smith (Mangaweka), Alison Higgins (Nelson), Braden Cameron (Wellington) and Susie Latta (Otago), with chef d’equipe Tony Parsons (Taupo) – leave on Wednesday afternoon, with their horses heading out later in the day...

Read more here:
http://horsetalk.co.nz/2014/08/06/nz-endurance-team-leaves-weg-france/#axzz39cS80TN0


New Zealand: Endurance seminar kicks off World Equestrian Games fundraising

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

By Horsetalk.co.nz on May 27, 2014

Fundraising to get New Zealand’s endurance team to the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games has started in earnest, with a seminar in Christchurch among the first of several events around the country.

More than 30 spectators attended Sunday’s seminar, a fundraiser for the New Zealand team which is sending five riders and their horses to France for the Games in Normandy later this year...

Read more here:
http://horsetalk.co.nz/2014/05/27/endurance-seminar-weg-fundraising/#ixzz337C6u7gN


New Zealand: Tragedy an inspiration for mother
ODT.co.nz - Full Article

By Steve Hepburn on Wed, 21 May 2014

Susie Latta does not have to look hard for inspiration to help her endure a sport which takes up more than nine hours at a time.

Latta (44) has been selected in the New Zealand endurance riding team to compete at the World Equestrian Games in France in August.

The Nenthorn Valley farmer will make her international debut. Riders are required to cover a 160km course on one horse.

Latta is the mother of the late Dion Latta, a 15-year-old schoolboy who died after being trapped in a waterfall near Wanaka in early 2012.

On some chilly winter mornings, the thought of her late son motivated her to go out on her horse...

Read more here:
http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/303051/tragedy-inspiration-mother


New Zealand: Higgins has her eye on a podium finish at Games
Stuff.co.nz - Full Article

20 May 2014

Alison Higgins almost gave up riding after losing the horse she took to the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky.

But the 45-year-old sheep and beef farmer from Nelson, who also breeds horses, is back in the saddle and has been selected in the New Zealand endurance team to compete at the 2014 edition in France.

Higgins lost her horse Twynham El Omar at the 2013 national championships.

"I would have loved to take him to another WEG," said Higgins.

"When I lost him I didn't think I would ever sit on another horse again."

It took her four months to get back into riding, and she struggled in many ways.

But Northwinds Apollo (owned by Chris King) has given her a new lease on life...

Read more here:
http://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/sport/10068114/Higgins-has-her-eye-on-a-podium-finish-at-Games/


Mum and daughter make New Zealand riding team
Stuff.co.nz - Full Article

20/5/2014

New Zealand has named a five-strong endurance team, including a mother and daughter from Manawatu, for this year's World Equestrian Games in France.

Andrea and Georgia Smith were the first mother-daughter combination to represent New Zealand at the flagship equestrian event. Georgia, at 17, was also believed to be the youngest.

Joining them were Alison Higgins (Nelson), who made her second WEG team, Braden Cameron (Wellington) and Susie Latta (Otago).

New Zealand would also have three-day eventing and vaulting teams in Normandy, with the possibility of showjumping and para-equestrian representatives as well.

"These are riders who have all come up through the squad system and shown good form over recent seasons," the endurance team's chef d'equipe, Tony Parsons, said.

"There is a really good mix of experience and enthusiasm."

Parsons was picking Andrea Smith as the individual to watch.

"Her horse is a real star and she has the quality to match that talent," he said.

Information gathered at last year's endurance event was proving a valuable tool in preparation for the championships...

Read more here:
http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/other-sports/10063634/Mum-and-daughter-make-NZ-riding-team


New Zealand: Kiwi Endurance Team for WEG a Cracker
NZEquestrian.org.nz

20/05/2014 9:52:15 a.m.

There’s history in the naming of the New Zealand endurance team to compete at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in France.

With less than 100 days to go until the championship event, Equestrian Sports New Zealand has announced its endurance team, which includes mother and daughter Andrea and Georgia Smith. The Mangaweka duo are the first such combination to represent the sport at an equestrian championship together, and Georgia is believed to be the youngest ever. Joining them are Alison Higgins (Nelson), who makes her second WEG team, Braden Cameron (Wellington) and Susie Latta (Otago).

New Zealand will also have eventing and vaulting teams at WEG, with the possibility of showjumping and para-equestrian representatives too. ESNZ high performance director Sarah Harris and the endurance team’s chef d’Equipe Tony Parsons are very excited by the prospect of their five-strong team.

“These are riders who have all come up through the squad system and shown good form over recent seasons,” said Parsons. “There is a really good mix of experience and enthusiasm.”

The horsepower under all five riders was impressive, but Parsons is picking Andrea Smith, who rode the champs test event last year, as the individual to watch. “Her horse is a real star and she has the quality to match that talent.”

Information gathered at last year’s endurance test event is proving a valuable tool in preparation for the championships. “It is not going to be a straight foot race in Normandy, which is great for teams like us,” says Parsons. “It’s going to require plenty of mental toughness too.”

The best three scores count for the team tally.

It’s been a tricky run for the endurance riders. The national championships were cancelled at Easter due to dreadful weather, and a final selection run at Taupo was arranged for three weeks later. That meant some riders just missed out, unable to juggle other commitments and keep their horses in work.

But one of the biggest hurdles for the riders has not been making the team. Rather it will be in the required fund-raising to get their horses to France, and hopefully back. Each rider needs to raise around $60,000 – but some have already said they will probably have to sell their horses in Europe.

“These riders get minimal funding,” says Parsons. “We really do think, that for the long term development of the sport, we would like these horses to come home . . . but that won’t be possible for all of them.”

For Sarah Harris, the strength of the team is an indicator of how far the endurance programme has come in the last two years. “Two years ago we only had one combination qualified for the Endurance World Champs, so we are thrilled to have the ability to send a team like this to France,” she says.

She reiterates Parsons’ belief in Andrea Smith. “She and her horse are the most exciting prospect ever sent offshore from New Zealand endurance,” says Harris. “She could definitely go top 10 – it is a big ask, but I believe they could do it.”

To celebrate the 100 days to go until WEG, artist Christophe Dumont, with more than 20 others, created sand art featuring giant horseshoes in the Bay of Mont-Saint-Michel. The endurance event will pass through this bay.

By Diana Dobson
HP Media Liaison