Vanuatu has placed second out of five Pacific nations in the 2019 Horse Pacific Challenge held in New Caledonia last week.
This is the fourth year Vanuatu has competed at the HPC organized by the Regional Riding Committee of New Caledonia, held at the Hippodrome Henry Milliard in Nouméa.
Tahiti, New Caledonia, Australia, Vanuatu and New Zealand participated in the two round event, with four riders from each country jumping heights ranging from 85cm to 95cm.
The selected under 16 advanced riders from Vanuatu were Savannah De Ceuster, Chloe Johnstone, Ayva Russet and Eli Rowan coached by Stéphanie Caillaud from The Riders’ Club of Port Vila.
Vanuatu successfully cleared both rounds, but in a thrilling jump-off, New Zealand pipped Vanuatu for first place with Tahiti placing third, newcomers Australia placing 4th and New Caledonia in 5th.
The event attracts over a thousand spectators and is followed by an equestrian spectacular featuring western and trick riding by the New Caledonian regional clubs.
The HPC was created to highlight the equestrian sport of international showjumping, especially among Pacific countries. The Vanuatu team was kindly loaned horses by the Elevage du Kato, Nouméa.
It is hoped that the annual event will be hosted in other participating countries in the following years, including Australia, New Zealand and Vanuatu.
The commitment and volunteering efforts by all the New Caledonian clubs, FFE and Comité Régional d’Equitation de Nouvelle-Calédonie was greatly appreciated.