By Mick Jensen
Ashburton Area Show Jumping and Show Hunter group has received high praise and a national award for its hosting of last year’s South Island Championship show.
The group is the first in the South Island to receive the accolade.
Last year’s event, held in November at the A & P Showgrounds, was the biggest yet for the group with around 300 horses contesting the event.
Ashburton Area Show Jumping and Show Hunter group chairman Dave Redmond said his group was proud to receive the award and the acknowledgement that came with it.
He said groups around the country had voted to decide the winner.
A lot of work had gone into the South Island Championships, which had been the Mainland’s biggest show to date, he said.
A committee of eight to 10 people and a further 20 volunteers had worked hard and with passion to “pull off the event”.
Mr Redmond said the group hoped to build on that success and was keen to grow the show further this year with the help of more business sponsorship.
He praised the Ashburton A & P Showgrounds as a “great venue” and acknowledged the support of fellow ground user, the Mid Canterbury Rugby Union.
“To be able to attract top show jumpers you need good ground conditions, grounds that are well watered – we have that here.”
The show jumping and show hunter season runs from September to March.
The Ashburton group hosts two events over the season and another is run locally by the Ashburton A & P Association.