Five local equestrians recently competed at the national championship for Reining & Western Performance National (RWPHSA), America Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) and South African Quarter Horse Association (SAQHA) in Parys in the Free State, and did the Tzaneen area proud by bringing home many awards.
Tzaneen residents Martella van Zijl, Marike Ferreira, Mencke Alberts, as well as Magoebaskloof residents David and Claire Beard clinched multiple titles at the three day expo which was held on Thursday, August 9 to Saturday, August 11.
The event saw 102 competitors from all across the country take part in a number of Western Performance disciplines, including Western Pleasure, Trail, Dressage, Horsemanship, Reining and Ranch Horse.
Marike Ferreira riding ‘Jimmy’ came third in the Novice Adult Western Pleasure class and first in the Novice Adult Western Dressage class.
Martella van Zijl riding ‘Tango’s Sugar Power (Sugar)’ took first place in the Intermediate Adult Western Trail, Pleasure and Horsemanship classes and second place in Ranch Horse.
Further, in the AQHA / SAQHA Amateur classes, Van Zijl and ‘Sugar’ scooped up first place in Western Trail and Western Pleasure as well as second in the Reining Pattern 8 class.
Mencke Alberts riding ‘Prins’ took home the following accolades under the Intermediate Youth category: Horsemanship (first place), Western Dressage (first place for the second year in a row), Reining Pattern 1 (fourth place), Reining Pattern 2 (third place) and Ranch Horse (third place).
David Beard riding ‘Lil Joe’ took second in the Intermediate Adult Reining Pattern 4 and second in Reining Pattern 3. He and ‘Sebastian’ then came second in the Intermediate Adult Trail class.
Claire Beard on ‘Shine it Jack’ came second in the Intermediate Adult Reining Pattern 1 class and fourth in the Intermediate Adult Reining Pattern 2 class.
Additionally to this, National High ranking points were awarded to the riders with the highest scoring average for the season. The awards were given out at the RWPHSA annual prize-giving ceremony.
Local rider, Dominique Bond on ‘Bonnie’ was awarded high ranking points in the Novice Youth Western Trail and Western Dressage (2nd year in a row) categories.
Marike Ferreira on ‘Jimmy’ was awarded with high ranking in the Novice Adult Western Pleasure, Horsemanship and Reining categories.
In the Intermediate Youth groups, Mencke Alberts on ‘Prins’ was awarded with high ranking points in the Reining, Horsemaship and Western Dressage (2nd year in a row) disciplines.
Martella van Zijl and ‘Sugar’ received high ranking points for Intermediate Adult Ranch Horse.
In the Open Adult category, which is the highest category, William Bondesio riding ‘Lekkerkry Tiekie’ received high ranking points in the Horsemanship and Ranch Horse disciplines.