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Paul Hart : South African Eventing Champion

paul hart south african eventing champion

Paul Hart
(Photo : TB Images) 

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SA Eventing Champion Paul Hart, reflects on his win at the first CIC*** event ever held in South Africa :

Well what a weekend!!Our first CIC*** ever to be held in South Africa! The week leading up to this event we were fortunate enough to attend a course given by Jean-Philippe Camboulives who is an International FEI Instructor and who has just been appointed as the Eventing Team South Africa coach. This was very intense but very educational and enjoyable. His presence was rather comforting as we walked the exceptional cross country course at Northern Farm Equestrian Park.

The event was held over two days at the beautiful Northern Farm Equestrian Park. It was a landmark occasion as it was the first CIC*** to ever be held in South Africa. The Saturday started out very chilly and overcast and it just got worse and worse as the day wore on. As luck would have it, as I entered at A down the centre line to begin my dressage test the heavens just opened. All things considered Air Holidays Wiseguy did a great test even though he was bent against the rain on occasion which was stinging and very cold!

At the end of the dressage phase we were lying fourth with the cross country and showjumping still to look forward to on the Sunday. Sunday turned out to be a beautiful clear day but still very cold. The rain the day before made the going much kinder underfoot. The cross country was big and bold. Having never taken our horses over these kinds of fences before most of the riders walked the course three or four times. In my case I walked it five times.

Wiseguy jumped a spectacular round that was also fastest for the day. At the end of the cross country I was lying first and Graham Winn was just 3.2 penalties behind us. Wiseguy jumped beautifully and we only took one pole in the showjumping. Graham took three poles which left us in the lead.

I must just take this opportunity to thank all the individuals who went to such a huge effort for only nine CIC*** riders. We know that as much effort has to go into the course even though there were so few riders. Also I would like to say that the course was strong yet fair and there was not one jumping refusal throughout the whole course and all the horses made it home safely!

So we won the first ever CIC*** in South Africa. It’s still sinking in I think. This leaves us one step closer to qualifying for the World Equestrian Games. Of the seven starters five had qualifying rounds:

Paul Hart – Air Holidays Wiseguy

Graham Winn – Fairways Electrica Zorba

Heidi Wood – Quantum Leap

Douglash Welsh – Trinity Sport of Kings and Trinity Kings Courier

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