It was two vastly different days for the Five Forks Foothills Trail Ride, but the annual event went off without a hitch.
The long-standing trail ride battled through two different Covid-19 alert levels last weekend, making for a challenging experience for organisers.
It went ahead under Alert Level 2 on Saturday, riders separated into groups of 100, with different QR codes and different facilities, before restrictions were lifted on Sunday and riders were no longer required to be apart.
Event co-ordinator Jane Smith said the committee went the “full monty” to ensure everybody’s safety, and everything went smoothly.
Logistically it had been a big challenge, but she was rapt the committee was brave enough to push through after taking direction from the Ministry of Health.
Mrs Smith said more people attended the Sunday fixtures, at Alert Level 1, and believed it could have been a record turnout.
“I think a lot more people [were] just relaxed.
“There [were] a lot more families,” Mrs Smith said.
“We’re really pleased that the committee pulled this together with lots of other things being cancelled.
The alert level changes did not stop people travelling for the event.
Brent Shepherd and his son Lachie drove from Edendale, in Southland, to compete for the fifth time at the event.
“It’s a good father and son time – it’s a really well-run event,” Mr Shepherd said.
Watching his son grow in confidence and start taking to the tracks on his own was a proud moment.
“At the start we were on family tracks, and now he’s out on the intermediate tracks.
“It’s watching him grow and develop, and it won’t be long before he starts getting away from his old man.”
He “took his hat off” to the committee for still putting on a fantastic and well-run event through a challenging time.