Springston Trophy set to begin

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The wait is finally over – the Springston Trophy is here.

Starting today, 41 teams from pony clubs across the South Island will compete against each other to take home the ultimate prize – the Springston Trophy.

The competition is considered to be the biggest equestrian event in the southern hemisphere, and has taken the North Otago Pony Club two years to organise.

Event organisers Frances Campbell and Susan de Geest are both excited to be involved in the competition.

“It’s been full-on,” Campbell said.

“We feel that we’ve got everything under control, but we’ve had some sleepless nights.”

Campbell said the hardest part of setting up the event was trying to understand the ins and the outs of the competition.

“There’s a lot of paperwork that goes with this – that’s been the hardest part for me, actually understanding the full scope of the job.

“I didn’t realise how big it was until we started, but luckily we’ve had really good support from older members of the pony club.”

The best part about setting up the event was getting to work with the committee of organisers.

“We’ve had a really amazing committee to work with and we’ve had a lot of laughs along the way,” she said.

“It’s been a pretty cool experience.

“It’s going to be great because we’ve put a lot of work into this. We are sure this is going to be a fantastic event.”

More than 500 people are expected to attend this year’s competition.

“We know that these teams are going to come here, they’re going to compete, and they’re going to put themselves on the line, to do the best that they can do,” Campbell said.

Both organisers wanted to thank the community and the sponsors for supporting the event.

“With our grants and our sponsors, we’ve been able to put a lot of money into this, which is going to not only help us now but in the future,” de Geest said.

The Springston Trophy runs throughout the whole weekend, starting today and finishing on Sunday.

The action starts with dressage, followed by cross-country and show jumping.