New Zealand showjumping course designer Kevin Hansen has come to Gympie for the first time. He is designing a technical Grand Prix Course.
New Zealand showjumping course designer Kevin Hansen has come to Gympie for the first time. He is designing a technical Grand Prix Course.

Hansen designs course

A NEAR-record field of showjumpers enjoyed a taste of Kevin Hansen’s handy work yesterday as they prepared for today’s showjumping Grand Prix at the Gympie Show.

Hansen, a highly-credentialed showjumping course designer, is preparing a technical course for today’s prestigious main event.

The Sydney Olympic course builder and World Cup course designer flew in from New Zealand on Wednesday for his first Gympie Show.

Hansen rode competitively for 20 years and represented his country, before embarking on a career change. He hit the ground running yesterday, designing a course for the junior horse events, and was impressed with the facilities at the Gympie Show.

“The grounds are good and we have some good horses and riders set for the Grand Prix,” Hansen said.

“It should be pretty good.”

He said his job was to build a decent Grand Prix course to suit the ability of horse and riders. “It will be a rather technical course.”

The course will include a couple double jump combinations and a treble in the 16 fences with jump heights ranging from 1.4m to 1.6m.

Hansen’s aim is to have only four or five horses clear the first round and have only two horses after the second round do two clear rounds.

“At the top level it is a real test,” Hansen said.

One of the riders aiming to win the Grand Prix is Sydney Olympian Gavin Chester on his mount K.S.Windfall.

The 51-year-old arrived back at the show after a 10 year hiatus from the Gympie event.

He will come up against Sydney Olympic room-mate Ron Easey in the Grand Prix and, is looking forward to catching up with his old mate.

“We had a great time together at the Olympic Village,” Chester said.

“Everything was free, including massages – we had a wow of a time.”

This year Chester brought his family, son Kane, daughter Tegan and wife Sharon to the Show.

The only one not competing in the showjumping is Sharon, but Chester is trying to get her back in the saddle. “She used to compete and we are trying to talk her around,” he laughed.