‘Post of a lifetime’ for local judge

OVERSEAS OPPORTUNITY: Gisborne’s Kaye Williams has been invited to be part of the judging panel at the 2019 CHI Royal Windsor Horse Show. She describes it as “the post of a lifetime” and it will give her the opportunity to visit the United Kingdom for the first time. File picture by Paul Rickard

Gisborne equestrian judge Kaye Williams has been invited to what she is describing as “the post of a lifetime”.

The Level 3 FEI jumping judge has just heard she will be part of the judging panel at the 2019 CHI Royal Windsor Horse Show.

A longtime supporter of equestrian sport, Williams has been an official for 35 years and was a successful showjumper.

She is excited about the opportunity.

“I have always judged because I love it but I guess a small part of me always hoped it would lead to some overseas judging,” she said.

Williams has previously judged in Australia and at the prestigious Spruce Meadows in Canada.

“It is going to be an amazing experience, just to be at that show and to see it all.”

But she does admit it is also a little daunting.

“I will definitely be doing a little prep before I go.”

That includes following up with fellow judge Andrew Pollard, from the United Kingdom. They met when Williams completed her Level 3 training in Australia this year. He will also be judging at Royal Windsor.

“It is just about talking through how they do things there — the rules are the rules wherever you go, but sometimes countries just do things a little differently.”

Williams, a previous winner of the Chris Hodson Scholarship, is expecting the judging will all be computerised and she knows it will be formal. That will call for a swish new outfit.

As a Level 1 RAS judge, Williams is also looking forward to watching some of the showing classes.

The invitation came through an ESNZ contact at the HPower Group that runs the show. It’s a busy show with many disciplines, including CDI4* dressage, CAIO4* driving and CEI2* endurance. It generally attracts the cream of the crop.

The jumping is the jewel in the crown, with CSI5* and CSI2* competitions. The 2018 show had six CSI5* competitions, with the 1.6-metre Grand Prix the main class with a 300,000-euro prize purse.

The show attracts top riders from across the globe. The officials, too, are the best of the best, mostly from the UK or Europe. Williams is likely to be the only Southern Hemisphere judge.

While Williams has travelled widely, this will be her first trip to the UK. She will be accompanied by husband Chris.

She will need to fund her travel and accommodation but can apply for help through the FEI Officials Exchange Programme.

The Royal Windsor Horse Show is the biggest of its type in the UK and attracts more than 50,000 spectators over the five days. It will run from May 8 to 12.

Gisborne equestrian judge Kaye Williams has been invited to what she is describing as “the post of a lifetime”.

The Level 3 FEI jumping judge has just heard she will be part of the judging panel at the 2019 CHI Royal Windsor Horse Show.

A longtime supporter of equestrian sport, Williams has been an official for 35 years and was a successful showjumper.

She is excited about the opportunity.

“I have always judged because I love it but I guess a small part of me always hoped it would lead to some overseas judging,” she said.

Williams has previously judged in Australia and at the prestigious Spruce Meadows in Canada.

“It is going to be an amazing experience, just to be at that show and to see it all.”

But she does admit it is also a little daunting.

“I will definitely be doing a little prep before I go.”

That includes following up with fellow judge Andrew Pollard, from the United Kingdom. They met when Williams completed her Level 3 training in Australia this year. He will also be judging at Royal Windsor.

“It is just about talking through how they do things there — the rules are the rules wherever you go, but sometimes countries just do things a little differently.”

Williams, a previous winner of the Chris Hodson Scholarship, is expecting the judging will all be computerised and she knows it will be formal. That will call for a swish new outfit.

As a Level 1 RAS judge, Williams is also looking forward to watching some of the showing classes.

The invitation came through an ESNZ contact at the HPower Group that runs the show. It’s a busy show with many disciplines, including CDI4* dressage, CAIO4* driving and CEI2* endurance. It generally attracts the cream of the crop.

The jumping is the jewel in the crown, with CSI5* and CSI2* competitions. The 2018 show had six CSI5* competitions, with the 1.6-metre Grand Prix the main class with a 300,000-euro prize purse.

The show attracts top riders from across the globe. The officials, too, are the best of the best, mostly from the UK or Europe. Williams is likely to be the only Southern Hemisphere judge.

While Williams has travelled widely, this will be her first trip to the UK. She will be accompanied by husband Chris.

She will need to fund her travel and accommodation but can apply for help through the FEI Officials Exchange Programme.

The Royal Windsor Horse Show is the biggest of its type in the UK and attracts more than 50,000 spectators over the five days. It will run from May 8 to 12.

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