Namibia’s leading horse rider Michelle Kuenzle, claimed 3rd place in the finals of the World Jumping Challenge at the Trakiec Riding Center in the Bulgarian city of Zhitnica, yesterday.
Kuenzle, who won the World Jumping Challenge Final in Santiago de Chile in 2008, ended her two qualifying rounds on the back of her eight year old mare Charodey with a tally of eight penalties in a time of 54.11 seconds to qualify for Sunday’s final competition in which the eleven finalists had to take their mounts through another two rounds.
Only three riders managed a double clear over the 1.20m course to make it into the jump-off, which was ultimately won by Iran’s Davoud Pour Rezai ahead of Simond Hendry from South Africa and evergreen Namibian rider Kuenzle.
“I am over the moon,” an elated Kuenzle commented via WhatsApp after her success that shows she is still one of the top amateur showjumpers in the world outside the World Cup Series.
Namibian riders will once again take part in the preliminary competition in 2015 with the first round of competition being hosted by Nubuamis Riding club in August, the second round by Kapp Stables at Nubuamis in September and the final round at Riverside Equestrian Centre in December.
The World Jumping Challenge is a competition hosted by the FEI (World Equestrian Federation) to give the less experienced jumping riders who, under normal circumstances, cannot take part in international Jumping competitions and live in the more remote countries, the opportunity to compete internationally without having to leave their own country.