Top Class SA Judge Heading to Kihikihi

 Top Class SA Judge Heading to Kihikihi

South Africa’s highest ranked eventing dressage judge may have travelled the globe pursuing her passion, but her trip to New Zealand is a first.
Lesley Mawhinney will be at the 2015 Kihikihi International Horse Trial as part of the FEI Global Education Programme, and the Johannesburg based consultant can’t wait.
“I was privileged to be put onto the programme quite a few years ago, and since then I have worked all over the world,” says the lifetime rider.
Stamps in her passport include Allentown and Lexington in the United States, Blair Castle in Scotland, Belarus, Brazil and Melbourne, Australia, among others.
“I am really passionate about working in Africa and trying to assist the development of eventing in Zimbabwe and Namibia.”
Mawhinney does plenty of dressage judging in South Africa – where she judges up to Grand Prix – as well as Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia and Swaziland. As part of her push to develop equestrian, she has been involved in presenting judging seminars in Zimbabwe for eventing, and Namibia and Swaziland in dressage.
But now she turns her attention to New Zealand, where she looks forward to judging new horses and riders, while working with a new FEI team.
“It adds to my global experience,” she says.
Mawhinney has been passionate about horses since childhood. She has ridden in South Africa to FEI Prix St Georges level, and had moved to Intermediare when her horse died suddenly.
“I seem to be constantly bringing on young horses.”
As a rider her love was dressage, but she has also showjumped and hunted. She still rides, but not competitively so much thanks to a burgeoning judging commitments.
She has her provincial colours in dressage and is an FEI 2* dressage judge, and a 3*/4* eventing dressage judge. As the highest qualified eventing dressage judge in South Africa, she is a regular at most of the FEI events there.
When not pursuing horses around the world, Mawhinney works as an executive search consultant, predominantly in the ICT sector.
“I am very excited to be heading to New Zealand and so looking forward to the opportunity to visit your lovely country and judge your horses and riders.”
And while she doesn’t know a lot about John Nicholson and his courses, she’s done a little research.
“Unfortunately I have not had the pleasure and privilege of working with John yet but I have looked at the event on the website and the courses look very inviting and well presented,” she says.
“I think that his reputation precedes him and I am looking forward to working with him and the rest of the team.”


ends


Date Added: Thursday, 19th February 2015


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