Monday, 24 December 2012

Points Competition - mid-season league tables released

We've just released the mid-year Top 10 standings in the club Points Competition - you can find them on the Results page.

Points are allocated to each qualifying combination of horse and rider, and tallied by class over each ride the combination enters. To qualify the combination must complete the course without elimination or vet-out, and the rider must be a club member. You'll note that some combinations have points in more than one class. Points accumulated in a class only count towards that class.

Points are awarded for distance and if there are more than four starters in a class, bonus points are awarded for place getters. At designated "Premier Points" rides additional bonus points are available.

The winning combination in each class is recognised at the end of season prize giving.

Take a look at the mid-season standings and plan the rest of your season.

Battle Hill Photos and Results now available

After a morning spent nursing the upload to completion, the Battle Hill photos are now online and available through the photos page. The upload kept stalling and it took half a dozen restarts and a search for missing images and duplicates to finally get the job done.

First an apology - I must have bumped the camera settings early in the walk, and usually I'd notice and fix it after only a few shots, but for some reason I didn't check for ages. Consequently, the images up to and including Yellow 1 and 2 were shot at a much slower shutter speed and consequently a much softer focus than I usually like, and I've discarded quite a few that were just out-right blurry. Definitely a "bugger!" moment.

What I've kept look OK on a screen, and there's still at least a shot or two of everyone I saw, but some shots may not stand up to being printed without some post-processing work to sharpen, so just keep that in mind if you're looking to print.

After that, things went better but I was too late back out on the course after strapping to be able to catch the early starters for a second attempt. So, I'll hope to do better at Pikarere and look forward to seeing you all there.

Also just to hand the finalised results. Unfortunately we've had to make a correction to 6th placing in the Intermediate 1 due to an arithmetic error on the day. We only pick these things up when the results are distributed to your committee for checking and we're trying to contact the affected riders. Again, our apologies for this error.

So with that it's time for everyone to take a well earned break.

Do have a safe and happy Xmas and come back refreshed and champing at the bit for the next half of WATRC's 2012/13 season in January.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Waitarere Photos posted to Flickr ...

... and our Photos page updated with a link to the set as usual, although judging by the overnight stats a few folk have found it already ;-)

Now a little breather until Battle Hill before we take a break for Xmas.

See you there.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Waitarere Results now available

Posted to our results page.

What an awsome ride - a great new ride base, fabulous trail as usual, painstakingly marked for which we owe Sandy and Mike a huge debt of gratitude. Those of you who've ridden Waitarere in the past would have recognised many familiar landmarks. For me the high point was rediscovering the southern reaches of the farm that I haven't seen since WATRC hosted the North Island Champs in January 2006.

Next ride, Battle Hill, the last of the calendar year and the mid-point of our season, is a challenging hill course and another combined farm forest trail. A great competition ride before the Xmas break.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Pukemarama Results posted

With confirmation of the revised placings in MB&T we've now released the Pukemarama results.

And ... the photos have finished uploading.

Pukemarama Photos uploading

The photos have started uploading to Flickr and the photos page now has a link. All going well the upload should complete this evening and I'll complete the tagging to enable the slide show after that or in the morning before work.

Unfortunately I challenged fate when I started the upload, estimating it might complete around 6 or 7 pm, went for a short walk, and arrived back to find it had stalled, so I'm having to reconstruct the bulk upload batch and start over - dang !! If you happened to spot the new set today and wondered why it's only got 33 photos, that's why - the rest are coming today.

Hope you're all revved up for Waitarere - it's always a great trail with a lot of variety. The new ride base and start / finish line will be in the south this year but I've no doubt we'll be passing many of the familiar landmarks on the farm and through the forest.

I'll put in another plug for the On-line Pre-Entries form - some of you are using it and it would be good to have a few more - it presents all the information Junior needs in a consistent and convenient format and makes his job a lot easier. If you haven't tried it yet, please do.

See you next weekend at Waitarere.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Photos from Maymorn uploading

The photos are uploading now and will likely not finish until later this evening when I'll do the tagging and other finishing touches. You can take a peek at progress via the link in the photos page.

A smaller set this time than for the last ride, mainly down to the weather on the day. In light rain and overcast conditions it's more of a challenge to get nice shots as I'm having to minimise exposure of the camera to rain and push the settings to cope with the lower light.

As the weather improved during the day it certainly became easier, but if you look at the shots at full size you'll be able to see the raindrops.

I didn't make it down to the rail trail this year unfortunately - I dawddled through the forestry section deliberately - couldn't face the thought of having to sweat my way back up the hill in rainwear - maybe next year the sun will be out.

Hope you're all getting set for a great ride at Pukemarama. If you haven't pre-entered already, try out our new on-line pre-entries facility. There are links to the on-line form on the Calendar page. It's a great help to Junior if you can use this form as the fields capture exactly the information he needs to record your entry and give you your start time.

Maymorn results haven't yet been posted to the site - we're just waiting on final correction of some minor typos, and they shouldn't be much longer now.

See you at Pukemarama.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Photos from Te Hapua Road uploading to Flickr

Sorry for the delay - it's finally happening. I managed to get the photo edits finished this morning and have set the upload running on another computer rather than wait until later this evening to start it.

It's a big set - over 1100 shots - I'd considered doing a second run through to cull a few more but I just couldn't face it ;-) With a ride so well attended, and a "photographer's course" where riders may go past several times in both directions it's inevitable there'll be a lot of raw material.

The photos can be accessed through the photos page on the club website as usual. For those of you who are new to the club, the photos are free for your personal use. There are some simple terms and conditions on the same page, along with some instructions for how to download if you're not familiar with Flickr. If you want prints, it's DIY and you can either use an on-line service or you can take the files to your preferred photo processor.

The slide show on the photos page won't show anything until I tag the photos after they've all uploaded, so don't worry - nothing's broken.

I hope you're all looking forward to Maymorn, and fingers crossed for kind weather.

By the way, if you've still not pre-entered, try our new on-line pre-entries form. We haven't done anything much to promote it yet, but a few of you have already found it and used it, so we hope it was a good experience.

Hope to see many of you at the next ride.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Te Hapua Results posted

Well, what a fantastic first ride for the season! I don't know how we got so lucky with the weather, but we sure got the gap. A great trail and an excellent venue. I was amazed when I got back from my walk to see how many more vehicles had been packed into the ride base - well done the ground crew.

The results have now been posted to the results page.

Photos are still some way off, sorry - there are so many to go through and the day job keeps getting in the way, but I'll endeavour to have them out as soon as possible - definitely aiming to have them done before Maymorn.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Waitarere Postponed - First ride now Te Horo on 7 October

While the ride calendar always looks good on paper, the best laid plans ...

The committee took the opportunity presented by the Heart Rate training morning to hold their regular meeting immediately afterwards, and after discussion concluded with regret that Waitarere would have to be postponed.

We hope to be able to slot it into 25 November, subject to confirmation from the land owners.

So that means a reprieve for those of you who've been having difficulty preparing your horses due to the wet weather (more to come we're told) and now winds.

We're sorry to have to take this action, but it seemed better to do it now with plenty of notice, rather than pull the plug at the last minute leaving people no time to make alternative arrangements for that weekend.

Te Horo planning is coming along. This will be a beach ride with some dune trails included, and who doesn't love a beach ride. More details to come shortly, but early indications are for a 20 km and 30 km ride.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Newsletter 155 published - includes the new Ride Calendar

Our latest newsletter has the current draft calendar - when we say draft, that's only because we've yet to confirm a couple of the ride venues - everything else is locked in.

Our first ride of the season will be at Waitarere, always a great venue and a good one to start the season with. We'll be using a new ride base closer to the Waitarere township but we expect the course will none-the-less cover the familiar farm and forest trails, albeit coming from a different direction.

With just 6 weeks to go, we trust you're all able to get some training rides in - hard to fit around the weather and slushy ground conditions right now, but take any opportunity you can to get your horses ride ready.

We expect to have a ride flyer out before the ride, with details of the ride base. We'll keep you posted.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Updated Rules and Code of Conduct released

Following on from the remits passed at AGM, our club rules have been updated and the new version is now on the Resources page.

In conjunction with the revised rules, a new Code of Conduct has been released, setting out the expectations we have of our competitors and officials at our events and related to the business of the club.

All members and competitors should familiarise themselves with our rules and code of conduct.

Through the off-season, your committee has been working towards building a full calendar of events, and we hope to have venues and dates confirmed shortly. At present, the unreleased draft sees a late September start to a season of 12 rides using many of our old favourite venues and looking at the prosepects for some new ones - can't say more than that until the schedule has been finalised and permissions confirmed by our land owners.

At this time of year it's also timely to look at an early spring clean of our website. We're currently nearing our free storage limit in Google Sites, as the accumulation of Results, News Letters and other materials from past years is using the bulk of our 100MB allocation.

With this in mind we're in the process of migrating our past years results and newsletters to Google Docs, presently being transformed into Google Drive, and with a free allocation of 5GB (so, about 50 times our current space).

We're still looking into the best way to use the Google Docs facilities in conjunction with our website, and initially we'll store the copies of the results and newsletter files on both.
The link to current and immediate past season results will continue to point to a folder on our website. A second link to earlier years will point to a Google Drive shared folder.

You don't need a Google userid to view or download these files.

A newsletter should be out shortly and in it more details of the up-coming calendar - we trust you're all eagerly awaiting it.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Newsletter 154 uploaded ...

... to the News page, belatedly - apologies for the delay, but with the CTR ride calendar completed for another season and with Dove turned out for a well earned break, it seemed like an excellent time to take a holiday overseas and try to excape at least a small part of the approaching winter.

Returning home to NZ daytime highs that fall well short of the overnight lows we've been having (we can thoroughly recommend the tropical winter - consistently better than our Wellington summers it seems) today's rain and hail squalls have come as a rude shock.

AGM and Prizegiving now just a week away will be held on Sunday 24 June at the Waikanae Chartered Club, the venue we've used for the last several years. If you're not familiar with the location, there are directions in the Calendar.

Hope as many of you as possible can make it.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Rata Photos published on Flickr

Uploaded over-night and linked from the club photos page this morning.

That wraps up WATRC's 2011/2012 season for now. AGM and prizegiving dinner will likely be in late June, date and venue to be advised.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Rata Results posted

Rata results have been posted to the results page. There was a smaller turnout of competitors at this beautiful new venue. The weather was fine and sunny so those who were able to attend had a very nice ride.

Photos are still some days away as  I've been away with work all of the week following the ride, so have not made a lot of progress in editing the selection.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Waitarere photos uploading to Flickr

The Waitarere set is now linked from the photos page, and as usual the upload will progress through the night. I'll put the finishing touches to the set and update the page sometime on Saturday, probably in the evening.

Results from the Championships ride were posted last week, in case you haven't found them yet.

Planning for Rata, the last ride of the season, is well under way. It looks like it will be in beautiful country - rolling is probably a fair description as the trails will be over hill plateaus with some short climbs and descents between sections. Directions in the calendar and ride poster.

Hope to see you all there.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Waitohu Photos uploaded and linked

I made unexpectedly good progress with editing last night and was able to complete the selection and set it uploading over-night. The photos are now all tagged and the set is linked from our Photos page.

I was able to walk more of the trail this year and there are more shots taken in forest than I've done for some years. Combined with the heavy overcast on the day I had to make some compromises, shooting at higher ISO (which tends to make the images more grainy) and lower shutter speeds (which tends to make the images less sharpe)

I'm not unhappy with the results, but you may find some of the images taken in lower light won't blow up as well in print, but they should be OK for viewing on a screen.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Waitohu Results posted to the website

Just out and on the Results page as usual.

Still working on the photos, sorry, but should be done before the weekend with luck.

If you find you were not on the mailing list, the draw and information for the Club Championships at Waitarere have been posted to the Calendar page.

Fingers crossed the weather will improve by Sunday and we'll see you on the trail.

Monday, 5 March 2012

News letter 153 published

It seems I haven't been the only one taking advantage of a damp and windy weekend to catch up on WATRC tasks. Nicky has posted the latest newsletter to our mailing list and it's now also available on the website.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Bright's Farm results posted

The results from Bright's farm have just been posted to the Results page.

That's it for today - signing off.

WATRC Blog layout updated

Just so you know, I've spent some time today updating the layout of the club blog using the new design tool for the site. In many ways the Blogger design tool is much the same as the Google Sites design tool (now there's a surprise not) but it has a few minor differences that mean it's not feasible to make the Blog pages look exactly like the webiste pages.

The chief motivation for me was my irritation at the old layout of the archive, with oldest posts being listed first and no ability to aggregate higher than monthly - with blog posts for 8 out of 12 months since late 2007, that made for quite a long list.

In the new layout, the archive is agregated monthly within year, most recent first, and all handled by a "gadget". On my laptop with a high def screen the new layout wastes a lot of screen real estate, but I'm conscious that many folk may still have older monitors and so the layout is designed with a 1024 pixel wide screen in mind - hope it works for everyone.

Anyway, if you just happened to be looking at the blog earlier today and noticed the layout changing through various unusual iterations, that was me grappling with the tool - my apologies - all fixed now.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Bright's Farm photos uploading

Bright's was a smaller ride this year, in part due to other equestrian events, and perhaps in part due to its reputation. However, 36 entries with no vet outs and all riders arriving home within 20 minutes of time on either side seems to suggest that the course was pitched at about the right level.

It's still a challenging course with more hill work than flat, but manageable given adequate time, so well done to those of you who gave it a go.

With less entries and only a short time out on course there is a smaller set of photos uploading than for some of our rides. I think I managed to see everyone somewhere on the course, and a few folk several times. The upload will run overnight and I'll take care of the house-keeping tasks in the morning.

Next up is Waitohu, another very challenging course, but again we will be doing our best to make sure it's do-able. For some it may be your last opportunity to qualify for Champs, so don't let it slip by.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Results for Manakau Farm posted - photos uploading

Results for Manakau farm were posted to the results page last night - photos are uploading to Flickr now and a placeholder for the set can be found on the photos page. The upload will run through the night, and provided it's not interupted should be complete by morning when I'll put the finishing touches to the set.

Apologies for the delay - unfortunately the day job is getting in the way of the hobby.

Hope to see you all at Bright's Farm - definitely a more challenging course, typical of the Wellington venues - achievable but not to be underestimated.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Turakina Ride - Change of Venue

We've updated the details in the Calendar (and removed the link to the Cluny Farm ride poster) so we're on track for a great ride at a new venue in the Turakina Valley.

The venue is Mareeba Farm, 499 Turakina Valley Road, and is somewhat closer to the main highway than Cluny Farm.

While Aimee and Tash have been finding gaps in the weather to get out and find useable trails, I've been "hiking" vicariously over the farm through Google Earth, stitching together explored segments from the club GPS, and getting the overall distances worked out. It looks like a great trail and I feel like I know the place already.

Fingers crossed for a fine day - Hope to see you there.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Newsletter 151 includes Pikarere ride poster

Happy New Year, everyone. I hope those of you who have finished their break have come back relaxed and refreshed, and for those of you still on holiday, we wish you better weather than we're having right now.

The latest newsletter has been emailed to subscribers, along with results from Waikawa Beach and Battle Hill. We haven't quite got around to making the mailing list changes we'd intended, but we'll let you know when we manage to get ourselves organised.

Some of you may already be aware that the Turakina ride is to be transferred to another venue, still on the Turakina Valley Road, but not as far along it. This is due to the recent rains washing out the river crossings, rendering these unsafe. Even if that were not the case, with the current and forecast rain for the region there would still be a high risk of the ride being postponed due to flooding.

The alternative venue is another farm in the same area, which has a large stock and farm vehicle bridge over the river. The terrain is similar to Cluny Farm's but there is not as much trail through flat padocks before getting into the hills. The hills are mostly rolling, so there's quite a lot of up and down. As best we can tell it will be a good work-out but not as tough as our toughest rides.

Our main challenge will be getting a trail planned and marked in the time available, and the weather is not helping. We've been working with GPS data from previous exploratory rides and have a good idea of possible trails in Google Earth, but it's a matter of getting out there to see if they match up on the ground with what we think we see on our screens.

We'll keep you posted as soon as we have details, but for now, consider Turakina "on".