Young Riders

48 x 8 mins|HeiHei Kid's Platform TVNZ OnDemand

Young Riders, the hugely popular show on TVNZ OnDemand, has returned for a third series

But this time we’re not Show Jumping, we’re Eventing!


Eventing is the sport made famous in New Zealand by Mark Todd, where horse and rider combinations are tested across 3 different disciplines: Dressage, Jumping and Cross Country.

We follow a whole new group of young riders, aged 12 to 17 years old, as they compete across the season to be crowned the Junior Rider Series champion.

Competition points are weighted, so the higher the level the more points are on offer. Our riders compete all the way up to 3 star level, with its tricky lateral dressage moves, and formidable cross country jumps. There’s little room for error.


The show follows the same format as previous series, alternating between training sessions at home and competitions around the country. Beach gallops, ferry rides and tips from ex-Olympians give way to some of New Zealand’s elite Eventing competitions. To win, our riders must grace the Dressage, brave the Cross Country, and hold their nerve in the Show Jumping.

From Mosgiel to Kumeu, we travel the length of New Zealand with our stars and their fluffy companions. From gluttonous Lightning with his naughty alter ego Steve, to fiery chestnut mare Winnie, the horses have as much to say as the riders do.

Joining the team this year:

16 year old South Islander Ella Morshius is the one to beat. Last season, she took out the Junior three and one day championships, but she is yet to claim a Junior Rider Series victory.

After finishing runner up in last year’s Junior Rider Series, 17 year old Charlotte Treneary will be giving Ella a run for her money. She’s got a new partner in crime this year, the magnificent mare Winnie who has character and energy for days.

Older brother William Lieshout belongs to a household of boys, sports gear, and horses. With his stunning ex-racehorse Merlot, the hard work the 16 year old from Pukekohe puts into his dressage is starting to pay off. Has he left it a little too late though?

Cantabrian Molly Moffatt has Eventing in the blood. The 15 year old is lucky enough to call mum coach, and is a serious challenger to the title. She’ll need to quickly build a partnership with spooky mare Makem to keep bringing in the points.

In Rotorua, 12 year old Wiremu Priest is embarking on his first year of Eventing. Already a Show Hunter champion, Wiremu and his ex-Olympian coach Heelan have finally convinced Wiremu’s mother to let him give it a go. His equine partner Lightning might look sweet, but he has an alter ego hiding under the surface.

17 year old Jordan Smythe breathes horse all day every day. Up at the crack of dawn, she left school to work with horses full time. Third in last year’s series, Jordan needs to make up for a slow start to the season by getting some points on the board with her sweetheart gelding Browne.

Hailing from Oamaru, 16 year old Alex de Geest joins the team halfway through the season. Holding an excellent position on the leaderboard, can she maintain it after stepping up a level?


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