One of New Zealand's top juniors, Blair, who was raised in New Plymouth, won the New Zealand Young Rider Championship on a horse called Manhatten which he later sold to finance a trip to England. There, he was employed by top trainer Ruth McMullen (known for training one of the world's most successful eventers, English rider Pippa Funnell).
After three years training with McMullen, Blair secured the ride on a horse called Metronome, on which he had much success, including a third placing in the Three Star Class in the Bramhan Three Day Event. Blair's rise through the ranks ensured he was named captain of the British Young Rider team at the 1996 European Championships in Austria.
Named as a member of the New Zealand Development Squad for elite riders for several years, Blair continued to achieve at the highest level, particularly with veteran advanced horse Maximum Overkill, owned by long-time supporter Tony Harris.
After a sensational third place finish in the CCI*** at Taupo International Three Day Event, This exciting horse and rider combination were selected as reserve on the New Zealand team to compete at the 2006 World Equestrian Games Aachen, Germany.
In 2007, Blair and Max were part of the winning New Zealand Trans-Tasman team to compete at Taupo CCI***—a biennial competition between Australia and New Zealand that is seen as a crucial launch pad for further international success.
In June 2007, Blair and Max cemented their Trans-Tasman success with a second at the Melbourne International Three Day Event, a performance that ensured the pair was earmarked for the New Zealand eventing team for the Beijing Olympics.
The subsequent Equine Influenza outbreak in Australia effectively scuttled Blair's 2008 Olympic ambitions with a number of vital events including the Australian International 3DE in Adelaide cancelled during the crisis.
Blair and Max nevertheless bounced back in 2008 to win the Berrima International Three Star event in April and finish second in the CNC*** at Sydney International Equestrian Centre in July. The pair ended their memorable association in 2008 with Max taking a well-deserved retirement from advanced competition, but Blair has not exactly let the grass grow under his feet in the interim.
He has combined with the extremely promising Ngamatea Beer, owned by himself and sister Heidi Richardson.
Ngamatea Beer—a giant gelding with immense scope that Blair has nicknamed "Bear"—made his Australian debut winning at pre-novice level at Quirindi in May, and made the step up to One Star to win the NSW State Championships in Goulburn in October 2008.
Blair has his sights set on the 2012 London Olympics with Ngamatea Beer.
As well as a hectic competition schedule, Blair has been busy with clinics throughout NSW and Queensland in recent months—and when not riding, working in the round-yard or arena with young horses, or instructing, Blair is most likely to be found on the tractor at Vantage Hill!
Blair's major achievements include:
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