Donna Edwards-Smith has been a force to be reckoned with in the eventing world since a young age and she has never looked back…

  • High Performance Sport NZ Carded Athlete 2020
  • Current 5* Event Rider
  • Winner NZ Super League Series 3* 2017
  • NZ Future Performance Potential Squad Member 2017 – 2020
  • WEG NZ Team Member 2006
  • World Cup Level Show Jump Rider
  • Winner of 11 NZ National Titles
  • Represented NZ in Eventing 5 times
  • Represented NZ in Show Jumping 4 times

At just 15 she represented New Zealand for the first time at the Young Rider Trans Tasman championship event.

Donna weg_bwgained mileage from top riders on the international eventing scene, working alongside Andrew Nicholson in England and then David and Karen O’Connor in the USA. In between these two eventing superstars she worked for show jumping legend David Goodin in New Zealand.

These experiences helped to take her to the top of her sport. Donna is an international 5* event rider, who in 2006 was a World Equestrian Games New Zealand Team member, in 2009, 2010 & 2013 a member of the Senior Trans Tasman team and a multiple New Zealand National Champion including 2013 National CCI3*, 2012 National CIC3* and 2012 National CCI2*.

Donna has produced over thirty upper level horses and two Olympic Games competitors at Rio; Balmoral Sensation ridden by New Zealander Clarke Johnstone and Just Chocolate ridden by Japanese rider Ryuzo Kitajima. She has had to sell these horses to support her rise to the top. However Donna is aiming to change this and hopes that in the near future she will be in a position to retain the rides on her Olympic and World Equestrian Games prospect horses. “I can’t wait to go again with the knowledge I now have.”

Donna invites you to join her journey to represent New Zealand once again at WEG and Olympics.



1997 – 2000  Under the guidance of David Goodin (Father of 3 time Olympian rider Bruce Goodin), Donna oversaw the training and competition schedule of a 16 horse team, actively competing 12 horses.

2000 Donna travelled to the UK to spend time working with Andrew Nicholson (6 time Olympian for NZ Event team), and worked in his training yard with young unbroken horses through to Advanced.

2003 – 2007 Donna was employed in the USA by Olympic Gold medallist, David O’Connor to train and compete horses in the O’Connor Event Team stable in National and International events. During this time she was specifically responsible for the Young Event Horse program, and produced many exceptional event horses. Donna was also involved with the ‘O’Connor Event Team and helped with the coaching and competition support of riders, from amateur to professional status.

2008 Donna returned to NZ to establish her own equestrian business

2010 – 2014 Balmoral Eventers in New Zealand, produced and sold many horses with the prefix “Balmoral”

2014 – present Donna & her wife Elise run Donna Smith Eventing, they have multiple horses with the “DSE” prefix


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