Archibalds Defender Equestrian Cross Country Experience

A fleet of rugged Defenders, professional off-road experts, and the expansive oasis of Christchurch’s National Equestrian Centre cross country course awaited guests that attended the 2024 Archibalds Defender Equestrian Cross Country Experience, hosted during the Archibalds NZ National Jumping & Show Hunter Championships.

Keep reading to view photos and videos from our excursion.

Off-road experts

After a quick briefing from our seasoned off-road experts at Downforce, it was straight into the Defenders to embark on a five-minute drive out on the Cross Country Course. Guided by instructors in the lead Defender, each vehicle was equipped with a handheld radio for receiving insightful commentary and tips whilst also allowing drivers and passengers the opportunity to raise any questions.

  • Downforce team with Archibalds

First obstacle on the Defender Equestrian Cross Country Experience: wheel articulation

Arriving at the first obstacle we maneuvered through a series of large trenchs and mounds, putting to the test both the drivers’ skills and the Defender’s wheel articulation. In what seemed to onlookers a somewhat daunting feat of having multiple wheels in the air, passengers and drivers often likened the experience to navigating a speed bump. This is what these vehicles are designed to do, and that was never made clearer than during this experience.

A true testament to the Defender’s wheel articulation skills the vehicle took everything in its stride, maintaining its traction and stability over truly rugged surfaces. Each wheel moved independently, adjusting to the contours of the terrain and ultimately providing a smooth ride for those inside.

  • Defender Cross Country Experience Wheel Articulation

Wading through water

Next, drivers navigated through several boggy ponds scattered across the cross country course. A far cry from reaching the Defender’s 900 mm maximum wading depth, traversing in and out of the ponds still gave everyone a glimpse of the vehicle’s capabilities.

  • Defender wading through water

Conquering inclines

The Defender comes into its own on an incline, with its suspension articulation seamlessly tackling side slopes with gradients up to a maximum 35 degrees with customary composure. Slopes on the course reached about 25 degrees, once again showcasing just a taster of what the Defender is capable of.

  • Defender side angle and 4x4i Info

Defender’s 4x4i INFO

Throughout the experience, everyone had the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the 4x4i INFO menu on the main Pivi Pro screen, which highlighted vehicle altitude, incline, wade sensing, wheel articulation, and the option switch camera views – everything needed for off-road driving.

Soon enough, it was time to make our way back to base.

Thank you

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who joined us for this unforgettable weekend. Your enthusiasm and adventurous spirit made every drive memorable.

Keen to get back behind the wheel of a Defender?

Explore the range, or talk to us about booking a test drive.

Watch: Archibalds Defender Equestrian Cross Country Experience

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Please note

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Please note that while care is taken to ensure all details displayed here are correct, specifications, pricing, imagery, and offers often change and information here may no longer be accurate. Images may also include overseas specification and/or optional accessories not included in the price or available in New Zealand. Content can also, of course, be subject to the occasional human error. For all current and correct details, please speak to our friendly and informative Sales Specialists. If you notice information that may be inaccurate, please don’t hesitate to let us know as soon as possible. Thank you for your support and understanding.