Hello. We would all like to introduce our new vet Sabine and her partner Paul together with their hobby Mounted Games. Fast and Furious may be the buzzword and even more impressive, Paul was representing Australia!
“Hi, my name is Paul and I am Sabine’s partner. I’m from Australia and I have just recently arrived in the UK as Sabine is an equine vet now working at Simply Horses Vet Clinic, in Fencehouses.
On my way here I stayed in America for six weeks in preparation for the International Mounted Games World Team Championship. I competed on the Australian team with four other Auzzies (as the Americans would say). For those that don’t know what mounted games is, Google it. I would try to explain it but I wouldn’t be able to give it the justice it deserves. What you do need to know and what I can explain is that it’s the best kind of equine sport out there for competitive, adrenaline seeking riders. It requires hand-to-eye and horsemanship skills, a good attitude and an amazing pony. Well that’s to play at a international level.
So you need a good pony.
All but the American and Canadian Teams had their own ponies, the rest of the 13 teams had to source or get their ponies from the pool of ponies, it is a long way to take a pony after all. Us, Aussies, and the Northern Irish were the only ones to source our ponies for the competition while the rest relied on the pool. We met our ponies a couple of days before the competition. I travelled with mine from Pennsylvania down to Virginia for some training with the team, then we made our way to Kentucky. Everyone else, excluding the Americans, Canadians, us and half the Northern Irish, had 3 days to get to know their ponies. Some changed ponies through the competition. So this kind of competition require a very confident and skilled rider.
The competition had four sets of ten races, with each race contributing to a total score. Then the top 8 scoring countries when into a two part final of 24 races, the next 6 had final to. We had a good set of ponies, though they were not as fast as some of the others in the pool. We made our way through the sets with 2 set seconds and a win. Our last set wasn’t so great, but we were saving the ponies for the finals. We started off the final with a few crackers and held the lead early. However we lost momentum in the middle and tried to keep our heads and finish as well as possible for part A. The Irish had a formidable lead on the rest for part B of the final and we didn’t have the speed to win so we were going for accuracy. The states had a smashing set, putting to sleep any doubts. The Irish lost their nerves and the States caught them making every race count till the last. The Canadians played well throughout, leaving them in front of us in the end. The Kiwis once again beat us, the development and competitiveness of the grass roots shining through on a world stage.
We had a rough trot in the final I think. We were down a rider due to injury, leaving me with two challenging but great horse as options for each race. For me it’s a case as always of could of, would of, should of. One of our ponies also lost all his speed and was a challenge on the way home in the final. The odds stacked against us, and we lost the moment and rhythm we had in the heats. It was a tough final and we did well to finish in the top five. The four other members of our team rode fantastic over the week riding with serious precision and team work, injury and all. 5th in the world is more than I ever expected. The Americans had a well deserved win, the Irish losing their lead in the second part of the final.
The final scores for the A final:
113 New Zealand
83 Northern Ireland
I have moved over to the UK for a while now to get more exposure to the sport, as it’s so big and competitive here compared to back home. World individuals is starting on the 28th of July and I’ll be there having a go.