Kia Ora I am Emma, a 15 year old Pukekohe local and I need your support to follow my passion!
Here is my story..
I have always loved horses – but was born into a very ‘non-horsey’ family. I was one of those little girls who took every single opportunity to be near horses. For my 10th birthday my parents sent me to Sonshine Ranch in Ardmore for a horse camp. I loved it so much that I saved up all my pocket money so I could go every term. Then I started regular lessons there. The ranch is run by the Notter family and they are all amazing equestrian mounted games riders. They took me under their wing and with their support and loan of an amazing pony I won my first national title in 2015 – the NZ U12 individual title.
Equestrian mounted games is a fast paced adrenalin sport. Riders must be able to vault on and off the horse at speed, as well as picking up and putting items down whilst mounted. I have recently been selected as part of the New Zealand Under 17 Equestrian Mounted Games team that is travelling to Belgium in August this year, to compete for the World Under 17 Teams title.
In 2017 I won the NZ U14 individual title and was part of a team which won the NZ U17 teams title. That year I was honoured to be selected to represent NZ for the first time, as part of the open age team which traveled to Kentucky, USA for the 5 Nations cup – we came home with the bronze medal.
I was also selected as part of the NZ team to compete in the World U17 teams competition in 2017. My team members and our ponies rode our hearts out, against top international riders to win the world title. I will never forget the amazing feeling of winning gold for our team and our country.
My short term goal is to keep challenging myself to perform at a top level so I can represent NZ throughout the age groups. Long term, I plan to train and produce a top games pony that I can take overseas to live and compete on the European individual and pairs circuit, as well as mentoring and training other young NZ riders.
I have only managed to get where I have today with the support of my parents (who have now learnt about horses!) and the generosity of some amazing NZ equestrian games families such as the Notters, the Eggings, the Christiansens, the Welsbys and the Wigmores, who have lent me ponies and transport, given me grazing and taken time to assist, coach and help me. I am very grateful for all this support.
However, it is very expensive to travel, train and compete at a top level in this sport. Despite all the practical support I have received from the above families I am now asking the community for financial support to help me get to Belgium. I am incredibly grateful in advance, for any type of financial support I may receive.