Tuesday, September 29, 2009

New Zealand: Upper Hutt teen endures for NZ



Teenager Emma Mason has earned a first time selection in the New Zealand endurance horse riding team.

The Upper Hutt College year 10 student, and her eight-year-old Arab horse Tararua Mistalight, will be taking on Australia's top endurance horse riders at Ruahine in November.

Emma, who recently turned 15, has more than seven years experience in competitive endurance riding and is more than ready for her first chance at trans-Tasman endurance team eventing on November 21-22.

Her selection is further development of an endurance career which has seen her represent Wellington at the North Island championships and later being chosen for the North Island team to compete at the New Zealand competitions.

Maoribank resident Emma and her mount Tararua Mistalight, who grazes in Kaitoke, along with central North Island rider Michael Wakeling, are the two junior selections in the New Zealand team, which will compete against the Australians in a 100 kilometre race across farmland.

In endurance riding, the winner is determined by which team has the fastest cumulative times recorded by the first three team members to cross the finish line.

The Australian team will compete on borrowed New Zealand horses, while the New Zealand team will later travel to Australia for return competition.

The trans-Tasman contest, described by the endurance racing followers as the equivalent of the Bledisloe Cup, can be expected to be hotly contested as New Zealand looks to wrest back the title.

The trans-Tasman event was first held five years ago and won by New Zealand for the first three years.

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