Riding off with two big awards for sports at 17
Young horse-riding star Sky Notter is Papakura’s supreme athlete of the year.
The 17-year-old, of Sonshine Ranch Outdoor Adventure Centre in Clevedon, collected the Papakura Sports Awards’ most sought after accolade recently.
The champion rider, who also won the junior sportswoman title, is a rising star in a minority sport with only about 200 riders in New Zealand.
She competed in the world pairs championship in Denmark and the world individual champs in Wales. She’s also the NZ openclass champion in the individual, pairs and teams events.
‘‘I was surprised and overwhelmed when my name was called out,’’ Notter says.
‘‘I’m also super proud to give Mounted Games the recognition it deserves as not a lot of people know what Mounted Games is.
‘‘It’s like relay racing on horseback. We do 26 different games which require you to vault on and off, lean off the side of your pony, pick up and put down pieces of equipment, and handover the equipment to your partner all at very high speed.
‘‘It’s a fast-paced, actionpacked discipline. Riders must be athletic and strong with good horse-handling skills and great hand-to-eye coordination.
‘‘I love the relationship you need to have with your horse. Most of all I love the speed and the feeling of being kind of invincible during a game.’’
Notter so enjoyed her sport that she enrolled in correspondence school so she could spent more time perfecting her riding and skills and training her horses.
‘‘I previously went to Elim Christian College, but I left halfway through Year 10 to pursue my passion in Mounted Games,’’ she says.
‘‘I finished school through cor- respondence so I would have more time to train.
‘‘I have a lot of ponies at home and most of them are novices. Twice a week I do Games training with them plus other riding, training, and fitness drills.
‘‘These ponies do Games once or twice a week, fitness three times a week, and hacking out - gentle trail riding - on other days,’’ she says.
Notter and her horses are winding down training in preparation for the under-17 world team champs, held at Equitana, ASB Showgrounds in Greenlane from November 23-25.
‘‘I'm proud to give Mounted Games the recognition it deserves.’’
National Mounted Games horse-riding champ Sky Notter of Clevedon shows her precision skills at high speed.
Sky Notter with Papakura Local Board chairman Brent Catchpole.