Emma taking flight in NZ team
Great things come in small packages and Matamata College student Emma Barnett, 14, will be out to prove that later this month.
Emma will compete with miniature horses at the Sydney International Equestrian centre from April 18 until April 27.
She considers herself lucky to be selected for the International youth team challenge alongside five other New Zealanders who will compete in the Australian show.
To be selected, contestants had to apply. Emma sent in an application letter and curriculum vitae which included records of previous shows she had won.
Last year she was the New Zealand miniature horse junior youth champion and this year she won senior youth overall champion.
‘‘I am looking forward to seeing what the horses are like over there and how they breed them, as it is different from here,’’ she said.
‘‘I am also looking forward to the hunting aspect which involves jumping because it has always been my favourite.’’
The competition involves leading the horse by its halter through a number of courses and is judged on hunting, obstacle courses and a routine performance that Emma and her horse complete together with no physical contact.
Emma became involved with miniature horses five years ago when her grandfather, who owns 30 horses, most of which are American imports, first introduced her to the sport and she has loved it ever since. She is only allowed to take a small number of the horses with her to Australia.
‘‘I hope to be able to take my horse, Totara Creek Reality Shiraz, with me to Australia. He has always been a favourite,’’ Emma said.
In support of her trip, Matamata College had a mufti day in which they raised $600, to put towards the $3500 that the trip will cost.
In the future Emma said she would like to go to the world show in America and start riding horses as well.
Flying leap: Sherwoods Yankees Crystal Doll leaps over a jump, led by Emma Barnett at a miniature horse competition.