A victory for barrel racing
A win in the Sport Waikato Secondary School Sports Awards is a victory for the sport of barrel racing, according to Caitlin McPherson.
The 16-year old barrel racer won the Waikato SS Equestrian Sportswoman of the Year award.
‘‘It was amazing, I was sitting there and I was like, nah I’m not going to win.’’
This as well as the nomination for Sportswoman of the Year at the South Waikato Sports Awards will hopefully contribute to the growth of the sport, she said.
‘‘It’s just cool to think a different sport can be recognised.’’
Sport Waikato regional sports director Jennifer Parkes said it was ‘‘extremely difficult’’ to become one of up to three finalists in each code.
‘‘I’m constantly amazed by the talent of our Waikato students. Our finalists include a Paralympian, a Tall Fern, Touch Black and an Ice Fern. These young people are sur- passing age- group honours and achieving at the highest level, a credit to their hard work and resilience.’’
McPherson took up the sport as a tough spirited 4-year-old and she has lived in her rodeo boots ever since.
The Lichfield teenager was selected to represent New Zealand in the High School Rodeo Challenge in Australia.
McPherson placed first in the first round, third in the second, and fifth in the third round, which contributed to the team’s total points.
Though the New Zealand team did not place in the August competition she said the experience was priceless.
‘‘You had to learn how to ride with different horses, you had to adapt to them.’’
She said the sport was ‘‘huge’’ compared to New Zealand and said there were hundreds of competitors.
McPherson hoped to make the New Zealand squad again and eventually win an open title.
Riding success: Caitlin McPherson was selected for Equestrian of the Year at the Sport Waikato Secondary School Awards.