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World Champs NZ for the second time

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It was all Kiwi, Kiwi, Kiwi in the final of the NRM Mounted Games World Team Championship at the Horse of the Year Show last night.

The Hastings PAK'nSAVE Team New Zealand – Dee Cherrington (Northland/UK), Julie Borland (Waikato), Amy Bentall (Hastings), Steven Hooker (Waikato/Germany), Nancy Te Whata (Northland) – were dominant throughout the champs and were understandably popular winners before another packed grandstand.

Ten nations battled it out for top dog honours. New Zealand and Australia were the only two aboard their own ponies, with the rest on borrowed mounts.

At 37, Borland is now the oldest world champion.

Announcer Sean Bource (France) had nothing but praise for the hosts and winners.

It is the second time New Zealand has won the title – the last was in Australia in 2008 on borrowed ponies.

Defending champs France had to settle for a disappointing fifth.

“New Zealand were just outstanding,” said Bource. “No one could really catch them, they were just so consistent, playing well and with the ponies behaving brilliantly.”

England came from behind to take second place, with Australia in third. Aussie team member Billie Pearson injured her knee in the first part of the A final, and it proved costly for the team.

“It wasn't a good finals day for them at all,” said Bource.

It was very close for the minor money, with just four points between Australia, Wales and France.

In the B final, it was also tight, with just three points separating the trio of teams. Germany were the victors, ahead of Denmark and Norway.

“The loaned ponies were a real credit to New Zealand,” said Bource. “All of the visiting nations have been very thankful for all the work the New Zealand Mounted Games Association has put into the competition.”

Bource, who has been to four world champs, said the New Zealand organised event was the best he had ever been to.

“Everything they did here – from the food, to the ponies, activities and champs – was so impressive,” he said.

But perhaps the biggest highlight of all, was the spirit of the event.


Results -

NRM World Mounted Games World Team Championship A final: New Zealand 130, England 121, Australia 94.5, Wales 91.5, France 90, USA 84, Switzerland 53.
B final: Germany 49, Denmark 47, Norway 46.

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