This event will be held in conjunction with the NZ Horse of the Year Show, in the Hawkes Bay, Saturday March 9 through Sunday March 17, 2013. Mary Peabody is the 15 year old daughter of Missy and Henry Camp and will be the youngest female participating from any country. She is a sophomore at Louisville Collegiate School. Last year Mary Peabody competed on the US Pony Club International Games Team that won the exchange competition in Bungendore, New South Wales Australia. It was the first time an American team has won outside of the United States.
Mary Peabody’s 2013 teammates include 21 year-old Katie Stokes from Maryland, 22 year-old Laura Barbour from Maryland, 28 year-old Cassie Greiling from Kentucky, and 15 year-old Brian Atherholt from Pennsylvania. The team coach is Clive Jones from England. The US team is sponsored by Dover Saddlery and will compete against teams from Australia, Denmark, England, France, Germany, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, and Wales.
Upon arrival the team will experience a traditional Maori welcome and cultural tour. Then the selection of horses begins. The competition will be held at the Horse of The Year Show and the riders will share facilities with New Zealand's top show jumpers, eventers, dressage riders, and carriage rider teams.
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About Mounted Games – Known as an extreme form of equestrian sport, Mounted Games has an inherently increased level of danger, demanding high levels of physical exertion from both rider and pony, using specialized skills to perform exciting stunts. Mounted Games riders need a blend of well-developed skills to perform at top level. Advanced horsemanship skills, excellent hand eye coordination, superior fitness, determination and courage are all needed to excel. Skills performed in the 120 meter arena include standing vaults, galloping dismounts, leaning off ponies at canter to pick up objects, bursting balloons and hitting targets at a gallop, and high speed changeovers of equipment between team members. Competitions are held in teams, pairs, or individuals. Ponies need high levels of athleticism, and need to be able to stop, gallop, and ‘turn on a dime’, the instant their rider gives the signal.