Mortlake Dispatch
Amelia dons the green and gold

MORTLAKE local Amelia Barry represented Australia in a little known sport over the Easter weekend.

The 15 year-old took part in a youth challenge against New Zealand at the Sydney International Equestrian Centre showing miniature horses.

The Kiwis had the upper hand in the challenge and came away with a narrow victory but Barry said her team could be proud of their showing.

“We all did pretty well, it was very close at the end but we lost by a few points,” she said.

“Overall it was a good experience and I made a few good friendships out of it.”

The one day event saw competitors put miniature horses through three disciplines- jump, trail and showman- with a catch.

“You had to have a horse you haven’t had anything to do with before,” she said.

“Then we had an hour to get to know our horses and then after the hour was up we got dressed and had a meeting with the team.

“Then we started showing.”

Barry said it was difficult to get to know the horse in such a short time but added she was lucky enough it was one of her team-mate’s.

She said she was able to get some friendly advice off them which helped her performance.

“If you’re not familiar with the horse, you don’t know its strengths or weaknesses,” she said.

“But after an hour you get used to it, but you still aren’t fully confident with it because you don’t know what it will do.”

The Mercy Regional College Year 10 student also said it was nerve-racking representing her country for the first time.

“For starters I wasn’t overly fussed about it, but once it got closer I started to get more nervous about it,” Barry said.

“It was quite overwhelming but it was a good experience.”

With the youth challenge now complete, Barry will take a short hiatus before a likely return to the showing ring later this year.

“The season starts after September and normally ends about now (end of April),” she said.

“We normally do four to five shows a season which consists of two state events, two national events and another event for experience with the horses.”