MEGAN Reid started playing Horse-Ball around about 12 months ago.
This weekend she’s playing in a national championship in Tamworth’s Australian Equine and Livestock Events Centre with two teams, including an Australian junior national side, and then flies out to France for an international tournament on November 3.
The Year 11 McCarthy Catholic High School student is joined in that national junior side by fellow McCarthy students Ben and Sam Collett.
Ben (16) and Sam (14) have been playing Horse Ball for about three years.
They too are looking forward to not only this weekend’s national championship at AELEC but also the tour to France for what is the Heinz Wolff Under 16 International Horse-Ball Tournament.
Ben, who is in Year 11, said his father (Victor) introduced him to the game and he’s been playing and loving it ever since.
So too his younger brother, Ben, a Year 8 student.
“It was love at first sight,” the teenager said.
He rides Smoke, a grey gelding, while his brother jumps aboard Nelson ,a brown gelding.
Reid partners Dudley, a chestnut gelding, in the game that is a combination of basketball and rugby union played on horses.
The three will not only play with their Aussie junior team – which includes Marlee Palmer (Narrabri), Ellen Arden (Narrabri) and Travis Dixon (Wee Waa) – butother teams as well this weekend.
They have also played in trials at the Tamworth Showground to be selected in the Aussie side but when they go to France, they will be playing on borrowed horses, team manager Richard Riggs said.
“We are extremely lucky they will be lending us horses over there,” Riggs said of the international junior tournament to be played in Montpeliere.
“We’re taking just the junior team this year – the seniors are hoping to go next year.”
Riggs is the publicity officer for the Australian Horseball Association as well as coach and umpire.
“It’s going to be a great experience over there for the kids,” he said.
This weekend, too, will be good for their development.
12 teams have nominated for the national championships.
“We’ve got a team coming down from Queensland and players from the Hunter Valley, Mid North Coast, a couple from Canberra and from around the region – Wee Waa, Uralla and the New England.
“It’s not a big carnival but we will have a lot of fun.”