Mounted Games: Adamson aiming for world title

By Andre Zwan

Josh Adamson rides a horse named after an American Western - Trigger. And judging from his performance in winning the recent New Zealand Open Mounted Games title in Hamilton, Adamson is just as good as that infamous cowboy Roy Rogers.

Mounted Games? For the uninitiated, it is a sport with a touch of Spartacus and a cowboy shoot-out. It requires speed, accuracy, agility and concentration. It demands teamwork between horse and rider.

Adamson, 17, is the youngest and first rider from Hawke's Bay to win the Mounted Games NZ Open. The Napier Boys' High student, who is in Year 13, now plans to go to England once he completes his schooling this year and make his mark on the world stage.

Unlike the more sedate equestrian version headed by Kiwis Mark Todd and Andrew Nicholson, Mounted Games require riders to jump off and on their horses picking up items and navigating through poles like a ski slalom at full speed while maintaining good horsemanship.

Mounted Games, not an Olympic sport at the moment, went international in 2003 and 20 countries now embrace this tough, high-fuelled adrenalin sport.

Adamson said he started riding at age 11. "I loved the speed and the skills," he said.

A member of the Hawke's Bay Sports Academy, Adamson is quite clear where he wants to be in Mounted Games - a world champion.

To achieve his goal, Adamson plans to take Trigger with him to England and battle his way to the top. He hopes to represent New Zealand at the world championships in France next year.

"Going to the UK with Trigger is a major step. There are more tournaments in Europe and this will hone my skills. I love a challenge and can't wait to ride off against riders from European countries."

On Trigger, Adamson said: "He is fast, agile and loves to race but is also very responsive, and that's where he has the edge over other horses.

"I think Trigger, like me, loves a challenge to be the best."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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