Older siblings can be a huge influence on younger brothers and sisters in any sport - just ask Hawke's Bay mounted games competitor Rylee Mason.

"Mounted games is a family thing for us and I want to be like Josh," replied Mason when quizzed about her 10-year involvement with the code.

She was referring to step brother Josh Adamson who won the British individual open championship title in 2015 as a 19-year-old and the New Zealand Open individual crown in 2016. Napier Girls' High School Year 11 student Mason, 15, is one of five Hawke's Bay riders in a six-strong New Zealand under-17 team which will compete at the July 15-21 world championships in Carmarthen, Wales. The other Bay riders are Kate Browning, Isobel Thomson, Siena Harrison and Sophie Daly.

They will be joined by Auckland rider Emma Mathieson and Cambridge-based coach Patris Christensen. Mason, Thomson and Harrison were members of the New Zealand under-17 team which finished sixth on borrowed horses at last year's world champs in Belgium.


"We're hopeful of at least matching that sixth placing. We all work together really well and are pretty experienced," Mason said.

Because the majority of world championships in the sport are hosted in Europe Mason pointed out there is a knack involved in securing the best borrowed horses.

"We believe we've got some nice ones organised for us. That comes from making friends with competitors from the countries where the world champs are being held. That means you can source the horses from the owner rather than going in the draw for horses."

In addition to Adamson, Mason, said she has also learnt plenty off older sister Courtney Mason and step sister Danielle Adamson over the years. Mason will be competing at world championship level for the third time.

She was a member of the winning under-17 pairs combination at this year's national champs. For the last three years she has been a member of the national title-winning under-17 team.

The Kiwi team, which will be managed by Mason's mother Kathryn Mason, will be one of 17 in the under-17 grade.

Central Hawke's Bay College Year 12 student Thomson, 17, has also competed in mounted games for 10 years after progressing from the pony club ranks. She was more confident than Mason about the team's chances of improving on last year's sixth placing.

"We've got a very good chance. Everyone knows each other really well and we all get on so easily."


A member of a composite team which won the under-17 teams title at the Horse of the Year Show in Hastings in March, Thomson, doesn't have a problem with borrowed horses and she believes the Kiwis will benefit from an intense training schedule which consists of four sessions a week after school and two sessions every second weekend. Thomson also finished third in the under-17 individual section at national level.

Fifteen-year-old Daly has been competing in mounted games since she was 11. Last year she was a member of the third placed team in the under-14 world pairs and was the national under-14 individual champion.

In 2017 Daly was a member of the Southern Hemisphere team at the under-17 world teams champs. Seventeen-year-old Harrison has been competing since 2013 and has collected a variety of national, regional and national secondary school titles over the years.

Sixteen-year-old Browning is in her fourth year of mounted games after previously competing in the showing, saddle and show hunter disciplines.

Manager Mason said the Kiwi riders will have two to three days to become familiar with their borrowed horses before the champs start.

"Last year our team beat two countries who had their own horses which was a great effort. This year will be a challenge and we don't expect our kids to do as well as last year."

Another of Mason's siblings, Danielle Adamson, Olivia Brooks and coach Amy Wiltshire will form the Hawke's Bay contingent in the New Zealand open team which will be up against 22 other countries in the open division.

Wiltshire's mounted games CV boasts plenty of international experience. There was a period when she divided her time between competing in the United Kingdom and New Zealand.

In 2015 she finished fifth in the individual section and second in the pairs at the under-17 world champs. She was a member of the top New Zealand team in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Next year's world teams championships will be staged in Scotland.