A young and new local equestrian combination has beaten the odds and will compete for New Zealand this year.
Phoebe Burns, 12, and her pony Beau have been selected for the FEI Children's International Classics after only competing together for six months.
"I wasn't aiming for it this year with a new pony but because I went from jumping 1.2m to the Pony Grand Prix I decided to enter just because I could."
Phoebe got the response she never expected making the team of four as the youngest combination with the second best results.
She is the only girl from Hawke's Bay to compete in the 12-14 years age group.
"I am so excited for it and we have our qualifying round next weekend in Masterton so it is all coming along fast."
Phoebe has been training with the new Woodford House equestrian academy and has been competing at shows every second weekend right from Taupo down to Wellington.
Her latest appearance was at Horse of the Year where she was sixth in the Pony Grand Prix.
She said it has been a lot of fun but also a lot of driving for her parents.
"I am lucky as Mum and Dad are very supportive and Mum used to ride as a kid so she helps me out a lot with everything."
Phoebe was looking forward to the experience and exposure of competing for the country.
She said she was good friends with the three other team members and got along well with the coach.
"Riding is very social so it is a lot fun when we all compete together. I have made close friends over the years and enjoy the adrenaline the sport gives me."
If the team of four make it through the qualifying round as part of the Glistening Waters Series Final they will head overseas at a location that has not yet been announced.
Phoebe finds out in October if they have made the finals.
"I am very nervous but also excited as it is my first time competing for New Zealand. We have had a good season and Beau has been going well so hopefully all goes to plan."