Whanganui teenager Rebecca Benge will don the silver fern for the third time when she represents New Zealand at the World Mounted Games in Belgium in August.

The 17-year-old Whanganui High School Year 13 athlete has been named in the five-strong Kiwi team to contest the IMGA 33rd World Team Championship Open and U17 at the Hippodrome de Wallonie, Ghlin in Belgium between August 20 and 26 this year.

Benge currently falls within the under-17 age group criteria for New Zealand competition, but will compete in the open divisions in Belgium. She will actually celebrate her 18th birthday while in Belgium.

She has already tasted international success and is hungry for more.


Benge was in the New Zealand team that finished second to the hosts in the 2012 Australian Teams Championship and a member of the Kiwi side that won the 2014 Five Nations Team Championships on home turf in Northland where at just 14 she was the youngest competitor.

The teenager has three individual national titles to her name, three national teams titles and one pairs. Like her fellow Whanganui riders Benge regularly competes under the Manawatu Mounted Games Association banner.

Benge is in hot form ahead of international obligations winning the under-17 and teams open titles at the Hawkes Bay teams championships last weekend.

She won the under-17 age group title riding her own seven-year-old gelding Blitz, while in the open she rode a borrowed pony, while she loaned out her 17-year-old mare Cindy to a fellow open competitor.

"I'm really looking forward to the world championships, although I can't afford to take my own ponies - I will have to ride borrowed horses," Benge lamented.

"There is a lot of work that goes into training ponies for mounted games. There are many different games that can randomly appear in a competition, so we need to be schooled in them all," Benge said.

Her next big event to prepare for the worlds is the New Zealand Individual Mounted Games Championships in Whanganui over Easter Weekend.

In the meantime, Benge and her supporters will be riding the fundraising trail with sausage sizzles and raffles on the menu to help her get to Belgium.

However, generous individual or corporate benefactors will certainly not be turned away.