Molly Robinson, a year 12 student from Harrogate Grammar School has been selected for the Great Britain team to compete in the International Mounted Games Exchange. Mounted Games is a branch of equestrian sport in which very fast games are played in teams of 5. It requires a high degree of riding and athletic ability, hand-to-eye coordination, determination, perseverance, teamwork and a competitive spirit.
The International Exchange rotates yearly between America, Australia, Canada and Great Britain. The exchange involves a variety of different activities, sight-seeing and touring as well as the actual mounted games competition. During the competition, the riders do not ride their own ponies. A pool of ponies is provided from the host country and they are rotated between each team so everyone has a fair chance during the competition and each team member gets to ride a variety of different ponies.
This year the exchange was held in Melbourne, Australia. In order to be considered for the team, Molly was first nominated from her club to put forward her CV for the selection process, there are around 345 clubs in the UK and only 5 spaces on the team, the selectors assess riding ability, suitability to be an ambassador for their country, and ability to promote good team spirit and fair play.
Harrogate Grammar School student, Molly, said: I feel incredibly honoured and privileged to be able to represent my country and to experience this amazing opportunity. This trip was my first time abroad, which made it even more special. I have been fundraising for the trip since hearing I was selected, in addition, I have also raised £1500 for a bone cancer research charity, Willberry Wonder Pony, whose aim is #kickingcancersbutt. The Willberry Wonder Pony charity was set up by the amazing and inspiring Hannah Francis, a fellow teenage PC member whose dream was also to represent Great Britain however she sadly lost her fight with cancer last summer before she was able to do so.
On arriving to Melbourne, Molly and her teammates met with the other teams from Australia, America, and Canada. They all partook in sight-seeing, outdoor activities, experiencing the Australian life and culture as well as staying with a host family.
The end of the first week saw a warm-up competition. The teams were mixed up so each rider rode with someone from every country. This allowed the riders to get a feel of some of the ponies that would be used in the main competition and practice the Australian races rules, which are different to those of GB.
The competition itself saw a great start for team GB with the first two sets of ponies but the next two sets of ponies saw a couple of mishaps leading to eliminations in some races. The end result was team GB being reserve champions to Australia by 3 points which they were absolutely thrilled with.
Molly said: The whole trip was an incredible experience, I’ve made some amazing friends from all over the world and I’m so grateful to everyone that made it possible.