Wallace pupil Harry McMillan rides to success with the GB team in the International Mounted Games
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Harry grew up around horses at Lime Park Equestrian Centre, Maghaberry and had been riding since he was four years old.
Harry and the Great British team won the recent International Mounted Games competition. It was a close competition between GB and Australia and, in the end, the team from the United Kingdom beat the host nation by one point to take the win.
Harry was nominated for the International Exchange by his pony club, Iveagh, and was then selected by Pony Club UK as the Northern Ireland representative on the team.
Harry’s team mates were Alice Chanter from Oakley Hunt West branch and Izzy King from Poole and District branch, both from England; Charlie Gallacher from Wynnstay branch, Wales; and Scarlett Haddow from West Perthshire branch, Scotland. Their coach was Pennie Drummond from the Pony Club Mounted Games Committee, and chaperone, Dan Drummond from East Cheshire.
The IMGE was hosted by Londonderry Pony Club in New South Wales from November 8 to 19 2023 and consisted of teams from Canada, USA, New Zealand, United Kingdom and Australia. The trip was much more than just mounted games. The group started in Sydney, where they climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge and visited various other attractions and did dragon boat and jet boat racing, while visiting the International Regatta Centre. They had a tour of Godolphin Stables; visited the Blue Mountains, Scenic World and did the Three Sisters walk. They visited Sutton, Blacktown and Megalong Pony Clubs, spent a night under the stars in the Bush and had lots of trail riding. They visited beaches, Broulee Island and did lots of swimming and water sport activities. They visited Canberra and went to the Australian Institute of Sport, the Australian Royal Mint and Parliament Buildings and they got to see the sunrise at Mt Ainsle lookout.
The competition on November 18, consisted of 20 races, where riders competed on loan ponies, provided by members across NSW Pony Club. There was a break in competition since 2019 due to Covid, so Australia were the defending champions.
Harry is 16 years old and is a member of Iveagh Pony Club in Portadown, he attends weekly games training on a Monday night with his trainer Gwen. He has also represented NI twice at DAKS Home International Moun ted Games Championships at the Royal Windsor Horse Show with his pony Patsy. He is also a member of the Northern Ireland Mounted Games Association and usually spends his weekends at training or competitions.
Harry was delighted to be represent Great Britain at the International Mounted Games Exchange in Sydney, Australia and had an amazing trip that was made possible through the Pony Club.
He has made friends and memories that will last a lifetime but winning the competition in Australia was something the team will never forget.