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Age no barrier as ‘elder’ earns keep

Tuesday, 23rd December, 2014

Broken Hill rider Andrew Rodaughan put in the hard yards for Australia at the mounted games Southern Hemisphere Championships. PICTURE: Ethan James Broken Hill rider Andrew Rodaughan put in the hard yards for Australia at the mounted games Southern Hemisphere Championships. PICTURE: Ethan James

By Ethan James

He may be the self-proclaimed ‘elder statesman’ but that didn’t stop Andrew Rodaughan from getting among the action at the mounted games Southern Hemisphere Championships.

Rodaughan represented Australia at the tournament, held in New Zealand last month.

Australia fielded two teams, with the more experienced side finishing in second spot. 

Andrew’s team - made up of riders from Western Australia, New South Wales and Victoria - came in at a respectable fourth out of five.

He was pleased with the way he rode, despite being almost ten years older than some of his fellow riders.

“I think the other Australian team expected to win, so they were perhaps a bit disappointed to finish behind New Zealand,” he said. 

“We had a younger team apart from me but still rode really well ... I was quite proud of how they went.”

However, the games weren’t without their fair share of drama.

Prior to the event, overseas competitors are provided with local horses to ride. 

This gives riders just a few days to get comfortable with their horse.

Andrew seemingly drew the short straw.

“The bloke who was actually the commentator for the games loaned a horse to me,” he explained.

“He was once ridden by Huw Whitney (Welsh World Champion) and threw him off, and I got told ‘he’ll try to throw you off as well’.

“So needless to say, at training he threw me off.

“My pride was dented a little bit.”

Fortunately, the pair came together when it counted. 

“He was one of the bigger horses, so he wasn’t quite as nimble.

“But we had a couple of really good horses in the team ... I generally went out first and was able to keep up with the others.”

Mounted games pits riders against each other in a race to complete a series of quirky tasks including placing a tennis ball on a cone, picking up cups with a pole and assembling a novelty toolbox.

The next big event is the national teams tournament in Wentworth next year.

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