By Hendrik Grove â?? President of the Namibian Equestrian Tentpegging Association
The Namibian Equestrian Tentpegging Association (NETA) hosted the 2nd Junior World Equestrian Tentpegging Championships under the IETA rules successfully at the Auas View Stables on 17 and 18 August 2007. This large equestrian championship in which Australia, Namibia and South Africa participated was done in co-operation with our sponsors: Pennypinchers, Absolute Logistics, B-Mobile Car Rental, Reinforcing & Allied Industries, Twizza, Etosha Santas, Holcim, Construction Unlimited, Voermeester, Nashua and David Pickard-Cambridge.
Sune Wittmann wins gold
The Namibian team enjoyed the support of the spectators and attracted a lot of new interest to the sport. The highlight of the support for the Namibian team came when SunÃ© Wittmann, who at the age of 12 was the youngest rider at the championships, showed the other boys and girls riders why she is the best in the world in the individual lance event. The viewers jumped to their feet each time that she had a perfect score on the narrow peg of 25mm and kicked dust in the faces of the other riders.
The Barnard brothers Jaco and Lourens also drew the attention of the viewers by winning and becoming the world champions in the half section sword event.
Great camerderie and new friendships forged
â??There was good teambuilding and we learned to work together as a teamâ? the Nambians said afterwards.
â??There were a lot of new friends made. It is not every day that one makes such good friends with people doing the same sport as yourself and living all over the worldâ? they added.
The junior riders were all very impressed with the horses they drew from the pool to ride with in the championships. The riders were all of a very high standard and treated the horses very well. All the horses that the horse owners made available were in excellent heath and well prepared. The horses all performed their duties well.
Despite not doing too well in the competition, the Australian visitors had a great time.
â??We loved the people and have made many friends that we will keep in contact with for years to come. The competition was smoothly run and the horses were awesome. We loved travelling on the back of the bakkie, it was an experienceâ? the Australian team members said.
Namibia comes second overall
The Namibian team won two gold, four silver and two bronze medals in the 10 events that took place during the championships and secured the overall second place. The team consisted of Jaco Barnard and Lourens Barnard from Elnatan, SunÃ© Wittmann and Xanthe Wittmann from Windhoed Afrikaans Private School, Jan Brink from Tsumeb Gymnasium, the manager Charl Wittmann and the coach AndrÃ© Barnard. They lifted Australia from their overall world 2nd place ranking since the 1st Junior World Championships held in Pretoria in 2005. The final results were as follows:
1st South Africa with 652 points;
2nd Namibia with 612 points and
3rd Australia with 535 points.
The management of the Namibian team is proud of the team and their performance. Namibia is one of the smallest member countries in Tentpegging, yet the senior and junior team both ended second in the two world championships held on the African continent this year.
The National Championships to select the teams for 2008 will be held in Aranos from 7 to 8 September 2007. For more information please contact Charl Wittmann at 081 127 0275 or Hendrik GrovÃ© at 081 122 4243.