Brayden Aarts and Leeshelle Small will ride in the German Friendship Games in July.

Two talented young riders from Franklin will soon get to show off their showjumping prowess in Germany. 

Brayden Aarts, and Leeshelle Small were the only riders from New Zealand to have been invited to the German Friendship Games, and will join around 150 other riders at the event in July. 

The riders not only draw a horse out of the hat to ride, but a world class coach to work with for five days, before taking part in a friendly competition. Brayden will compete in the 15-19-year-old class, while Leeshelle will compete in the 12-14-year-old class.

Brayden, of Pukekawa, said he was looking forward to making the most out of his first overseas trip, especially since he will turn 15 in the air, en route to Germany. 

"It'll be cool to represent New Zealand, and that's what my goal is for the future, to ride internationally, so it'll be good to get a taste of it in Germany and meet some top riders and learn some skills off them."

Brayden has been rising quickly through the showjumping ranks since he started riding four years ago. He won the national Junior Rider Series earlier this month which is for riders from 14-24-years-old, and was fourth in the national Young Rider Series as well. 

Bombay's Leeshelle Small said it would be an opportunity to make an impression in Europe, and is fundraising to get herself there.

"I really wanted to fundraise because right now we can't afford a big trip. It could be a really important time for me, because if I get noticed, which is the goal, it could change my career."

The 14 year old hopes the coach that she draws is former Olympian Marcus Ehning, from Germany, but the main goal is to learn as much as she can. 

"It's basically one trip where I want to learn heaps and heaps, so that I can be the best I possibly can. I'm still young so I've got a long way to go."

It will be Leeshelle's second international showjumping trip, after competing in Belgium last year at the FEI Children International Classics. 

The games will be held from Juy 25-30. 


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