Kaylee Hood Represented NZ


In January Kaylee Hood from Rolleston college was selected for the New Zealand High School Rodeo Team to compete in the Barrel Racing event. She competed in New Zealand in February, against the Australian team, before travelling to Rockhampton, Australia to compete on that side of the Tasman.

The nine member New Zealand team hailed from throughout the country and all rode in different events.

There were three challenges in each country with the points from each competitor added together to determine the Challenge winner. Australia just managed to steal the win from New Zealand with the final score being 2-1. As part of the overseas challenge the New Zealand competitors needed to borrow horses from the Australian Team and distribution of these horses was by names-in-a-hat.

“I was pretty happy with the horses I drew and was pleased with how the horses ran for me,” Kaylee explained. “The most challenging part was riding all the different mounts and having to quickly adapt my style to suit. We had to put so much trust in each horse,” she said. One of Kaylee’s highlights from the trip was to have won the Interschool Challenge. This was a separately run event where New Zealand competed against schools from around Australia. Along with the thrill of the win Kaylee commented on how wonderful it had been to meet a wide range of people and horses, while she was away.

“Everyone was so helpful and I also enjoyed getting to know my own team better,” Kaylee said with a smile. “The atmosphere of the night rodeos was great and I was very proud, and honoured, to carry the New Zealand flag,” she added. Kaylee’s next goal is to continue training her young horse using the new skills learnt from her trip away, while her ultimate goal is to win a New Zealand Barrel Racing Championship title.

“This trip was an amazing opportunity and experience,” Kaylee concluded.