What’s the first thing that pops into your mind when you think of mounted archery? If you said Hungary, you would be correct. As in the country, not food. Hungary is a hotspot of the top mounted archers and they will be hosting the International Horse Archery Alliance World Championship in Pomaz, just outside of Budapest July 3-8, 2018.
This is a qualifying event. The 136 competitors who made the grade will gather from 34 countries for six days of competition and collaboration on 60 acres of the Majdán plateau. There will be three horse archery styles of competition in this championship, Hungarian, Polish and Korean with 60 well-trained horses for the competitors to choose from for their runs.
Mounted Archery Association of the Americas Heads to the International Horse Archery Alliance World Championship in Pomaz, Hungary.
Mounted Archery Association of the Americas (MA3) will be sending six competitors to Hungary, Diana Troyk, Hadley Hudson, Joey and Greg Ogburn, Cameron Momtaz and Serena Lynn. They earned this trip to the first IHAA Championship in a shoot off of six runs each on the Hungarian and Korean courses. The top six scores qualified to compete in Hungary. The MA3 team heading to Hungary goes with a diverse background in international experience, a definite plus.
Diana, who will turn sixty-seven the day after she arrives in Hungary is so excited and proud. She gives thanks to her noble steed Outlaw, for giving her his best, so she could qualify. Diana has been with MA3 since its inception, on the board for eight years and serving as President for five. She began horse archery in 2002 and is the head of Desert Warriors of the Southwest and a Mentor Instructor for MA3. Diana’s first competition outside the U.S. was the World Horse Archery Federation Championship in Korea in 2010 where she won a Bronze medal in the 2-shot. In the first IHAA competition in Oregon she placed 3rd and has since competed in Korea seven times as well as Japan, Mongolia, Poland and Brazil.
Hadley worked hard preparing for the qualifying. He was rewarded with second place in both styles along with his highest scores ever. For him, competing in Hungary is a dream come true. Hadley’s life changed when he took up mounted archery, dedicating all his spare time to training and horsemanship. So dedicated he moved to a horse property, set up an archery course and bought two horses. This will be Hadley’s third time competing outside the U.S. He was in France in 2016 and in Japan last October where he placed 7th.
Joey was shocked when she heard that she had made the team. She works very hard at her archery and horsemanship but she’s not very competitive by nature. That said, she’s bound and determined to do her best and make the team proud in Hungary. Joey has competed three times in South Korea, once in Australia and once in Brazil but this will be her first trip to Hungary.
Greg is the American record holder in the Korean 1-2-3 and Hungarian No Zones Courses. He is honored and excited to represent the U.S. in his fifth international competition. In addition to his U.S. accomplishments, Greg is a five-time medalist at the Korean World Championship including an individual Silver Medal in the Single Shot event.
Cameron is the jet-setter with fourteen trips out of the country. He has competed in Japan, South Korea, Poland, Germany, France and most recently Canada. Traveling a lot with his mounted archery life Cameron is looking forward to meeting up with friends from around the world and shooting together. He tells me the Hungarians are really, really good and it’s one country he’s never been to. He knows it will be a great opportunity to learn from some of the best.
Serena Lynn began her journey into horse archery at the young age of twenty-two, a short six years ago. Inspired by the sport, Serena Lynn has taken the sport of archery by storm. She is currently on the MA3 Board of Directors as the Chapter Liaison, helping people start MA3 chapters in their areas. Additionally, in the last three years Serena Lynn has traveled all over the U.S. teaching clinics on horse archery to help grow the sport. An active competitor with over twenty-three competitions, both nationally and internationally Serena Lynn has competed in Poland, Hungary, France and South Korea.
There is a lot of pre-competition preparation that takes place once the team arrives but the most important one is choosing a horse. Getting the right horse is a big part of how you will do in the competition. Some of the competitors are choosing to arrive early to closely examine their choices. Once a horse is assigned or chosen, you must compete on that horse throughout the entire competition unless the horse comes up lame during the event. If this happens, you are reassigned a horse that is comparable to the previous in speed. You can take your own horse to the competition, but for competitors coming from the U.S., it’s not cost effective when you can use one provided by the host organizers.
As Hadley explained, “You can choose from slow, medium and fast horses. It’s a gamble as time is part of the points system, but so is hitting the target. Always a balancing act. Faster horses can equal more points, but it’s harder to hit the targets. Slower horses make it easier to hit the target, but you are slower on time.”
Cameron will be arriving early to participate in a three-day clinic with the organizers, giving him a great opportunity to meet the horses. He’s hoping to choose a medium speed horse, as that is what his horse is. For Joey, she is looking forward to meeting the horses, creating a relationship with the chosen one and having some fabulous runs with a partner.
I wish them all the best and I’ll have a “How’d it Go?” article on them when they return.
Story by Lauren Woodard
Lauren has been teaching and training for over 40 years and is the author of two books that are pure magic for horsemanship – “Curbside Service” and “Balky, Balky, I Ain’t Goin’”. Find out how to be strategic in your best next steps to Exceptional Horsemanship for Mounted Archery by grabbing her “Wouldn’t It Be Great If ” Quiz to check your perspective and propel your horsemanship on her site: www.exceptionalhorsemanship.com