Swim, shoot, ride and run

Taieri College pupil Jayne Beattie (17) will compete in an International Tetrathlon Exchange in Australia as a member of one of New Zealand's first teams at the international event.

Jayne and her four Queenstown-based team-mates departed for Perth on Saturday in preparation for the three-day event that involves swimming, shooting, horse riding and running, starting on July 17.

''It will be pretty cool,'' she said.

The intermediate event will be her first competitive tetrathlon. Her experience in equestrian events is the main reason for her selection.

Having previously competed at nationals as a member of the Otago-Southland eventing team, she was asked to join forces with the tetrathlon team about 10 weeks ago to compete in the exchange.

Jayne said the horse-riding leg was her strength, and she had been doing a lot of swimming training because it was her weakest event.

The competition is points-based; each team member is required to swim as many lengths as possible in four minutes, shoot a target from 10m in four seconds, compete in a horse-riding derby, and run 3km, all over a three-day period.

They will compete against teams from England, Ireland, Canada, the United States and Australia.

''There will be a bit of adrenaline competing with other countries,'' she said.

After completing all of the events, each team's points will be tallied to find an overall winner.

Miss Beattie said it was all very new to her.

''I have never even held a gun before in my life before this event,'' she said.

Her team, made up of Lisa Milliken (17), Ellie Nesbit (18), Emma Milliken (21) and Anna Nesbit (22) will spend two weeks training and sightseeing with the other international teams before the competition starts.

Jayne said tetrathlon was popular in England and Ireland, and hoped her team could bring it to New Zealand.

She also said she was very grateful for the ''generous support'' she received from Taieri College in the build-up to her trip.

After the exchange the team will travel to Christchurch to talk about their experience at the New Zealand Pony Club conference.

- Bridget Rutherford

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