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The Mounted Archery Association of South Africa received an invitation to attend the 13th World Horseback Archery Competition in Sokcho, South Korea during the period of 19 – 23 October 2017. This invitation was happily accepted by the selected Protea team:

Two Senior Horse Archers

  • Jaco Jacobs

  • Deirdre Janse van Rensburg

Four Senior Student Archers

  • Johan de Bruto

  • Deon Janse van Rensburg

  • Michelle van den Bergh

  • Vicky van Zyl

Two Junior Student Archers

  • Jacques Horn

  • Nicholas Immelman

Coach – Marcia de Bruto

 

 

The Team from left to right top row: Nicholas Immelman, Jacques Horn, Vicky van Zyl, Deirdre Janse van Rensburg, Johan de Bruto, Marcia de Bruto, Michelle van den Berg, Deon Janse van Rensburg, Jaco Jacobs

 

Accompanied by Jacques’s father and Nicholas’s mother, the team set off for Korea on the 17th October 2017 in very high spirits!

This trip was the culmination of a year filled with international Postal Matches, official qualifiers and a National Tournament. All competitors, juniors included, showed tremendous growth through the season to end up at the point where an unbiased Selection Committee selected riders in the above three categories.
These riders were selected on the following criteria:

  • Average performance across all competitions for 2017

  • Highest scores achieved (two were counted)

  • Highest total score on the same two qualifiers and the Nationals

Interestingly enough, all three methods of calculation gave exactly the same results!

The team arrived in Sokcho on Wednesday, 18 October; after more than 20 hours of travel.

 
Day 1: Wednesday
  • This day was spent in getting introduced to all the mounts that we could possibly choose from.

  • Each competitor selected three horses of his choice. The WHAC committee then decided which riders could safely be partnered with which horses.

  • Since there were not enough horses to provide each rider his/her preferred mount, lots were drawn to finalize the selection.

 

Nicholas Immelman in action, riding Pretty (YipYeunYi)

 

Day 2: Thursday
  • Competition day for the juniors!

  • The juniors only competed in the following disciplines:

    • Korean 1 (two runs, one target)

    • Korean 2 (two runs, two targets)

    • Korean 5 (two runs, five targets)

  • There were nine (9) riders, representing 6 countries (South Africa, France, USA, Australia, Korea and Finland).

  • Overall scores for the junior class were as follow:

Competitor
Rank
Score

Opoix Manrim

1

300

Nicholas Immelman

2

240

Jacques Horn

3

220

Park Hae Rang

4

180

Maya Nelson

5

170

CJ Blumenthall

6

110

Dupont Magali

7

110

Park Hae On

8

80

Olivia Carynne Locke

9

70

  • The achievement of these two juniors from South Africa cannot be applauded enough. Competing against countries where Mounted Archery is seen as a national sport and outperforming them, is a tremendous achievement.

  • Both Nicholas and Jacques also received special awards at the prize giving ceremony for their growth in the sport, as well as the sportsmanship that they’ve displayed throughout the tournament.

  • Our juniors made a lasting impression on all present and became firm favorites – helping everyone that needed help, holding horses, handing arrows and being generally very pleasant to be around with.

 

Jacques with coach Marcia, before the start of his run, riding TaePyung

 
Day 3: Friday
  • This was the first day of competition for the big guns!

  • Nineteen (19) countries and 78 riders competed in the senior category.

  • The following disciplines were shot:

    • Korean 1

    • Korean 2

    • Korean 5

    • Qabac (aerial target)

    • Masahee (team event where the team decided to enter 1 senior and the two juniors to represent South Africa)

    • Mogu (two riders shooting at rolling ball pulled by a rider on horseback)

  • More than one world champion competed against the South African team in these events.

  • Only the Korean 1 & 2 disciplines were completed on this day.

  • Placing’s achieved were as follow:

    • Korean 1 – Deon Janse van Rensburg, Rank 7

    • Korean 1 – Jaco Jacobs, Rank 14

    • Korean 1 – Deirdre Janse van Rensburg, Rank 49

    • Korean 2 – Michelle van den Bergh, Rank 44

    • Korean 2 – Johan de Bruto, Rank 45

    • Korean 2 – Deirdre Janse van Rensburg, Rank 48

    • Korean 2 – Vicky van Zyl, Rank 51

  • It was a long day with the last competitors shooting under spotlight as the day caught up with us.

 

Day 4: Saturday
  • Day 4 saw the completion of the Korean 5 discipline, the Masahee team event and (mid competition !) the official opening ceremony.

  • Jaco Jacobs, Nicholas Immelman and Jacques Horn were selected by the SA team to represent South Africa in the Masahee event.

  • Johan de Bruto carried the South African flag on horseback in the Opening Ceremony.

  • Our team had settled into a rhythm by this time and the following placing’s were achieved:

    • Korean 5 – Jaco Jacobs, Rank 13

    • Korean 5 – Johan de Bruto, Rank 19

    • Korean 5 – Deirdre Janse van Rensburg, Rank 35

    • Korean 5 – Michelle van den Bergh, Rank 41

    • Korean 5 – Vicky van Zyl, Rank 48

    • Unfortunately our Masahee team got eliminated in the 4th level semi-finals, after a very closely matched shoot off with the Australian team.

Day 5: Sunday
  • Completion of the Korean 5, the Qabac and the Mogu disciplines dominated this day.

  • Official scores are still being awaited, but several South African riders managed to hit the aerial qabac shot; despite awfully cold weather and extremely strong winds with some drizzle in-between.

  • Jaco Jacobs and Deon Janse van Rensburg were selected to ride in the Mogu event – an extremely dangerous and difficult discipline where a rider pulls a material ball behind his horse (attached to a 10 meter rope) and the two competitors chases after him, trying not to hit the lead horse, each other or the spectators !

  • Prize giving was done in the form of a semi-formal event. South Africa was exceptionally well represented – the whole team wearing their official Protea blazers etc.

  • One of the biggest honors imaginable was awarded us during this ceremony – one of the official Korean flags, symbolizing the spirit of the country, sportsmanship and honor; was represented to South Africa as a “roaming trophy” and accepted by Johan de Bruto for the team.

 

Day 6: Monday
  • The last official day of the tournament was spent on a sightseeing trip organized by the WHAF committee.

  • Mount Seorak, temples and historical sites were visited.

 

In summary the following can be said:

  • The South African team excelled beyond any expectations on track

  • South Africa was established as a serious competitor in the world of Mounted/Horseback Archery.

  • The team behaved extremely well, becoming known for their team spirit, friendliness, helpfulness and their love for their country.

  • It was a life changing experience for all those involved and we are looking forward to the challenges and opportunities of the new season.

  • Marcia de Bruto, as acting coach and support for our Junior team members, acquitted herself marvelously in this position; as well as lending a hand to the rest of the team when necessary.


The team with Grandmaster Kim Young Sup with the flag that they received as a special award

 

 
 
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