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Raetihi’s Horne Wins Two Titles In Two Weeks

It would be no stretch of the imagination to say that Raetihi teenager Karaitiana Horne is on top of the world, the New Zealand motocross world at least.

Just over a week ago the adult elite of New Zealand motocross wrapped up their annual championship series in Taranaki and, in the Manawatu/Horowhenua region at the weekend just gone, it was the turn of the sport’s rising young stars to shine, and that’s just what they did, Kawasaki ace Horne one of the leading lights.

She was virtually unstoppable at the 2024 AFC Motorcycles-sponsored New Zealand Motocross Championships at Himatangi, about halfway between Foxton and Sanson, at the weekend.

Horne was certainly among the superstars in both the four-round senior series and also at the three-day junior event at Himatangi.

The immensely talented Horne had easily clinched the senior women’s crown in Taranaki and, also quite remarkably, she then backed that up superbly at Himatangi by adding the junior women’s silverware to her already bulging trophy cabinet.

Timing suited Horne this season with her 15th birthday falling just in time for her to be eligible to race the senior championships and also, still being aged under 17, she was still permitted to race the junior competition as well.

Gracious in victory, Horne paid tribute to a couple of traditional senior grade contenders who were both absent, not entered to compete against her this season.

“I felt that if Roma Edwards (from Tauranga) and Amie Roberts (from Hamilton) had not been injured, that would definitely have made my job a lot harder in the senior championships.”

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“It was great to defend my junior title this weekend and, because I had just turned 15 in January, that made me eligible to race the senior championships for the first time this year too,” said Horne, a year 11 student at Ruapehu College.

Raetihi’s Karaitiana Horne (Kawasaki), in sublime form at both the senior and junior New Zealand Motocross Championships this season. Photo: Andy McGechan,

“Hopefully in a few years I can race overseas and compete in the women’s world championships like (Otago’s four-time world champion) Courtney Duncan.”

As for her junior title chase at the weekend, Horne did still have to deal with some very speedy individuals, riders such as Taupo’s Mikayla Griffiths (who finished overall runner-up), Helensville’s Ruby Leech (who finished third), Morrinsville’s Breanna Rodgers, Lower Hutt’s Bailey Newbould and Melson’s Milla Dahlenburg, to name just a few.

It is interesting to note that Horne also raced the 14-16 years 250cc class alongside the young men at Himatangi, settling for seventh overall among the 24 entrants.

Other class winners at the weekend were Levin’s Phoenix van Dusschoten (14-16 years’ 250cc class); Silverdale’s Seth Morrow (15-16 years’ 125cc class); Tauranga’s Levi Townley (12-14 years’ 125cc class); Levi Townley (13-16 years’ 85cc class); Tauranga’s Jaggar Townley (11-12 years’ 85cc class); Cambridge’s Nico Verhoeven (8-10 years’ 85cc class); Verhoeven (8-11 years’ 65cc class); Whangarei’s Hannah Perris (12-16 years girls’ 85cc class); Dargaville’s Kody McDermott (8-11 years girls’ 85cc class).

Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan,

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