Top riders leap into action

Olympic team silver medalist Sonja Johnson with her horse Ringwood Jaguar.
Olympic team silver medalist Sonja Johnson with her horse Ringwood Jaguar.

WA’s Olympic silver medallist Sonja Johnson will head the WA team when they take on Australian and international riders at the Eventing in the Park competition, on the Swan River foreshore.

The grand prix course is made up of 27 show jump and cross country obstacles that will be up to 1.3m high and 1.4m wide. Riders will go against the clock to decide the winner.

To add a twist to the contest, there is a huge optional jump at the finish, called The Joker, which can earn riders points if they are brave enough to risk it.

Ms Johnson said the sport had its beginnings when mounted soldiers were training for World War I and this event was a chance to showcase Australian riders to the people of Perth.

‘Australia has an amazing horse tradition and heritage dating back to the First World War, when hundreds of thousands of horses were exported to fight around the world,’ she said.

‘This is a chance to demonstrate just how special our horses are today and hopefully get more people involved as competitors or owners.’

There will be 100 riders competing – 50 in the grand prix event and 50 in the Diamond competition.

Eastern states Olympians Megan Jones and Stuart Tinney former Olympic reserve Tim Bolland, former world equestrian games reserve Christine Bates and New Zealand world equestrian games rider Clarke Johnstone will take on WA’s top equestrian riders.

Tickets are available. They start from $30 for individuals and go up to $299 for a VIP lounge.

Find more information at www.eventinginthepark.com.au