Saturday December 16, 2017
>Area 9 Member, John Church Part 2 – Tetrathlon Training in Australia

John Australia 40

Part 2 – August 2014

Dear All,

Now that I’m back from Australia, I can pick up the story where I left it, waiting to skydive above Jurien Bay.  A good number of the international competitors took up the offer, and it was a nervous party that took to the air.  But the anxious wait was soon forgotten as the jump was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life, with great views and the most superb thrill.

The next couple of days were the last of the more relaxed days before final training and the international competition.  We had a day gorge river canoeing and watched some Australian Pony Club mounted games.  They let us take part in some of the games, but only on foot!

Finally, we moved to the State equestrian centre – a fantastic venue – and the competition started.  I was very pleased with my performances.  I was placed joint 2nd in the shoot, with a personal best of 920 out of 1000.  I also achieved a personal best in the run with a time of 10 minutes 54 seconds for the 3,000 metres and my swim of 12 lengths 14 metres in 4 minutes was very close to my best.  Very generous owners had lent their horses to us for the riding phase which, because we were riding unfamiliar horses, was showjumping rather than the usual Tetrathlon cross-country.  The owners took their horses round the course on the morning of the competition and my heart sank slightly when I saw my horse, which was clearly more of a cross-country machine than a showjumper, show very little regard for the fences that he clearly didn’t think were solid enough to warrant much respect.  Nevertheless, when my ride came, I got round without too many faults.  At the end of the competition, the UK Boys team came second to the Irish, by only 21 points out of over 18,000.  And our Girls team finished in first place.  Individually, I was placed 10th and was pleased that I had performed as well as I could.  The after competition party was very enjoyable and a great opportunity to arrange to keep in contact with our new International friends.

In summary. I had the most amazing time in Aus.  The Boys team came second, but only just, and the girls team won. Personally I came 10th with 2 PB’s in the run and shoot. I feel honoured to have been captain for the trip and this will go down as one of the most memorable times of my life to date. I have met some great people loved every minute.  Thank you to everyone who has helped me to get here’

All the best, and thank you again,

John

John Australia 38 John Australia 32