Johnson best performed Aussie at Oceania champs

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
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Sonja Johnson and Misty Isle Valentino compete at the Oceania Championships in New Zealand.
Camera IconSonja Johnson and Misty Isle Valentino compete at the Oceania Championships in New Zealand. Credit: Equestrian Australia

Equestrian star Sonja Johnson has returned from a successful trip to the Oceania Championships in Taupo, New Zealand as the best- performed Australian competitor as she continues her push towards a second Olympic Games.

Johnson, of South Stirling, was part of the winning Australian senior gold team, with her individual performances also placing her fourth overall.

Riding Misty Isle Valentino, Johnson was fourth in the CCI4* event to help her Australian gold team finish with a score of 207.3 at the top of the standings, edging out New Zealand black in second on 325.5.

Johnson was in the three-member gold team with fellow Olympian Shane Rose and Emma Bishop. The 51-year-old, who won a silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, said the res-ult was an encouraging performance.

“I was on the senior team that won the teams competition and I was fourth individually,” Johnson said.

“Last time I went there, I won it in 2007, but I was quite pleased with the result.

“We had a good start in cross country but we lost a lot of time after a lack of control. But he is only 10 and such a powerful horse, so he’s still learning.

“In a way, I’m a lot happier I know there are reasons our score wasn’t better, but they are all solvable and there is so much upside with him.”

Misty Isle Valentino and Johnson will enjoy some downtime now before they prepare for their next major event, the Adelaide CCI5* event, later this year.

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