Olympian shares skills with riders
By CRAIG ROSScraigr@gladstoneobserver.com.au
HACK and pony club members from throughout the Central Queensland region jumped at the chance to work with an Olympian at Calliope on the weekend.
Rebel Morrow, who represented Australia at last year's Athens Olympic Games, was one of several highly-qualified instructors who shared their knowledge with young riders at a two-day Zone 9 training camp at the Calliope Racecourse Reserve.
Riders hailing from CQ centres including Theodore, Biloela, Wowan and Callide Valley joined Gladstone and Calliope club members at the annual camp.
Morrow, 27, was Australia's youngest equestrian competitor in Athens but was the team's best performer in the three-day competition, finishing 11th in a 75 strong field.
She said competing at the Olympics, an obvious career highlight, had changed her life dramatically and she was enjoying being able to use her new status to teach others.
"I definitely get a lot more attention since Athens,'' Morrow said.
"I've only been teaching for a year but it's really rewarding...I can remember what it's like to be a pony club kid.''
Morrow said her prime objective for the weekend was ensuring that children adopted a secure position in the saddle when riding "so they don't fall and have a fright'' and be scared off from competing.
Morrow, who is now based in Brisbane after moving from the Hunter Valley following her return from Athens, has her sights set on more Olympics campaigns.
"That was my first time at the Olympics but hopefully not my last,'' she said.
"My horse (Oaklea Groover) is only 11 this year so hopefully he's got two more Olympics in him. Five of the horses in Athens were 18 years old.''
Prior to the Beijing Olympics in 2008, Morrow will look for another strong performance at next year's World Games in Germany.