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Posted by Grant Johnston on 25/04/2017.

INSIGHT | FEI Eventing Refresher Course in Japan

Grant Johnston, as an FEI Course Designer, headed to Japan for his FEI Eventing Refresher Course in October 2016. Here he tells us his story...

"As it had been 3 years since I attended my last FEI seminar, I was required to go ‘back to school’ for another ‘refresher’.

When contacting EA and the FEI, it was identified that as a 3-4 star FEI Course Designer, there was only 2 locations that were available for me to attend the seminar, Miki in Japan or New Zealand.  Unfortunately, I already had commitments the same weekend as New Zealand, so I had to commit to Japan.

What at the time was a frustrating inconvenience due to the extra travel, time, and expense turned into a fantastic and refreshing experience.  I have been to Japan several times before, but never for Equestrian activities.  The people are always so polite and friendly and mixed in with my Equestrian Colleagues from around the world, it was a brilliant mix.  Miki is also a really interesting venue, a mixture of manufactured arenas, and dense woodlands with gallop tracks carved thru the trees.

The seminar lead was Christina Klingspor-SWE (Kiki), Alec Lochore-GB (TD lead) and Wayne Copping-AUS (CD lead).  Whilst I have been influenced by Wayne a lot through my 30 Eventing passion (I can’t call it a career, because I have been a part-time athlete, and a volunteer official for the great majority of that time and never tried to make a living from the sport), it was great to see him as a Course Design lead.  His knowledge and ability to explain things were second to none and Kiki and Alec had huge amounts of knowledge to share and were very friendly and approachable.

In addition to learning at these seminars, one of the great things about our sport is the ability to interact with other like-minded individuals, and create new friendships.  The team compromised people from all over the world and much fun was had, however, what happens on tour, stays on tour! All I will say is that some highly respected equestrian officials should not be given a microphone in a karaoke booth!

For those who might feel that they want to give back to the sport in some way, I strongly recommend getting involved in whatever way you can, whether it be a jump judge, a Course Builder, Event Secretary or one of the many roles that with continuous learning and experience, might even get you finding new friends from the other side of our planet!"

Grant Johnston

To Read all the other INSIGHT stories Click HERE

Are you also an Equestrian Australia official who has recently officiated overseas? Are you interested in sharing your experiences with the greater equestrian community in our regular series? Click HERE to submit your story.

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