Horse champion’s bold move

Horse champion’s bold move

Joshua Ford and horse Red.

A local man has made the bold decision to move interstate to pursue his equestrian career through Yarra Valley Eventing.

Joshua Ford is a 19-year-old Oakford local, who recently moved to Victoria to pursue his dreams of horse riding.

Starting his riding career at 15, Joshua began lessons at Perth Riding School and later joined the Wallangarra Pony Club in 2019.

When he began riding, Josh was introduced to eventing which is the combination of cross-country, show jumping and dressage.

Since he began riding, it has become a huge part of his life.

“I used to pester mum about riding lessons. She tried to squash it as she grew up around horses and knew it was a big commitment and a lot of money,” he said.

After achieving an A in an English assignment, Josh’s mum rewarded him with 10 riding lessons.

“By December 2017, I was leasing my first horse.  We then moved from living in the city to five acres in Oakford where we now have four horses.”

After being offered a working pupil position at Yarra Valley Eventing in Victoria, Josh and his horse ‘Red’ moved to Yellingbo an hour and a half from Melbourne’s CBD.

He received the letter of offer from Yarra Valley in August but due to COVID-19 was unable to make the move until January.

Josh applied for the position in June to pursue the next step in his Equestrian career.

“I applied because a working pupil position is what any young rider who dreams of being elite and riding at a world championship wants to get their hands on,” he said.

Working pupil positions are similar to an apprenticeship, where participants work and train at the same time.

The eventing season in Victoria started last month; Josh’s next event is the Tominbuk International Horse Trials this week.

Josh will then compete in the Australian Eventing Championships at Wandin Park from March 19 to 21.

Leaving his friends and family was hard but Josh is focusing on the positives.

“I miss my family and friends, but at the end of the day it’s an opportunity not to be missed to further my riding education and potential riding career,” he said.

“The position presents the opportunity to improve my riding and progress my partnership with Red under the guidance of Will Enzinger and Emily Anker, who are both well respected within the equestrian scene and both nationally accredited coaches.”

Horse champion’s bold move

Horse champion’s bold move