Charlie Johnson (Year 11) began training as an eventer nine years ago but switched to barrel racing after watching an instructor training at her riding club. Fascinated by the sport and the partnership between horse and rider, Charlie gave barrel racing a go and hasn’t looked back.
Since then she has travelled Australia-wide, competing at her hometown rodeo to Mt Isa and everywhere in between. With the support of her mum, horse and supporters, Charlie has had the opportunity to compete at the national finals four times and has qualified twice to compete in the USA as the Victorian champion. Charlie was also named the National Barrel Horse Association Victorian Junior Champion in 2018.
With the bright lights on the arena, the noise of the carnival and thousands of spectators watching her compete, Charlie has employed some strategies to work through her competition nerves, including learning to block out the noise and distractions of the carnival. Also, in preparation for each competition, Charlie ensures both she and her horse are fit and ready, training six times a week. Organisation is another key strategy for Charlie ensuring she is not flustered on event day, along with mediation exercises to relax and calm her nerves prior to racing.
Congratulations Charlie on all your success so far and best wishes for the Australian Barrel Horse Association National Finals in September.