Olympian shares skills

Triple Olympic gold medalist Matt Ryan made a visit to Topline Stables to teach riders cross-country skills

Matt Ryan

Matt Ryan

Equestrians at Topline Stables got the opportunity to learn from triple Olympic gold medalist Matt Ryan on May 14 and 15.

Ryan, who is originally from Australia, taught jumping and cross-country skills to riders of all abilities.

Becky Perkins, of Woodcreek Equestrian, used to train with Ryan in Europe and decided it would be a good idea to bring him out to train riders in Salmon Arm.

This is the second year he has hosted the clinic.

“We plan on getting him out once or twice a year to do clinics,” said Perkins.

She said the goal of the clinic is to teach riders the fundamentals of cross-country while remaining safe.

Ryan has had an extensive riding career and has placed well in a number of events, including first place in the Badminton Horse Trials in 2008, and fourth in 2007. He also made history when he won the gold medal for Australia in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, making Australia the first nation to win gold for three consecutive years.

Ryan recently took a leave from competitive riding due to injuries, and he now focuses on teaching.

“What I like best is seeing people improve over the clinic,” said Ryan, adding he’s happy to see people buying into his riding philosophy though it may be different from the way they’ve been taught in the past.

“Everyone here is finishing really positively,” said Ryan.