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Paralympian Johnson in the prize money in Belgium
- Updated: September 22, 2014
Despite the stress of having to jet back to South Africa to attend to urgent family business three-time Paralympian ace Philippa Johnson is still churning out the results, writes Mark Etheridge.
She and her faithful mount Verdi, were in action in the CDI3* Zandhoven, an international competition for able-bodied riders.
The competition was nice and close to Johnson’s Belgium base and the combination were in action in three different events.
‘Verdi was absolutely brilliant and gave me three of the most amazing rides,’ Johnson told Road to Rio 2016. ‘On Friday in the Prix St George he did a super test with no mistakes but unfortunately being right at the beginning of the class the judges weren’t giving any points, we finished 19th out of the 25 horses competing with 64.94%.
‘The next day in the Int 1 he was even more fabulous but I made two very big and costly mistakes, they cost us a minimum of 2%. We finished 17th with 64.26%.’
Johnson and Verdi saved their best for last in the kur event. ‘We still managed to make the top 15 cut as there were a couple of riders who had two horses.
‘In the kur as the Dutch would say Verdi “rode the stars from the heavens!” We were first in and lead the class up until the eighth horse! We finished eighth with 6790% and just made it into the prizes.’
Summing up, Johnson was satisfied with the weekend’s work. ‘For our first CDI I was thrilled, what a fantastic way to finish our big competition year, and we still have a few national competitions to come.’