Ray Johnston

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Tent-pegging is one of the oldest equestrian sports, probably originating in India in the middle-ages as part of cavalry training: it involves hitting a ground target on horseback. The Olympic Council of Asia included tent pegging as an official sport in 1982, and the International Federation for Equestrian Sports recognised it as an official equestrian discipline in 2004. Australia is one of the leading countries in the sport, and two national champions, including Ray Johnston, come from Broken Hill. 

After a career as a TAFE teacher and a lifetime around horses, and more than 30 years competing in tent-pegging championships as an athlete and administrator, Ray Johnston is now a World Championship team member and A-grade national judge. As national president of the Australian Tent-pegging Association, a position he held for three years, he developed training programs for all the national events in Australia. He has been invited by equestrian clubs all over Australia to facilitate tent-pegging schools and has run several training sessions at the Broken Hill Pony Club and the Silver City Riding Academy to attract more young riders to take up the sport. 

Between 1996-1998, Ray was invited to India, where tent-pegging originated, to help train the riders and horses of the Indian national team. In 2010, he received an invitation from the Prince of Pakistan to train his team. 

Now retired, Ray has become an international judge after attending training for the role in Oman. He has more time for his other interests and passions, including fishing, hunting, clay target shooting, and utilising his knowledge of Broken Hill’s rich and fascinating history as a tour guide. 

Audio transcript available.