Wednesday, February 8th, 2012
Finding the right Equestrian horse and rider combination, who together can forge a bond and withstand the training to reach Olympic level competition, is not for the faint hearted.

Natalie Blundell, along with John Glenn and Julia McLean’s horse, Algebra, are currently (as at January 2012) twentieth in the International Olympic rankings and fourth amongst the Australians.

Along with Natalie (from Harden, NSW), Australian based riders such as Emma Mason (from Central Mangrove Mountain, NSW), Sonya Johnson (from Albany, Western Australia), Stuart Tinney (from Maraylya, one hour from central Sydney) and Craig Barrett (from Branxton, NSW) have been listed in the Equestrian Australia National Eventing Elite Squad.

These Australian riders have worked hard, like Natalie, to reach the top of their sport through sheer determination and skill.

In what is a similar story across the whole of Australia, Natalie’s first ride was on a pony at the age of four. The passion for ponies took over and she trained on many until she eventually won the Pony Club State Championships at the age of 15, going onto the “Towards 2000 – National Pony Club Championships”. That program sparked Natalie’s ambition to represent Australia at the Olympics.

Her dream is within reach.

As Natalie’s mother, Linda Blundell says, “Along the way, I have learnt to hide my thumping heart, as Nat has been brave and fearless in her ambition. I used to stare in awe at her riding around on a leaping 17.3 hand monster! It has been a wonderful journey however we are not over yet.”

She encourages her daughter, “Somewhere behind the rider you’ve become, the hours of practice you’ve put in, and the coaches that have pushed you, is the little girl who fell in love with the sport and never looked back. Ride for her.”

John Glenn, owner of Algebra the horse, says “People like Natalie inspire. Whether they mean to be or not they are leaders in our communities, they provide an example of excellence, they motivate and encourage us to achieve more.“

Equestrian events are notable and unique. They are the only Olympic discipline where animals participate, and the equipment is live. The challenge is for rider and horse to present at the competition at a specific time and place in prime physical and mental condition. Men and women compete on equal terms and age seems no barrier.

Natalie Blundell congratulates her fellow sportsmen, and says ‘ On behalf of myself and Team Nalgebra, I would like to congratulate fellow Aussie based riders Emma Mason, Sonya Johnson, Stuart Tinney and Craig Barrett for making the Elite Squad for the upcoming London Olympics. I am very proud to be part of the squad and fingers crossed for a successful preparation. ‘

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Nalgbera is being registered as a not for profit public company with the charter to support “the pursuit of excellence”. If this is as successful for Natalie as we hope, we intend to offer similar opportunity to other recipients.

It need not be constrained to equestrian pursuits; it is limited only by the dedication and ability of the candidates and the willingness of the communities.
John Glenn
P: +61 2 61983280
M: +61 411417616

Charlie-Helen Robinson

P: +61 424644624


Equestrian, Eventing, Natalie Blundell



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