Issue 19
Monday, 24 October 2016
Charles Darwin University
E-news
Horse trainer Kerrie Cokley and Sampson compete in the Western Dressage event at the Masters Games. Image: Nikki Westover
Horse trainer Kerrie Cokley and Sampson compete in the Western Dressage event at the Masters Games. Image: Nikki Westover

Horse lecturer bags 10 medals

By Patrick Nelson

"Horse whisperer” Kerrie Cokley has returned home to Katherine campus with a bag of 10 medals from the Masters Games in Alice Springs.

Her partners in the medal haul were the nine-year-old quarter-horse-cross Sampson, who was born and bred at Katherine campus, and Ms Cokley’s personal horse, Cavalia Toby.

“I’m surprised to have done as well as I did,” said Ms Cokley, who only recently returned to the saddle after two years recovering from a series of surgeries.

“It’s a better outcome than I had anticipated.”

Ms Cokley said Sampson relished competing in the western, stockhorse and reining events, whereas Toby competed in the English dressage and show jumping events.

“Between them we won four gold, five silver and a bronze, with each horse winning two events.”

Ms Cokley said Sampson was an alert horse with a mischievous personality who was popular with students at the rural campus.

“I love working with this little fellow and routinely use him to demonstrate handling and riding techniques during horse courses on the campus.”

Ms Cokley said this was Sampson’s second Masters Games, having also competed in 2012.

“That was his first major outing. He had only ever jumped over logs in the paddock before that so he did well.”

Ms Cokley said Toby is a Canadian quarter horse who had toured the world with Cavalia, the internationally acclaimed multi-media horse spectacular.  

“I bought him back to the NT after he was retired at the end of the Australian tour in 2013.”

Ms Cokley is based at Katherine campus where she is the Horse Co-ordinator for the School of Primary Industries.