Sunderland equestrian event to celebrate Olympic torch visit

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HORSE riders will be jumping for joy as the Olympic torch passes Sunderland’s most famous landmark.

As the flame travels past Penshaw Monument, horse riders will be showing off their competition skills in honour of the event.

Penshaw Equestrian centre will have one of the best views of the procession, so owner Joanne Roseberry has decided to hold an Olympic-themed show to mark the occasion.

On Saturday, June 16, horse riders from all over the North East will compete in classes for all the equestrian Olympic disciplines.

There will be a Show X, showjumping, dressage, In-hand showing and ridden showing classes.

Joanne, who started the riding school 33 years ago, said: “We’re proud that the torch is coming to Sunderland and we want to get into the spirit of it too.

“It will be a great moment when the torch procession goes past and all our competitors and spectators can pause and take part in a moment of history.

“We are all excited for the Olympics and I will be going to watch the showjumping medals being presented.”

The route of the flame through Sunderland has been chosen to pass the most scenic and famous parts. On the 29th day of its 70-day relay it will enter the city through Whitburn, travel along the coast at Seaburn, past the Aquatic Centre and along Chester Road towards Penshaw Monument and Herrington Country park.

Local heroes, sportsmen and women and community stalwarts will take turns to carry the Olympic Flame as it heads for the London 2012 Olympics.

Equestrian Centre manager Sara Goodridge said: “It’s open to our riding school clients and outside competitors and all of our school horses are booked already. They’ve gone mad for the idea which is great.

“We’ve had sashes, medals and rosettes made in the red, white and blue colours to fit in with the Olympic theme.

“It’s the first show I’ve been in charge of and I’m hoping it will be a really big success that everyone enjoys. Many local businesses and suppliers have supported us and we are putting on a VIP area to thank them for that.

“We want it to be a memorable occasion.”

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