Shotaor Miyano (left), Sarah Bone, Nana Matsumoto, Karley-Jane Brumley, Shunto, Takahashi, Laura Bell and Yoshi Ito are sharing their love of horses and equestrian competition during the exchange program.A CULTURAL exchange program between young south-west and Japanese horse riders celebrated its 10th anniversary at the weekend.
Nanjing Night Net

Camperdown’s Barry Roycroft said there were four Japanese riders taking part in this year’s cultural exchange aged between 15 and 18 years.

He said the visitors had been billeted with local families which had young riders of a similar age.

The riders took part in events at the Heytesbury Pony Club late last week before a dinner at Glenormiston on Saturday and another ride at the Emu Creek Pony Club competition yesterday.

Mr Roycroft said the Japanese riders earned the right to come to Australia through success in their own competitions.

The cultural exchange started after he met Japanese riders at the Montreal Olympic Games.

The Japanese thought they would be better prepared to compete on the world stage if they had more of an understanding of English culture, Mr Roycroft said.

“They come over and live here for a week.

“It works very well and we also send young riders to Japan as well.

“Our cultural exchange to Japan is a bit different because our kids do more culturally-based things like going to the snow. Basically it’s all about kids getting together in different countries.”

Mr Roycroft said the standard of the Japanese riders was excellent.

“They are confident young riders. This year we have three boys and a girl visiting and everything is going pretty well,” he said.

Regular Japanese tour co-ordinator Yasuko Sato said she was on the first exchange 10 years ago and her young compatriots found many aspects of living in Australia different from their home.

“Everything is so big and vast. You can do things you can’t do at home. For example, just turning out your horses,” she said.

“It’s very nice. We keep our horses in stables just standing around. It’s very different here. The exchange is very worthwhile for the kids. Even though they are shy they communicate, which is saying a lot for Japanese kids,” she said.

Emu Creek club member Karly Brumley, of Kolora, said she had previously been on a trip to Japan which was less horse and equestrian orientated.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my trip over to Japan. There were three days’ horse riding and the rest was more about culture,” she said.

“We visited Disneyland, went snowboarding and shopping.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.