Sport

Toowoomba rider makes most of French connection

GAMES BOUND: Sasha Laws-King will represent Australia in endurance at the World Equestrian Games in France later this year.
GAMES BOUND: Sasha Laws-King will represent Australia in endurance at the World Equestrian Games in France later this year. Bev Lacey

TOOWOOMBA veterinarian Sasha Laws-King could use her professional knowledge for a different purpose in late August when she rides a French horse in the World Equestrian Games in France.

Laws-King has been selected as a representative for Australia in eventing at the World Equestrian Games, which will be held in Normandy, France from August 23 to September 7.

The former national youth representative will ride at open at the world championships for the first time after qualifying for the 160km endurance event on French horse Qacima Du Sauveterre.

"It's very exciting. It's always good to have a goal to work towards and certainly once I finished with my young riders world championships back in 2007, the aim was certainly to try for the seniors," she said.

"I qualified on the horse that I'm riding on a few months ago in France. The horse is owned by a friend who lives in France.

"The world champs move around all of the time ... so when we knew it was going to be in France, endurance riding in France is huge. Australia is reasonably big but in France it is just huge.

"So because we have friends over there and lots of contacts I thought I'll try and qualify on a French horse and then compete on it over there as opposed to taking my own horse from Australia over there."

That means Laws-King will partner an unfamiliar horse for the big event but she doesn't see that as a disadvantage as she can easily get information on how to ride the horse, which is well-trained having qualified for such a high level event.

And her background as a surgeon at the Toowoomba Veterinary Hospital gives her a good base for forming a successful partnership with her French team mate in what is a testing event.

"I guess, for me, the veterinary knowledge helps because I understand on a physiological basis ... but I'm a fairly active person as well - I lots of triathlons and cross country running and stuff - so from a fitness point of view you can put yourself in their shoes. It's definitely an advantage," she said.