Inner Viking | Onwards and Upwards for Kopke and Viking

Inner Viking is a 2010 gelding by Murtajill, who began his racing career in 2013 with NSW trainer, John Thompson. Under Thompsons guidance, Inner Viking ran his first ten starts, claiming two wins and four placings before moving onto be trained by John McArdle. With McArdle, Inner Viking was campaigned across several distances before being trialed as a hurdle jumper for three trials and one start. Inner Viking retired in 2016 with a career of 25 starts for two wins, four seconds and one third, earning $35,011 in total lifetime earnings.

Competed by Olivia Shore, Inner Viking was evented up to 2* heights and competed at the 2019 Eventing in the Park competition before being sold onto Nicole Kopke.

In 2021, after a 30-year hiatus away from riding after a fall had knocked her confidence, Nicole Kopke found herself in the right place at the right time to meet her future mount. After Nicole’s daughter had caught the riding bug and her first pony had been purchased, Nicole began to get the riding itch once more and coincidentally stumbled across Inner Viking at the Team Equistar stables.

“I remember the first time I rode him; I was nervous as he was a lot bigger than what I was used to riding, but I immediately felt safe on him,” Nicole recalled fondly.

Nicole rode Viking for a handful of rides before the decision was made to purchase the handsome grey gelding in April of 2021. Inner Viking is described as having beautiful ground manners, a wonderful personality and easy to work with. In the beginning of their partnership, Nicole found Viking to be quite strong, but overcame this with the help of her coach, Rick Dabner, who helped Nicole to understand Viking better so that she could ride him to the best of her ability.

“Viking has been incredibly patient with me and has always made me feel safe. He has been a great confidence builder and really looks after me,” said Nicole.

Nicole and Viking now compete confidently together at the higher levels of show jumping. The pair recently placed fourth in 110cm class at the WASJA Winter Champs, as well as placing in several classes throughout the year, including the 1m OTT class at Yalambi Farms Easter Classic. Short term, Nicole and Viking hope to continue competing competitively, focusing on jumping clear rounds and improving their flatwork. Long term, Nicole hopes that her and Viking will remain happy and healthy for a long time, continuing to have fun and enjoy their time together.

OTTWA wish Nicole and Inner Viking all the best for their future!

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