Catherine Plano is here today with Joanne Verikios. Joanne Verikios is an accomplished author, trusted health and lifestyle consultant, experienced horse breeder and trainer, award-winning athlete, speaker and successful real estate investor.
Having received her first pony at the age of nine, Joanne’s earliest ambition in life was to be a bareback horse rider in a circus. Although she never ran off to join the circus, after working her way through the Pony Club ranks, she earned the qualification of Pony Club instructor at the age of sixteen. One of the many highlights of her early riding career was being a member of the Downs Pony Club team that won the Duke of Edinburgh Pony Club
Games Championship in 1972.
While working at the Australian Public Service, Joanne qualified for an Australian Owner Trainer Permit to train and race Thoroughbreds. She also pursued her love of horses by founding the Highborn Warmblood Stud, where she was Stud Manager for sixteen years. The horses Joanne bred went on to win both under saddle and in breed classes, including Royal Show Championships. They included the stallion, Highborn Powerlifter, who passed Colt Selection and Performance Testing with flying colours.
In addition to serving on several horse sport committees and officiating at many shows and events, Joanne is a past Federal President and Federal Registrar of the Australian Warmblood Horse Association, which she continues to serve as a Classifier and Classifier Trainer, Judge and Judge Trainer and National Assessment Tour Australian representative. In recognition of her outstanding contribution and commitment to the Association for over 30 years, Joanne was granted Honorary Life membership in 2015.
Joanne was also an Australian Powerlifting Champion, holding State, National, and Commonwealth records. Twice, Joanne represented Australia at the Women’s World Powerlifting Championships and was ranked seventh in the world both times. In peak condition, Joanne was able to deadlift more than triple her bodyweight. Her feats of strength are recorded in the 1989 and 1991 Guinness Book of Records with Australian Supplement.
Joanne has published articles in many equine publications including Hoofbeats, Horsezone, Horses & People, The Horse Magazine, Australian Horse and Rider Yearbook, and Hoofs & Horns. She has also published articles in several recreational and sports magazines, including Bellydance Oasis, SPORTZlife, and The Pump.
Find Out More About Joanne Verikios
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Interviewed by: Catherine Plano