Pirates Of The Caribbean stunt rider David Cameron aims at his own Olympic gold
Champion show jumper David Cameron will compete this weekend. Photo: Wolter Peeters
Rubbing shoulders with Johnny Depp as a stunt rider on the set of Pirates Of The Caribbean is not the usual brief for an Olympic hopeful, but David Cameron's road to Rio is a little different than most.
While elite athletes the world over begin ramping up preparations, the two-time senior Australian Showjumping Champion has been putting himself in harm's way while others begin resorting to the cotton wool treatment.
"I just fell into that [to be honest]," Cameron joked. "I came home after the first day and I said to [fiancee] Tallara, 'I think I've found my ideal job'. It was a really big thrill and I got to use my horse experience into performing. It breaks up the year for sure."
The first opportunity to supplement the exorbitant travel costs associated with the former teacher's equestrian passion came when an offer to work on the Channel 7 drama Wild Boys was put forward.
One thing led to another and next minute a leading chance to be on Australia's Olympic team is sidling up to one of the world's most famous actors.
"I got to meet Johnny Depp, but he's a bit hard to actually meet," Cameron laughed. "He's Jack Sparrow on set the whole time. And Jack Sparrow is a bit of a loose unit."
With Jack Sparrow long plundering loot far away from the Gold Coast, Cameron will return to his day job this weekend.
It won't be with the books and classroom as a high school teacher in the NSW Central West, but as the nation's top showjumper on the Martin family's mare RR Dyranta at a World Cup qualifying event at Richmond's Sydney Polo Club.
Cameron joked his twin brother Ian, also an accomplished rider but now practising as an accountant, has been smart and "decided to spend his money elsewhere".
And when Cameron's own knees gave way playing rugby there was always the chance he was going to fast-track his career in the saddle, starting an equestrian teaching business alongside Tallara.
"The good thing about [showjumping] is you can do it until your 60s and you keep getting better at it," Cameron said. "There's not many sports you can do that and that's pretty exciting.
"I'm only young into the sport and the best riders in the world are in their 40s and 50s. I'm only 32 and I've probably still got a decade before I'm in my prime.
"The sport as a whole is getting a lot bigger in Australia and it [RR Dyranta] is the horse I'm pushing towards Rio. Regardless, the horse has won so much in Australia I'm going to take her over to have a European campaign because we want to see how good this horse can be and Rio would just be the icing on the cake."
Article: C/o Adam Pengilly, October 16, 2015, The Sydney Morning Herald.