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Australia’s Joann Formosa honoured at FEI Awards Gala

Joann Formosa has been competing for Australia’s national para-dressage team since 2006.

Joann Formosa Australia's Joann Formosa accepts the Against All Odds honour at the 2013 FEI Awards Gala. © • FEI
By Rob Howell | For the IPC

Master of Ceremonies Jonathan Edwards, an Olympic gold medallist in the triple jump, described the accomplishments of the recipients of the FEI Awards to more than 300 guests, including representatives of the 132 Member Federations of the FEI journalists, VIPs, friends of the winners and FEI staff.

Joann Formosa, Australia’s London 2012 gold-medal winning para-dressage star, was named the winner of the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) Against All Odds award last week in Montreux, Switzerland.

Master of Ceremonies Jonathan Edwards, an Olympic gold medallist in the triple jump, described the accomplishments of the recipients of the FEI Awards to more than 300 guests, including representatives of the 132 Member Federations of the FEI journalists, VIPs, friends of the winners and FEI staff.

Before the winners were announced and called on stage, HRH Princess Haya, President of the FEI, acknowledged all of them and thanked them “for sharing the grace, elegance and beauty of equestrian sport with a global audience. They have continued to confirm their talent and inspire a future generation of equestrians.”

Formosa started competing in dressage and jumping events in 1980 and dreamed of representing Australia. In 1987, however, she was crushed between a gatepost and a horse, severely damaging her central nervous system.

She subsequently attended a Riding for the Disabled Association centre, rekindling her passion and determination but, in 2000, a second accident left her with limited leg movement.

Against all odds, she made her national team debut at the FEI World Equestrian Games 2006 and joined Australia’s 2009 National High Performance Squad.

In 2011, she started riding on stallion Worldwide PB and started training at the Australian Equine Behaviour Centre. The same year, they finished first in the grade 1B category of the National Championships and clinched triple gold at the Oceania Championships.

Formosa’s dream-come-true gold medal win at London 2012 was rewarded by Equestrian Australia’s International Athlete of the Year Award.