Australia’s Para-Equestrian Team for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 (WEG) has been announced with all four selected riders making their world debut at the competition in Normandy, France, which takes place between 23 August and 7 September.
Despite being a team of debutants, however, they have no lack of experience, with Paralympic gold medallist Joann Formosa among those making the trip to France.
The four riders and their horses are:
Grade Ib - Joann Formosa and Worldwide PB. Formosa and Worldwide PB famously won gold in the Grade Ib individual championship test at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. In 2013 Formosa was awarded the FEI Against All Odds Award which is presented to those who have pursued their equestrian ambitions in the face of adversity.
Grade III - Chelsea Higgins and HP Comedian. Higgins was recently a finalist in Equestrian Australia’s domestic athlete of the year award category, and achieved a personal best score of 70.85 in the individual championship test at the final Para-Equestrian nomination event in February this year.
Grade III - Elizabeth Sobecki and Hatero DE PB. Sobecki was part of an Australian team that competed at the 2012 Hong Kong CPEDI3. Also in 2012 she was named the Australian team’s non-travelling reserve ahead of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Although her partnership with Hatero DE PB is relatively new, the pair has gone from strength to strength improving with each outing in Australia’s three round Para-Equestrian Dressage nomination series.
Grade IV - Nicole Blanks and Vledder. Blanks earns her position on the Australian Team with strong performances at overseas events including Moorsele (BEL) CPEDI3* where she attained scores of 69% in the team and individual championship tests.
Australia’s Para-Equestrian Team will depart for Normandy on 14 August and the competition will commence on the 23 August.