Australia names Para-equestrian team

Veteran Grace Bowman will lead a new team of riders at the Paralympic equestrian event in London. 19 Jun 2012
A picture of a woman riding

Grace Bowman from Australia with her horse YV MT Batton competes in the Paralympic Equestrian Individual Championship Test - Grades Ib event on September 9, 2008 in Hong Kong, China.

ⒸGetty Images

“After a fourth place at the World Championships, I’m hoping to not be fourth again and hopefully be in a medal position instead."

Three first-timers will join Paralympian Grace Bowman in the Australian equestrian team for the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

As the only athlete on the team to have previously competed at a Paralympic Games, Bowman will lead team-mates Hannah Dodd, Joann Formosa and Rob Oakley on the equestrian course at Greenwich Park.

Australia has won eight medals in equestrian at the Paralympic Games – two gold, one silver and five bronze, since it was introduced in Atlanta 1996.

Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) Chief Executive and 2012 Australian Team Chef de Mission Jason Hellwig hopes the tally can continue to grow in London.

“In London, the equestrian events will be held at the historic Greenwich Park which is sure to provide a stunning backdrop for what will be the most hotly contested equestrian competition we’ve ever seen at a Paralympic Games,” Mr Hellwig said.

“There will be 78 equestrian athletes but just 11 medals on offer in London and our team of four will have to perform at their very best to secure a medal. It will be tough but I’m confident in this team’s ability to succeed.”

Bowman, who was paralysed as a 12-year-old from a horse-riding accident, is hopeful that her London campaign will be more successful than Beijing, when her horse spooked under the Games atmosphere, leaving her in 12th position in the freestyle and 15th in the individual championship events.

In a better reflection of her skills on the horse, she finished fourth in the individual championship at the 2010 World Equestrian Games and is hoping to turn a fourth place into a medal in London.

“After a fourth place at the World Championships, I’m hoping to not be fourth again and hopefully be in a medal position instead. A top five finish would be realistic for me but obviously to bring home a medal for Australia would be fantastic,” Bowman said.

Paralympic equestrian is open to athletes with a physical disability or visiual impairment. Competition is divided into five grades based on an athlete’s level of function across individual championship, freestyle to music and team events.

Grace Bowman and Joann Formosa will compete in the 1b class against riders like Lee Pearson of Great Britain, and Rob Oakley is in the 1a class and Hannah Dodd in IV.

The Equestrian event at the London 2012 Paralympic Games takes place from 30 August to 4 September.

Related Images

Related Documents