“After London I know what it’s like and I’m more prepared now and my horse is 100 times better than what he was then."
Joann Formosa, Australia’s London 2012 gold medal winning Grade Ib para-equestrian dressage rider, is determined to prove that her Paralympic victory was not a one-off.
The 51-year-old and her horse, Worldwide PB, return to top flight international competition for the final time at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy, France, between 23 August – 7 September.
And Formosa is now determined to prove to the world that London was not a one-hit wonder, and feels ready for what the competition has to throw at her.
“I’m out to do it again and I’m more prepared now,” she said. “I’ve gone past my dream and my goal already but I want more. I’m greedier now and I want to show the world how good my horse is, that we’re not a one hit wonder and that I’ve worked hard all my life to get to this moment. It’s pretty cool. I’ve got a taste for it now and I like it.
“After London I know what it’s like and I’m more prepared now and my horse is 100 times better than what he was then. I’m prepared and know I don’t need to get a better horse, or do anything different.
“I just train and I know what I’m up against. At the end of the day though it doesn’t matter how good your horse is, it’s just what happens on the day.”
Formosa, who has built up quite the repertoire with her horse will have to bid farewell to this partnership once the competition in Normandy is over.
“The World Equestrian Games will be Worldwide’s last overseas competition,” she said. “It will be sentimental but I don’t want to risk taking him abroad after the Games because I don’t want to risk anything happening to him. That horse is worth more than anything. He’s my life and this is his last gig, so I want it to go with a blast.”
Despite there being a strong field of competitors in Normandy, the ‘thunder from down under’ is not afraid of the challenges that lay ahead.
She said: “The competition doesn’t faze me. I’ve ridden against them all before and we’re all raising the bar for para-equestrian dressage and people are getting into it and involved now.
“We’re all pushing the bar to a higher level. Our scores are high compared to 10 or 20 years ago and it’s more technical now and we’re riding powerful horses.”
For more information on the 2014 Alltech World Equestrian Games, visit the event website.