“We will enjoy our first Paralympics very much and we are going for the medals.”
Germany, the Netherlands and Rio 2016 Paralympic hosts Brazil have announced the riders who will compete in September’s Games.
Five riders will represent the Netherlands in Para equestrian, with four set to make their Paralympic debuts. Germany will send four athletes, as will Brazil.
Dutch rider Rixt Van der Horst will be a gold medal favourite. The grade II rider will be hoping for another golden debut in Rio, having scooped double gold medals at her World and European Championships over the past two years.
“I’m very happy to be there in Rio, unfortunately not as a team member, but as an individual rider,” said Van der Host, who will not compete in the team competition. “We will enjoy our first Paralympics very much and we are going for the medals.”
She will be joined by current individual and freestyle European champion and double London 2012 bronze medallist Frank Hosmar (grade IV), world and European bronze medallist Nicole Den Dulk (grade Ib), world bronze medallist Demi Vermeulen (grade Ia) and European silver and bronze medallist Estee Gerritsen (grade III).
Germany’s grade III rider Hannelore Brenner will be hoping to score a hat-trick of golds in Rio after taking both individual titles in Beijing in 2008 and London 2012. This year, however, Brenner will not be riding her medal winning horse, Women of the World, but instead will on her new ride Kawango.
In a note to supporters, Brenner said: “Finally, the period of uncertainty is over. A major goal has been reached and now it is time for preparation. We will use the next six weeks to work on the things that we can improve. And that's still a lot!”
Joining her are world and European bronze medallist Elke Philipp (grade Ia), Alina Rosenberg (grade Ib), and current European double bronze medallist Stefen Zeibig (grade II). Germany took the silver medal in the team competition at London 2012.
As host nation, Brazil qualifies to enter a team of four riders in the competition. They are
Vera Lucia Mazzili and Sergio Oliva (both grade Ia), Marcos Fernandes Alves (grade Ib), Rodolpho Riskalla (grade III) and Thiago Fonseca (grade IV).
Until just last year Riskall was in the running for a place on his country’s dressage team for the Olympic Games until he fell ill with meningitis which has left him with an impairment in his arms and legs.
Chef D’Equipe Marcela Parsons said: “We are almost prepared as a team and are very confident as we have improved a lot in four years. We have found good horses for the team and think we can do good things in Rio.”
Sport fans from around the world can now buy their Paralympic tickets for Rio 2016 from authorised ticket resellers (ATRs)
The IPC’s Global ATR is Jet Set Sports, and Rio 2016 tickets and packages can be purchased on the CoSport website.
Residents of Brazil can buy 2016 Paralympics tickets directly from the Rio 2016 website.