Australia has named a team of four riders to its Para-Equestrian team for the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.
All four riders will be making their World Gamesdebut at Normandy.
Led byParalympic Gold Medalist Joann Formosa and her hanoverian stallion Worldwide PB, the team departs for Normandy on August 14.
Team members are:
• Nicole Blanks, 24, and Vledder (Grade 4), who has had strong recent performances offshore including in the CPEDI3* at Moorsele in Belgium, where she attained scores of 69% in the team and individual championship tests. Blanks is currently completing a medicine degree.
• Chelsea Higgins, 19, and HP Comedian (Grade 3), who achieved a personal best score of 70.85 in the individual championship test at the final Para-Equestrian nomination event in February this year. Higgins, who will celebrate her 20th birthday during WEG, was recently a finalist in Equestrian Australia’s domestic athlete of the year award category.
• Elizabeth Sobecki and Hatero DE PB (Grade 3), who were part of an Australian team that competed at the 2012 Hong Kong CPEDI3*. In 2012 she was named the Australian team’s non-travelling reserve ahead of the London Paralympic Games. Although Sobecki’s partnership with Hatero DE PB is relatively new, the pair has gone from strength to strength improving with each outing in the three round Para-Equestrian nomination series held between November 2013 and February 2014.
• Joann Formosa and Worldwide PB (Grade 1B), who 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 a person who has pursued her equestrian ambitions in the face of adversity. Last year Formosa was named Australia’s International Athlete of the Year for 2012.
Hannah Dodd and Grand Sam have been selected as the team’s non travelling reserve combination. Dodd was a member of Australia’s team at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.