Equestrian Australia (EA) is pleased to announce the riders of the four member Para-Equestrian team it has nominated to the Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) to represent Australia at the 2012 London Paralympic Games.
EA has nominated the following riders to the APC:
“The nomination process began for our riders nine months ago and since then we’ve seen them improve on each occasion,” said Equestrian Australia’s National Performance Director for Para-Equestrian Julia Battams.
“Not only will our riders be competitive in their individual competitions but if they perform at their best we will have a very strong contingent that will be a good chance of a team medal also,” she added.
Having competed as a teenager at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games, 22 year old Grace Bowman from South Australia will be the veteran of the Aussie team.
“I’ve very excited and very honoured that this is now my second time representing Australia at a Paralympic Games,” said Bowman. “It’s really helpful to have the experience of a Games under my belt because now I can focus on the job at hand.”
The youngest member of the team is 20 year old Hannah Dodd from New South Wales.
“I think riding into the arena for the first time in front of the massive crowd will be an awe-inspiring feeling and I’m really looking forward to it,” said Dodd.
Joann Formosa was left speechless when she was told of her nomination. It’s been a lifelong goal of the 51 year old Victorian to represent Australia and she’s determined to do her country proud.
“Since I was a child it’s been a dream of mine to represent Australia. I was told that I would never ride again so to be at this level is just fantastic. Wearing the uniform and seeing the Australian flag hanging in the stadium will be unreal,” said Formosa.
For 50 year old Rob Oakley of the ACT, making the team is only half the task. “There’s still plenty of work to do and I’m determined and ready to compete,” said Oakley. I’m looking forward to riding at the elite level and trotting into the arena wearing the Australian uniform.”
The Australian Paralympic Committee will formally announce the team on 19 June.