NEWS > Para-Equestrian
Posted by Equestrian Australia on 25/08/2014.
Chelsea Higgins and HP Comedian
John Lechner

Aussie trio shine on opening day of WEG competition

The rain was heavy and relentless on the opening day of competition at the FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 but it didn't dampen the spirit of Australia's Para-Equestrian Team.

Three members of the team were in action on day one, including grade Ib Paralympic gold medallist Joann Formosa.

The Normandy Games marks the final international competition outside of Australia for Formosa's mount Worldwide PB and the pair placed seventh, scoring 71.20, which wasn't far off the score they achieved in the team's test at the London Paralympic Games (71.955).

"It was the first test, I would have liked to ride it better but I kept him going and kept his mind focused.

"The Individual Championship Test is my favourite so it is onwards and upwards from here," she said. 

It was a day of many firsts for grade three Para-Equestrian Elizabeth Sobecki.

As well as taking to the competition arena at a major international event for the first time, the 22 year old (riding Hatero DE PB) had the tough task of being the first to go of the entire Para-Equestrian competition.  

Her performance resulted in a score of 64.737 from the judges which saw her finish the day in 14th position.

“I wasn’t nervous. It was really special for me to go out there and see my family and all the green and gold in the stands.

“I could hear them in the distance. It was incredible.

“The ride was great, he listened to me and he was so soft. For him to go in there and be a star is incredible."

Riders battled wet conditions but the gloomy skies didn’t dampen their spirits and the opportunity to represent her country was not wasted on Sobecki.

“It’s just rain. I’m at the World Championships I don’t care what the weather’s like,” she said.  

With two riders in the grade three division it was a busy morning for Australia at Caen's La Prairie Racecourse where the Para-Equestrian competition is being staged.

19 year old Chelsea Higgins (riding HP Comedian), is the youngest of the Australian Para-Equestrian team and is also making her Australian team debut at these Games.   

“The atmosphere is amazing. To represent my country is a dream come true.

“It’s so amazing to have support in the crowd cheering you on and clapping for you at the end. It makes you perform better because you want to make everyone proud.

Overall Higgins was pleased with 11th placing and a score of 65.289. The Queensland teenager  can’t wait to get in and do it all over again when she competes in the individual championship test on Wednesday.

“There were a few mistakes but I was so happy with it. He gave me everything and worked his little heart out with me and that’s all I can ask for."

The team’s three strongest scores from the team test will be added together to determine to team’s result. Competition continues on Tuesday where grade 4 rider Nicole Blanks will take to the arena.

Grade Ib Results

Grade 3 Results


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