NEWS > Para-Equestrian
Posted by Equestrian Australia on 22/01/2016.

Interview with Lisa Martin

We spoke to Grade 4 Para-Equestrian Lisa Martin after her first time completing the team test at the Boneo Classic supported by NAB. 

Lisa, you’ve been an able bodied dressage competitor for many years, what prompted you to get classified to become a Para-Equestrian Grade 4 competitor?

“Many years ago I was competing at open competition at Hartpury. I was approached then if I would like to compete in Para-Equestrian because I had an injury to my ankle about 14 years ago – I came off a young horse and basically smashed the ankle and they ended up fusing it.  Some girls at the event approached me and said that I should get classified and I said, no, it’s okay, I don’t need to compete in Para-Equestrian.

“But it’s got to the stage where Para-Equestrian has become very professional and it’s got lots of support and the group of people involved are incredible to deal with. There are also open riders competing in Grade 4 in Europe that are also Grand Prix riders and so I thought if I pass the assessment I thought why not. It’s a great opportunity to represent my county one day maybe.”

What are your thoughts on your team test?

“I had a ball out there today. It can be a little hard for a horse to adjust to a new level of competition but in saying that I thought the horse did really well. I think I can find another three percent once I ride the test more and get used to it. I loved it out there and I loved the cheer squad.”

The possibility of an even better score is an exciting prospect for Para-Equestrian in Australia, how are you feeling about the possibility of going to the Paralympic Games?

“If everything keeps going to plan it could happen. I never count my chickens before they hatch, I just ride a test and I focus on my job and let things happen. Horses are horses and anything can happen but as I said I think there is more there so let’s see what happens.”

Will you continue to ride in able bodied dressage?

“The aim is to travel to Europe in June/July and train with the Koschel family over a period of time in preparation for WEG 2018. I will still ride in Para-Equestrian but I will also ride in FEI. The horse is going to be special as a Grand Prix horse so I’m a little bit lucky to put a foot in both camps.

“If we can put a strong Para-Equestrian team forward in Rio and win a medal then this will help to raise the profile of equestrian sport in general and our potential for future funding. We are told success will breed success which can only be good for Dressage."

Of the horses that you’ve had over the years where does First Famous rate?

She is one of the most special that I’ve had. She was a find. She was five when we found her in Germany and she had only been to three young horse competitions. She’s an incredibly intelligent mare, amazing to ride and my other horses were good. We had several very good FEI horses that we’ve either bred or are trained but there are not many which have the V8 supercar engine which she’s got.”

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