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Posted by Kirsty Pasto on 25/02/2021.
Victoria Davies and Celere
Stephen Mowbray

Paralympic Hopefuls Take Part in Para-Dressage Protocol Day at Willinga Park

Three Australian Paralympic hopefuls descended on the prestigious Willinga Park, NSW this week to not only compete in the able-body competition ‘Dressage by the Sea’ but to also take part in a Para-Dressage Protocol day hosted by the EA High Performance Program.

New South Wales based riders Victoria Davies, Sharon Jarvis and Stuart Drysdale were given the opportunity to perform their FEI Team and Individual Tests before a Tokyo 2020 Judge in preparation for their first interstate competition, which will take place at Victoria’s Boneo Park in April.

Sharon Jarvis and Romanos

Due to the impact of Covid-19 many High Performance Para-Dressage squad riders have been unable to attend competitions as part of their Tokyo 2020 preparation and have instead been honing their skills by continuing their training at home.

Last year the High Performance Program ran a Tokyo 2020 Test Event to mimic, as close as possible, the Paralympic environment giving potential team riders, grooms, and support staff exposure to the logistics and conditions that may be expected at the Games. This was the last opportunity most of the riders had to compete under FEI competition conditions.

“I would have to say yesterday was one of the most enjoyable and beneficial experiences of my ten years in the EA High Performance Program” explains High Performance Para-Dressage Green Squad rider Victoria Davies.

“A highlight was hearing I have made vast improvements with both horses, especially Celere who is truly showing he is world-class” shares Victoria. 

 Victoria Davies and Celere

Currently there are two (2) CPEDI/CPEDN events scheduled on the Australian calendar before the Paralympic qualification deadline of July 2021, after which the team will be announced. Australia currently has a strong cohort of talented combinations vying for potential team selection.

“The calibre of Australian combinations we currently have across the Grades who are in Paralympic contention is very strong. Each time our riders are given the opportunity to perform their tests or train under competition conditions we can see improvements in their delivery showing that all the hard work is paying off.

"With less than 200 days to go until the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games our athletes remain focussed on ensuring they are as prepared as possible as we approach the final two Australian selection events,” explains High Performance Para-Equestrian Manager, Stefanie Maraun.

 Stuart Drysdale and Bluberry 20