Successful international Para-Equestrian event
Australia's first-ever international Para-Equestrian event has been hailed as a great success. The competition was held in conjunction with the Saddleworld Dressage Festival at Werribee Park National Equestrian Centre, Victoria from 10-13 December.
This was also the first time that a Para-Equestrian event (CPEDI3*) was incorporated with a major Dressage event (CDI-W) in Australia. "Integration is a key strategy of the Para-Equestrian High Performance Program and we are very appreciative of the support provided by the Dressage Festival's organising committee led by Caroline Coleby," commented Equestrian Australia's High Performance Manager Brett Mace.
"The event really was what we had hoped for. Australian riders had some stiff competition from our visitors, our Judging panel did a fantastic job and the integration of Para-Equestrian with the Dressage Festival was seamless. The support we received from the Technical Delegate Ulf Wilken (SWE) and the rest of our international officials was priceless. A very valuable experience for all concerned in the lead up to the World Games," said Equestrian Australia's Para-Equestrian Sport Consultant and Event Director Tracey Lesslie.
The event welcomed an international jury of Judges headed by Hanneke Gerritsen (NED) and including Anne Prain (FRA), Jan Geary (AUS), Marc Urban (BEL) and Wendy Barker (AUS). "The event was very good, it was well organised and a very good effort for the first time," said Hanneke who will also be judging at the 2010 World Equestrian Games.
"There were some very good performances, there is always a wide range of standard in Para-Equestrian, that is the nature of it," added Henneke.
Australia won the team competition. Teams from New Zealand, Canada and Japan competed on borrowed horses, with the exception of two New Zealand riders who bought their own horses. The Australian team consisted of Sharon Jarvis (WA) and Nicole Kullen (NSW), who both competed for Australia at the Beijing Paralympics in 2008 and team newcomers Kate Doughty (VIC) and Fleur Lister (WA).
1st Australia (421.707%), 2nd Canada (394.821%), 3rd Japan (363.769%), 4th New Zealand (362.291%).
The Para-Equestrian event was made possible with support from the Australian Sports Commission, the Australian Paralympic Committee and the Equestrian Australia High Performance Program.