Equestrian Life
BLOG: Emma Booth checks in on the Road to Rio

Words by Emma Booth

Photos by Sarah Ebbett Equine Photography

 

Emma Booth July Blog

 

 

What a huge month for Team Booth! This update is going to be a long one so grab yourself a cup of tea! 

 

To start with, I received news of being named as one of the four riders that will make up the Para Equestrian Team for Rio. I couldn’t be more excited! The amount of work that has gone in to getting to this point is phenomenal and I can’t thank everyone enough for their ongoing support. I feel as though finally everything is falling in to place. I am so grateful and very ready for the journey ahead. 

 

To take a step back, we had an Open Day and Fundraiser in Somers on the 29th May which was a huge success. There was an extremely large turnout of enthusiastic people wanting to support myself and Zidane, a number of generous bids on the silent auction items and a huge sale of raffle tickets. There was a demonstration for those that had not had the chance to see me ride which finished with a freestyle test to music. Zidane loved having everyone there and was feeling fabulous as always. A big thank you to everyone who attended in support of our road to Rio.

 

I made a quick trip up to Sydney on the 6th and 7th of June to be involved in the unveiling of the 2016 Australian Paralympic uniform. This was a busy two days but a once in a life time opportunity that I felt very privileged to be part of. I had the chance to meet some other lovely para-athletes from a number of different sports. We revealed the uniform to media in the morning and then had a Sponsors lunch before flying back to Melbourne in the afternoon. I can’t tell you how amazing it was to try the Australian uniform that I will be wearing when representing my country later this year. It gave me a real thrill and I am all the more excited for the journey ahead.

 

 

Emma Booth July Blog

 

 

I have started doing public speaking at a few different events which I am really enjoying. On Wednesday the 8th of June I was asked to be a guest speaker at the opening of a new facility called Club Officer which was very exciting to be part of. Club Officer is the latest addition of entertainment venues to The Pakenham Racing Club. The venue is modern, large and is a wonderful new facility to this area. Thank you Club Officer for supporting Team Booth. On Thursday the 9th June I was a guest speaker at the annual Berwick and District Agricultural Society AGM. There was a large crowd and I was pleased to share my story with such a wonderful audience. I must thank Warwick Glendenning for putting my name forward and organising my speaking at this event. I was also asked to be a guest speaker at Box Hill Tafe talking to a number of equine students. And finally I spoke at the Yarra Ranges monthly meeting which was extremely fulfilling and close to home as this was the area in which my accident occurred. Everyone was so welcoming and supportive, it was a really motivational morning.

 

 

Emma Booth July Blog

 

 

Off we went to the Annual Equestrian Australia Awards Night held at the MCG on Friday the 10th June. I was extremely honoured to be nominated for 2015 Domestic Athlete of the Year against some amazing riders. The night started with a live Rio themed band and a fun photo-booth with props before we all took our seats to commence the evening. Awards were announced, a three course meal was served followed by myself and fellow para-rider Katie Umback doing a question and answer on stage. There were also two inductions into the Hall of Fame which was so amazing to witness. The night was thoroughly enjoyed by all and I congratulate all the winners of each well deserving category, particularly a big mention to Brett Parbery for winning Domestic Athlete of the Year.

 

 

Emma Booth July Blog

 

 

Zidane and I were lucky enough to take part in the Masterclass at Melbourne International Three Day Event with Christoph Hess on Sunday the 12th June. Christoph is so passionate and enthusiastic and was nothing but complimentary about Zidane. We described to the audience how I ride and explained some of the requirements of my para grade. This was such a fun experience and it was a big confidence booster to see how well my superstar horse coped in front of such a large audience. It turns out Zidane absolutely loves a crowd and enjoys putting on a show, which is very comforting coming closer to an event such as Rio.  Thank you to Janet Houghton for organising, to everyone for watching and obviously Christoph for having me, it was an experience I won’t forget. 

 

We competed at Boneo Park on Saturday the 18th of June. Fiona Selby and those from Boneo generously donated the entry and stable fees to the June and July Dressage events, to assist Zidane and myself in getting the best preparation possible as Rio approaches. Thank you Fiona and team, it is so much appreciated. We had a great day out and rode two nice tests, scoring 75% and 76% which was very pleasing. I am however just using these days as training and not getting too ahead of myself with such great scores. It is important that we stay focused on the task ahead at this point, obviously enjoying what we are doing every day as well.

 

 

Emma Booth July Blog

 

 

Zidane and I attended the Victorian Dressage Squad Clinic held at Kerry Macks property, Mayfield Farm, at the end of June. This was a wonderful two days of lessons with the talented Lone Joergensen, and a fantastic chance to catch up and chat all things horsey with many of the other squad riders. Zidane and I came away feeling as though we are well prepared for our tasks ahead; we are strong as a team and ready for what Rio brings, we can’t wait. 

 

I will do my best to keep you all up to date as my road to Rio continues, however from here on in its going to be busy, busy training and getting everything packed organised and ready to go. 

 
 
Emma Booth July Blog
 
 

Words by Emma Booth

Photos by Sarah Ebbett Equine Photography

 

 

 

 

 

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