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BLOG: Para dressage success at Boneo

Emma was very successful at the Australian Dressage Championships. © Emma Booth

Emma was very successful at the Australian Dressage Championships.

© Emma Booth


By Emma Booth

Well what a huge week it was at the Australian Dressage Championships at Boneo Park, and a tremendously successful one for the FEI Para Equestrian competitors who received some very pleasing scores.

Team Booth had a very successful Nationals with the lovely Wasabi Sun (Sabi), owned by Raquel Wright. In my last blog I discussed our new partnership and how important it is to have a horse that you “click” with. Well, Sabi definitely proved what a willing and talented horse he is after his super test results in the Grade 3 para classes. With a very frantic and nervous warm up on my part for our Freestyle, Sabi stepped up and demonstrated his incredible attitude and natural test presence. He really put his best foot forward and was completely listening and responding to everything that I asked. We scored over 74%, which had rider and owner/groom smiling from ear to ear. This horse really has proven himself as a super competitive mount that I am so excited to campaign for WEG 2018.


Emma and Wasabi Sun (Sabi). © Emma Booth

Emma and Wasabi Sun (Sabi).

© Emma Booth


In other para news, Sharon Jarvis and her beautiful imported mare Ceasy had an incredible show also, winning all three of their Grade 4 tests, making them the overall Grade 4 Champions. Sharon produced an incredibly moving Freestyle that was very accurately ridden and had exceptionally powerful music. They scored a very competitive 73%.

Amanda Parsons also received some fantastic scores in the Grade 4 class, doing Dressage Tasmania very proud. She placed second against a very large and strong field with scores of over 66%.

Zoe Vorenas from Victoria rode her charming gelding, Little Brave, in the field of Grade 4 riders. Prior to the Nationals she had also competed in the open Medium, coming away with Medium Reserve Champion. She then rode in the FEI World Dressage Challenge, getting a great score of more than 64% and placing fifth in a very strong and competitive field of riders.

Sarah Sherwood travelled from Queensland to compete in the Grade 4 classes and would have been very pleased with her test results. She is relatively new to FEI level competition so it was great to see her dedication to travel all the way to Victoria and compete in the largest of the para classes.

Unfortunately it wasn’t an overly successful competition week for Paralympian Joann Formosa who had some difficulties with her new horse, Tulura Cabaret, which resulted in elimination in both the Team and Individual Tests.

Morgan Webb Liddle took out Grade 1 Champion on her lovely mount, Remi Faberge. She also rode a great Freestyle scoring over 63%.


Morgan Web Liddle and Remi Faberge. © Emily O'Connell

Morgan Web Liddle and Remi Faberge.

© Emily O'Connell

A big mention must go to Elizabeth Sobecki who came over from SA with her lovely young mare, Matavia Furst Lady. It is incredible when riders make such an effort to support major events that hold para classes such as these.

Another highlight from our week at the Nationals was the Spencer Wilton Masterclass. It was a well-run event with a super set up of marquees surrounding the large outdoor arena. Running through several horse and rider combinations, Spencer took us through various training techniques that he personally uses with both young horses through to his Grand Prix horses. I was impressed by how he didn’t rush anything and made sure all exercises were executed correctly and thoroughly before moving on. He also took the time to explain the purpose behind each movement or training technique to ensure the audience got the most out of each rider session. For most combinations there were some very small changes that Spencer implemented in order to gain large results. It would be interesting, in my opinion, to know how the horse and rider combinations were chosen. There were a number of horses that really impressed, but my one criticism of both the Simone Pearce Masterclass and Spencer Wilton Masterclass, is that perhaps they were slightly lacking in a little bit of excitement in regards to horse aptitude at times. Overall though, they were very enjoyable and added a whole new element to the competition for both competitors and spectators!


Wasabi Sun (Sabi). © Emma Booth

Wasabi Sun (Sabi).

© Emma Booth




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