Rio Para-equestrian hopefuls have converged on the Sydney International Equestrian Centre for the third and final Australian nomination event in a last attempt to post strong scores before the team is announced in May.
The event coincides with the Deauville CPEDI3* – the first of four European nomination shows which is to be attended by a host of Australian riders who are contesting nomination in the northern hemisphere.
There are still nine athletes in contention for one of four team positions and riders competing on opening day of the Sydney nomination event had to battle unseasonably hot conditions for the Team test.
It didn’t affect the furthest travelled rider, West Australian Sharon Jarvis. Partnering with her Rio hopeful Ceasy the two time World Equestrian Games bronze medallist rode to a score of 70.04.
“I love the heat, summer is my favourite time so I don’t mind if it’s warm at all,” she said.
“I am happy with how Ceasy’s gone today. We went home after the Boneo competition in January for seven weeks and then travelled back to New South Wales two weeks ago and we’ve been in Newcastle with Rozzie Ryan preparing for this competition.
“I’m really pleased with how she’s handled all the travelling.”
Jarvis is anticipating a nervous wait between now and team announcement in May.
“It’s going to be a horrible wait but I’ve done everything I could possibly do.”
Grade 2 rider Emma Booth set records when she stepped out for her first competition with Mogelvangs Zidane at Boneo in January and the pair is proving to be consistent riding to a score of 73.09 in today’s team test.
“He was concentrating and he felt really good and energetic and he was listening to me,” said Booth. “We made a couple of mistakes but you can never be perfect,” she said.
The Grade 4 team test was won convincingly by Lisa Martin and First Famous with the pair achieving a score of 73.33. In the Grade 1B, London gold medallist Joann Formosa riding GB Winchester rode to victory with a strong 72.87.
Para-Equestrian riders will take to the arena again on Thursday on what is the first official day of competition at the Sydney CDI – more information including draws and results are available on the website http://www.sydneycdi.equestrian.org.au/