Katie Umback and Sharon Jarvis have had to compete not only with the world’s best dressage riders but also the sound of fireworks, as the Australian team began its Rio 2016 Paralympic equestrian campaign.
Fireworks were heard coming from the area surrounding the Equestrian Centre, heavily spooking Jarvis’ horse, Ceasy, as they were about to start the Team Test Grade Three event.
37 year old Jarvis managed to calm Ceasy enough to begin, but finished with a score of 65.921%, ultimately placing her 15th out of 16 competitors.
Jarvis of Western Australia says she and her horse can learn from the experience.
“She came in there and she was terrified. This is her first competition, and it’s about her and I getting trust. The more I rode out there, the more she got confident, and for me that’s really important about the future.”
Umback and her horse Marquis scored 68%, placing her 8th.
43-year-old Umback of New South Wales says she went better than she expected.
“Really, really happy with him. He did everything that I could have asked for.”
On Monday, Lisa Martin will compete in the Team Test Grade Four aboard Fast Famous, before Emma Booth and Zidane saddle up on Tuesday in the Grade Two class.