• Fran Cleland

Para riders edge closer to a start at World Championships


ABOVE: Amelia White and Genius. Picture: JON STROUD

AUSTRALIA’S para-equestrian athletes are beginning to put the necessary scores in for a team place at the FEI World Championships.


Both Amelia White and Emma Booth competed at the CPEDI3* in Kronenberg in the Netherlands and gained the qualifying scores needed.


White rode Genius to a personal best score of 71.468 per cent in the Grade V individual test, finishing in a solid fourth place and followed it up with a fifth place in the Grade V Freestyle with a score of 73.400 per cent.


"For me the highlight was definitely the individual test in very hot conditions,” she said.


“We got a qualifying score for the FEI World Championships and a new personal best. I was really happy with him and it was our goal to qualify for the Freestyle which we managed to do.”


Like Booth, White was a competitive rider before a car accident in 2010 in which her left leg was crushed. Even after numerous surgeries and long-term rehabilitation, she was left with permanent physical challenges.


Her eventing coach at the time, Olympian Megan Jones, suggested she switch disciplines to keep competing at an elite level, and Amelia embraced a new training regimen that set her on her current path.


In 2021 White made her Paralympic debut at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games where she finished in sixth place riding Genius in the Grade V competition.


Booth competed for her first competition overseas with her two new rides, Friday IV and Furst Deluxe, which are both owned by Maree Tomkinson.

Seeing she has only begun to form a relationship with the two horses, her scores were remarkable and will further improve.


On Friday IV she scored 68.970 per cent to finish in seventh place in the Grade III team test and 70.267 per cent in the Grade III freestyle where they again placed seventh. Emma and Furst Deluxe scored 70.098 per cent in the Grade III individual test to also finish in seventh place.


"I’ve gained so much insight into both horses after our first competition together, and there is so much to improve on which is very exciting,” she said.


“The competition here is so tough, and with less than three weeks working with both horses, it’s a huge ask to compete at an FEI CPEDI3*.


“I look forward to seeing what we can improve on heading towards our next qualifier in Belgium.”


The FEI World Championships for Dressage, Jumping, Para-Equestrian and Vaulting will take place in Herning, Denmark, from August 6-14, 2022.


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