This weekend's Boneo Classic marks a major milestone in FEI World Equestrian Game preparations for Australia's top Para-Equestrian athletes.
Three members of the 2016 Rio Paralympics team will be competing including Emma Booth, Sharon Jarvis and Katie Umback.
Beginning this Friday, the Boneo Park CPEDI ('Concours Para-Equestre de Dressage International') has attracted 20 competitors which is one of the biggest contingents in the event's history.
Five of those riders will be competing for the first time at FEI level including Dean Ryan who is a groom for Heath and Rozzie Ryan (no relation), Chelsea De Jonge from Western Australia who is just 12 years old and Tasmania's Amanda Parsons who won the 2017 Dressage Festival Individual Grade IV Para Championship at Werribee Park in Victoria.
Equestrian Australia's High Performance Director Chris Webb said this weekend is a compulsory opportunity for the nation's Para-Equestrian riders to gain qualifications for the FEI World Equestrian Games 2018 in Tryon, USA, this September.
"The Boneo CPEDI is a landmark event in our Para-Equestrian calendar for our Australian riders. It is a world class show providing our experienced and budding Paralympic riders alike a fantastic opportunity," said Webb.
"This event will give the selectors and team management staff a first look at the horse and rider talent presenting for the FEI World Equestrian Games 2018 in Tryon and Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games."
"Australia Day weekend on the Mornington Peninsula is an exciting time of year for a Para-Equestrian rider and enthusiast," he said.
Boneo Park's Managing Director Fiona Selby said;
"The Boneo Park team is looking forward to welcoming over 500 horses to our venue later this week - the atmosphere created at the Boneo Classic with our elite Dressage, Para-Equestrian and Jumping riders all competing together is second to none and undoubtedly one of the most exciting events on the Boneo Park calendar," said Selby.
The Pacific League FEI World Cup Jumping Final will be staged with the winner gaining the right to represent Australia at the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final in April 2018. Plus, there will be 350 horses competing in a CSI 1* Jumping event across the weekend.
Public entry to the Boneo Classic is free.To view the event timetable please click below.
Article courtesy of Equestrian Australia