NEWS > Para-Equestrian
Posted by Equestrian Queensland on 17/03/2015.

Report on Para Equestrian Information Evening

The EQ Para Equestrian Information night with Julia Battams on 11th March proved to be extremely informative with speakers Julia, Victoria Kahn, Nicole Lewindon and Susannah Neahm. It was fairly well attended with riders and coaches, and management from the McIntyre Centre Riding for Disabled, Arundel Park Riding for Disabled as well as new, as-yet unclassified riders from the general public and experienced OE riders. Sam Duffy from EQ office was there in her role as principal driver of PE in Queensland.

Julia Battams is the High Performance manager for Dressage Australia and Para Equestrian Australia, which falls under the Dressage umbrella.

Julia presented on the current pathways to high performance for dressage riders in Australia in three streams; Special Olympics (for riders with Intellectual Impairment), Para Equestrian (for riders with physical & visual impairments) and regular dressage.

Julia was able to report on a new Memorandum of Understanding that is on the table between RDA and EA in order to facilitate crossover and communication between the two organisations, which historically has been sadly lacking. She also announced a new National Squad structure for all equestrian sports, following the Australian Sports Commission guidelines which will come into being early this year.

There was a general discussion on how to progress Para Equestrian sports in Australia and we, in Queensland, were pleased to be told that our efforts to introduce Para classes in Interschool dressage and within the wider community puts us in the forefront of the other states. It is widely reported that most EQ clubs will schedule any para test that is requested by the riders, so a simple phone call is all it takes.

More work needs to be done on introducing new riders into the Sport of Para Equestrian and there were suggestions from the audience that could be incorporated in the future - communication with the Defence Forces and RSL who work to get soldiers wounded in action into sports was one that came up.

A Para Equestrian Camp for all EQ Para Equestrian riders is currently on the cards for later this year, so watch this space!

The second presentation was from Victoria Kahn, the Sports Science and Sports Medicine (SSSM) Manager for Equestrian Australia. Victoria explained the resources she provides to riders under her care to improve and maintain performance in the riders, similar to the super care that those same riders usually provide to their horses but not so often to themselves. Did you know that as little as 2% dehydration in a rider can reduce performance by as much as 10%???

Victoria took us step by step through all the different aspects of SSSM and explained what a rider should be addressing in each aspect and how SSSM can assist. Interestingly, Victoria started out working only with Para Equestrian riders and ended up being employed full-time to look after all EA riders once they realised what an essential service she was providing.

Victoria also reported on the riders responsibilities as far as the anti-doping laws are concerned and listed the websites that provide information on these laws, all the way up to International level.

Our final speakers for the night were Queensland’s two newest Classifiers, Nicole Lewindon and Susannah Neahm. They did a joint presentation on the classification process and explained how it came about, what is involved and how it is implemented in competition. These two classifiers are both based in Brisbane and will make classification a much more simple and quicker process. 

A classification day is on the cards early 2015 but riders MUST get their paperwork in to Sam Duffy, in the EQ office, to request classification. The numbers need to reach a minimum level before EQ can schedule a date.

All together it was a very informative evening. A copy of all 3 presentations is attached.

Cathy Binz

For any further information on Para Equestrian please email [email protected]


Introduction to PE SSSM Notes




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