EQ LIFE: When did you join the para ranks and what was your grade?
LISA: I joined the para ranks in 2016 just prior to the Rio Olympics. I competed then as Grade IV and now with the introduction of Grade V, this is the level I am in now. This is the level for the least disabled. When I started, my disability was with an ankle fusion where I have no flexibility. I now have pelvic fractures that are pinned and plated but my grade has stayed the same. My only exemption is that I do not have to do sitting trot.
EQ LIFE: What are the biggest comps you have competed as a para and what are your best placings?
LISA: I competed at the Rio Paralympics and I gained three fourth placings there, which was a great result and so close to a bronze for Australia. I have competed at Grand Prix on several horses at CDIs here and overseas. I have competed at CPEDIs in Australia with good results and also overseas. I love to compete and every competition for me, no matter where or how big or small, is an achievement, and especially in the paras as I realise the dedication and love of the horses and the sport that pushes me to ride and become the best I can with what I have within and with the horses.
EQ LIFE: Can you tell us about your horse that you are taking to Herning?
LISA: Juicy Wiggle, or her stable name ‘Hallo’, was born on Halloween and was bred by us. She is by Jive Magic out of a mare I competed, Richmond Debonaire, to FEI level. She is a chestnut mare with lots of energy and willingness to show off. Debonaire was unfortunately retired after an injury. I bought her off the Oatleys. Hallo was difficult at the start, and she was taken by a super-confident lady rider who worked with stock horses. Hallo was ridden around the streets and by the river and really no dressage but simply showing her the world and getting accustomed to all things great and small. She is the half-sister to my grey horse, In Time. I have competed her to Elementary with scores in open competition to 72% and she is basically unbeaten in the para competitions with scores in the low to mid 70% and is ready now to start at Medium.
EQ LIFE: What are some of the things you are looking forward to in Herning?
LISA: I am really excited about all things Herning. To catch up with my extended equestrian family that has grown over the years from the many trips I have made overseas and to hear all that has been happening in their lives of late will be exciting. To have a homebred horse that we saw from conception to foaling to a good dressage horse – and now an Australian team member for the World Championships – makes the trip and competition all the more special.
EQ LIFE: What are some of the difficult things about travelling to the other side of the world to compete?
LISA: The prep is exhausting as the amount of information about so many things is mind-blowing. It is important to be so diligent about what to take. You need to pack light, as space is limited, but by the same token you need to be prepared for so many things that can happen with horses travelling. Communication between the riders on the team is so important as you need to have back-up and also support from each other and for sure this team is all of that. I think one of biggest factors is to have the faith in the Equestrian Australia administration as they really are the guides that have all the info to help. So this faith in them makes us feel at ease when they have all things covered. We can then simply focus on the horses and the riding and competition and no need to worry about logistics and paperwork.
EQ LIFE: What are your expectations for the World Championships?
LISA: Juicy Wiggle is young, being only seven… and a chestnut mare. I have to ride her in Herning as any other day of the week and just take it as it comes. She has plenty of talent and ability and is very stable at this level so it will be another ride on another day as if I am at home, and if this comes off then we will see how we fare. EQ
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Para Nationals Set the Pace For Herning – Equestrian Life, May 2022
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Zidane – Motivator, Fighter, Legend, Best Friend – Equestrian Life, December 2021
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