Two first-time Paralympians have won gold medals in their respective grades at the London 2012 Paralmypic Games, with one causing quite an upset.
Australia’s Joann Formosa and the hanoverian stallion Worldwide PB won gold in Grade Ib ahead of Lee Pearson, Paralympic champion since 2000, and Grade II British rider Natasha Baker won gold with Cabral.
Formosa’s Worldwide PB is a truly international horse who was bred in Germany – [the 'PB' denotes the fact that he is privately and not state bred]. The licenced and approved hanoverian stallion was imported from Germany to New Zealand as a young horse by Wanganui studmaster Berny Maubach, ofVollrath Stud. By the Weltmeyer stallion Weltbuerger and from the Brentano II mare Bella, Worldwide was bred by Werner Heitgress. He was used extensively as a stallion at Vollrath, and had an impressive ridden career with Maubach’s wife, Jutta Rosenblatt. The pair won the NZ National Novice Championship and Medium Horse of the Year title, and competed to the level of Prix St George, before being sold Australian rider Claire Seidl-Wickens in 2006.
Of Worldwide, Formosa said: “He’s a stallion which is very unusual for Para-Equestrian sport, but he doesn’t behave like one – even around mares. He’s a real sweetie.”
She bought Worldwide just seven months ago, was competing not only at her first Games, but in her first international with this horse.