2-day clinic at Balmoral Equestrian Centre
This program provides the opportunity for people with a physical disability to participate in a range of eq....
While EPA programs encourage and nurture all pathways to success and health and favours no particular level of competence or experience, we have found that our programs are an effective pathway for some riders to access opportunities to compete in local, national or even international events, access these riders might not otherwise have had.
As part of the Equine Pathways Australia Program, EPA provides assistance, support and expertise to clubs and organisations who have athletes with a disability to integrate these athletes into their club activities and programs and thereby expand the opportunities to compete in equine sports. This support not only provides greater opportunity for people with a disability to also better integrate into the local community, but it is a valuable resource for organisations, clubs and their coaches who conduct equine sports, to provide a more inclusive and supportive environment guided by the appropriate expertise.
For example, our High Performance pathway can start participants on a journey to participation in para-equestrian events at the Paralympics. Like the Olympics, the Paralympics is held every four years, and is one of the world’s leading sporting events. It is regarded as the premier international event for athletes with disabilities.
In 2024, para-equestrian will be one of 22 Paralympics sports at the 2024 Paris Paralympics to be held between 28 August and 8 September 2024 in Versailles, just outside of Paris – one of the world’s most stunning and iconic venues.
The Equine Pathway to Paris Paralympics Program is aimed at bringing together both our general participation and high-performance programs to create a special community based on the strong, inclusive and holistic pathway established by EPA. This is a wonderful and unique opportunity for all participants in the EPA program to share in the journey to Paris.
The program is a comprehensive 3-year plan consisting of a range of clinics, camps and competitions all geared towards preparing our athletes (both human and equine) for this higher level of competition, and culminating in the chance for them to become members of the Australian Paralympic team in Versailles.
While only a very small number can be selected for the team, the supportive nature of the EPA program encompasses all of our participants, regardless of their experience and ability, all bound by a common love of horses and the many benefits received through our riding programs. This program is one important aspect furthering our vital mission to create special collective opportunities for our participants to learn, grow and share their experiences.
The foundation of the Equine Pathway to Paralympics Program is the highly successful two-day clinics conducted across Australia. This innovative program is designed to launch our participants towards their dreams of Paris and beyond. These clinics are run by leading coaches assisted by allied health professionals identified from the Paralympics Australia network, all working collaboratively with our experienced management team.
While all EPA participants have equal access to these first-class services at our clinics, the program also identifies our scholarship athletes who may have the greatest potential to be selected on the Australian Paralympic Team by the Equestrian Australia panel of selectors. These athletes will be given the opportunity to undergo additional development to give them the optimal chance of selection on the team.
Additional scholarship support will include: (i) more targeted competition program development, (ii) team camps that prepare athletes to adapt to the unique Paralympic competition environments, and (iii) support through the EPA Horse Owner program which partners our athletes with suitable quality horses to compete at the highest level.
While our High Performance participants are able to avail themselves of this particular stream to potential selection for the team for the Paralympics, this pathway has been established in tandem with General participant and Vocational programs.