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Philippa Johnson-Dwyer and Lord Louis on form for Paralympics

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Philippa Johnson-DwyerHold onto your hats! The Paralympics opening ceremony is tomorrow and based on her form to date, our own Philippa Johnson-Dwyer is in serious medal contention in the Paradressage section! Pips is not a stranger to winning Paralympic medals with two silvers in 2004 and two golds in 2008, so she has what it takes!

Philippa’s riding times are:

  • Sunday 11 September at 10:00 (15:00 SA time): Team test
  • Tuesday 13 September at 14:00 (19:00 SA time): Individual Champion test
  • Friday 16 September at 09:00 (14:00 SA time): Individual Freestyle test

Pips gave e-Questrian Focus a quick update:

“Louis arrived yesterday, came off the transport very fresh almost taking his groom Mieke walk abouts!!  He is super curious about everything!!  Our run up to being here has gone just as we planned it, our last competition just happened to be the Belgium Championships (able bodied) which was a huge 5 day competition, so the most perfect preparation.  Louis did fantastically well coming 9th in the M10 (Advanced class), he then managed to come 8th in the Prix St George (only his 4th PSG to date!) and then he topped all that off by not only making the big final PSG Kur but winning it as well.

Louis at the villageSo yesterday we let him rest through the morning and then in the afternoon gave him a short lunge, today I will do a short half hour just of long & deep getting him loose and then from Wednesday we will pick him up into proper work!!

The Paralympic village is always a great place to be but can be a bit mind blowing at times when you see some of the disabilities and how different athlete’s move themselves around.  I’ve actually just bumped into a guy that is 2,35m tall, he plays seated volleyball!!

Some of the competitionThe competitors in Grade III are incredibly strong, there are 4 rider’s that are going to take a lot of beating.  The 2 Danish riders, the Dutch rider, Sanne Voets and then of course last but never least my dear friend & rival Ann Kathrin Lubbe!”

Pips also gave us some insight into how she copes with the stress of the competition on the day:

“Before going into the ring is not such a problem because once I’m on my horse and warming up I’m in my bubble, it’s beforehand that’s my biggest problem trying not to psych myself out.  What I did before Hong Kong when the pressure was really high was try remind myself that I have no control over what my competitors do or how they ride, all I can do is what is in my power.  I can make sure that both my horse and I are at our best, fit and healthy and then to try to ride the best test possible!”

Wishing Pips a winning ride over the next two weeks!  Good luck

Pips riding 2

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