Victoria Davies continues to chase her Paralympic dream

SHOALHAVEN’S inspirational dressage rider Victoria Davies continues to impress in the competitive arena, this time with her horse Bravour M, affectionately known as Spud.

Bravour M only joined Davies in September, but during that time, have claimed three trophy rugs, two trophies and a number of strong scores.

The pairs first competition together was at the Shoalhaven Dressage Club Championships where they competed in Preparatory division.

“We showed what we were all about, winning both our tests scoring 72 per cent and 74.60 per cent,” Davis said.

That earned them the champion for that level, before going on to win highest percentage of the competition award and Shoalhaven Dressage Club supreme champion.

“Our second event was in the Hawkesbury, in terrible weather, but instead of withdrawing him, we decided to see how he would cope with the conditions,” she said.

“Spud was amazing, with two first places with a score more than 70 per cent with excellent feedback from a New Zealand judge.

“This was our first FEI Para Equestrian tests and was only 3.36 per cent off our set target score which is really fantastic.”

Their third and final competition before leaving for the first World Equestrian Games (WEG) qualifier was last weekend at the DNSW Clarendon Winter Festival (rescheduled to November due to flooding in June).

“Spud did three amazing tests – the highlight of the competition was the score of 76.66 per cent for our FEI Para Grade II freestyle to music with a 78 per cent for artistic,” Davis said.

“That is the highest score I have achieved in my riding career – I was speechless.”

They then claimed first in two other tests, scoring 70 per cent and 69.39 per cent, to be awarded overall champion FEI Para Equestrian.

All three competitions have prepared Davies for the first World Equestrian Games (WEG) qualifier to be held at Werribee, Victoria.

“My goal is to gain a place on the Australian team for the WEGs, held in Tryon, North Carolina next September,” she said.

“The target score for my grade is 74.24 per cent, based on an average medallist scores from the last Paralympics. 

“It all comes down to the performances on the day and the scores achieved at these qualifiers – anything can happen and it’s just about trusting the journey and remaining positive at all times.”

On the back of this success, Davies was named as a member of the Australian High Performance Green Squad (AIS - Podium Potential).

“It was very nice to see that my hard work and scores have been identified,” she said.

“I have a goal for many years to compete at the Paralympics.

“I was so close to reaching it last year until I was forced to withdraw from the Paralympic shadow squad on medical grounds due to my neck diagnosis. 

“I’ll never give up and I do believe I’m stronger and more determined than ever. I’ve been through so much in the past 18 months since my neck diagnosis. 

“It’s nice to know the officials and selectors still identify me as having podium potential for upcoming international events.”