Joann Formosa

Paralympic Rider

Joann Formosa has been a life long competitor with experience in all different disciplines of Equestrian sports but in particular, dressage. Having been competing since 1980, Joan suffered an accident which was caused by an attempt to open a gate on the way back from a ride. Joan was left partially paralysed from the waist down due to the spinal cord and nerve damage. Although this would be enough to stop some pursuing their passion, especially with her severe allergies to hay and horse feed, Joann is a true testament to her courage, discipline and perseverance.

After given the all clear, Joann eased back into riding and eventually ventured out to compete at the 2006 Victorian State Dressage Championships, where she finished first in the Grade 1B event on her mount Greenhill Chromes Reflection. 2006 also bought more achievements as she went on to compete at the World Equestrian Games where she made her National team debut outside of Australia.

After returning from WEG Joann suffered another ridden accident which causes a minor setback however by 2009 she was now a member of Australia's National High-Performance Squad. That year she also competed in the Australian Masters Games. In 2011, she finished first in the National Championships Grade 1B category, won two gold medals at the Oceania Championships. From there onwards, her achievements could only be described as inspiring and memorable.

Joann and Worldwide PB famously won gold in the grade IB individual championship test at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. In winning gold in the Individual 1B Joann dethroned ten-time gold Paralympic medal winner Lee Pearson.  In 2013 Formosa was awarded the FEI Against All Odds Award - which is presented to a person who has pursued her equestrian ambitions in the face of adversity.


Joans inspiring story to success

Photos by Roz Neave, Video by CNN Equestrian, Information sourced from Equestrian Australia and Wikipedia