An emotional Philippa Johnson got to hear the South African anthem in Europe this weekend after the three-time Paralympic equestrian posted a victory atop Lord Louis, writes Mark Etheridge.
It was a sour and sweet week for the Belgian based rider after being re-classified ahead of competition.
After competing at the CPEDI3* event she explained to Road to Rio 2016: ‘I was re-classified and unfortunately I’m no ger than I was in 2001 so according the the new FEI rule I started for the first time in Grade III.
I have to be honest, the first day in the Team Test I rode the test in anger which is never a clever idea. As a result there were too many forced mistakes and we finished sixth in a class of 11 horses with 66.63%.
‘Having been told by everyone nearest and dearest to me to “suck it up, let it go and just ride my horse”, I did just that the next day and guess what … it worked!
‘We won the class with 70.51%, it has been seven years since I have had our SA anthem played, it was even more emotional than in Hong Kong!’
For the Kur, Lord Louis really put his best hoof forward and gave me a cracker of a ride and we had a fabulous win with 76.90%!! The wins were made even more special by the fact that we had Caroline Potts there, so there was at least one South African to join the celebrations.
Source : South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee