A former Wanganui-owned Hanoverian stallion, Worldwide PB, will carry the hopes of Australian rider Joann Formosa at the Paralympics in London later this year.
Worldwide PB was imported from Germany as a young horse by Wanganui studmaster Berny Maubach, of Vollrath Stud in Kaikokopu Road and was used extensively as a stallion, crossing particularly well with Maubach's Dynamit and Genius mares. Worldwide's daughters at the stud are now being bred to Vollrath's current competition stallion Lessing, and the younger sire Furst Patrick.
Arriving in Wanganui as a four-year-old, Worldwide was already broken in but was a greenhorn when it came to the show ring.
Maubach's wife, Jutta Rosenblatt put him through his paces, taking him through to Prix St George level, the first level for international competition.
The pair won the New Zealand National Novice Championship and Medium Horse of the Year title.
The need to bring new bloodlines to Vollrath Stud prompted Maubach to sell Worldwide to Australian rider Claire Seidl-Wickens in 2006.
Since then, Worldwide has gained selection to compete at the Paralympics this year and realise a childhood dream for 51-year-old Victorian Formosa to represent her country.
"Since I was a child, it's been a dream of mine to represent Australia. I was told that I would never ride again so to be at this level is just fantastic. Wearing the uniform and seeing the Australian flag hanging in the stadium will be unreal," Formosa said.
As a result of his performances, Worldwide was approved as a Hanoverian breeding stallion in 2009, joining a select group of just eight other horses in Australia. In New Zealand, only four stallions are approved.
Maubach and Rosenblatt congratulated Formosa and her team on the selection, saying: "We promise to keep all our fingers and toes crossed for a successful competition. Keep your nerve Joann ... just sock it to them!"
Worldwide was bought by Formosa in December 2011 and the combination have trained with Manuela McLean since February.
The Grade 1b Paralympic section requires a dressage test involving medium to collected walk, a quarter walk pirouette and a long rein walk, as well as working trot and lengthening in the trot.
This has meant Worldwide has had to learn how to work under very different aids.
"Jo's injuries through accidents on horses have disabled her so much that she has very little leg strength (she walks with crutches), as well as very poor arm strength, however, she is strong in her core and rides him exceptionally well," McLean said.
Also on the Australian equestrian team is Hannah Dodd, 20, Rob Oakley, 50, and Grace Bowman, 22.