Ex-Quirindi’s Melissa Lowe to create freestyle routine for Australian paralympian team | The Northern Daily Leader

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An ex-Quirindi woman will create freestyle routines for the Australian paralympian team’s qualifier for the Tokyo Olympics. Melissa Lowe of Fortissimo Freestyles said she was recommended to the head coach of the team and was “very honoured” when she was chosen for the task last week. Ms Lowe said she had worked with paralympians over the course over her 20-plus year career and wants to do “anything I can do to help people represent our country”. Read also: She said freestyles were “like figure skating on horseback” and she worked with riders and horses to find out their strengths and weaknesses. “I write the choreography for them and then set it to music … when I edit, I match the phrasing of the music to the movements of the horse so when there is a big crescendo in the music, the horse will be doing an extended trot, for example, with quieter phrasing for the pirouettes and so on,” she said. “It’s a mosaic of music and I work together with the rider to choose music that honours the horse with regards to its breed, style, colour, movement, personality and the story that that particular horse and rider combination want to tell. “I really like that it gives people so much satisfaction to have something really special with horses that’s different to the norm. I think horses are such beautiful creatures and to be able to honour them and show them at their best through music is such a privilege.” Ms Lowe said her horse Aria was the “inspiration behind the business” and was the first horse she did choreography for “back in the days of tapedecks”. In the early 2000s, she put her hand up to choreograph a routine for the Quirindi dressage team, which she was part of, and thought: “why haven’t I done this?”. “It was like a natural progression,” she said. “I started researching and realised that not really anyone was doing it at that stage, so I got a website up and started running it and never looked back.” Ms Lowe said she could do freestyles full-time if it weren’t for Australia‘s rules around qualifying. “In Australia, you have to qualify to write a freestyle. Anywhere else in the world, you’ve got to ride a freestyle to qualify. I wish it was that way here because then I could do it full-time,” she said. The Australian paralympian team will compete in a qualifying round in May.


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