British Paralympic dressage squad named

By: Horse Deals


British Paralympic dressage squad named
British Paralympic dressage squad named

Paralympian Lee Pearson (grade Ib), who rides Mr and Mrs D Pearson, Gillian Chinn and his own Gentleman, is set to make his fourth Paralympics GB appearance alongside Deborah Criddle (grade III) with The Lady Joseph Trust’s LJT Akilles.

Grade Ia rider Sophie Christiansen (Janeiro 6) will make her third games appearance, while grade IV rider Sophie Wells (Pinocchio) and grade II rider Natasha Baker (Cabral) are Paralympic selection first-timers.

Britain’s Paralympic riders topped the medal table in Beijing in 2008 winning five gold medals, including team gold for the fourth consecutive games.

Paralympic Equestrian team leader, David Hunter said: "Great Britain will be sending what I believe to be one of the strongest and best prepared squads to the Paralympic Games.

"The five riders and their support teams have worked extremely hard all the way through the selection process and my heartfelt congratulations goes to them; as well as my condolences to those who did not make the squad."

Lee Pearson said:: "It’s a huge relief to get the nod and a great honour to be going to my fourth Paralympic Games, the feeling still hasn’t worn off.

"It feels surreal at the minute but I’m really looking forward to it; we have a very strong squad and with the home crowd behind you the support there will be great but there will be that extra added pressure. I don’t think I’ll ever be going to a Games in this country again and I really can’t wait to get there".

Natasha Baker, who became European individual and freestyle grade II champion on her senior team debut last year, said: "It’s a complete dream come true, I’ve always dreamt about it since Sydney in 2000, and after twelve years of hard work it’s finally paid off, it really is the most incredible feeling ever. I’m not on cloud nine – more like 109!

"It will be amazing to have all my friends and family there in London; it will be very special to have the feeling that you have the whole country behind you."

Equestrian performance director, Will Connell said: "This completes the selection process for London 2012, with the action kicking off in 18 days. We head to London with talented squads that are well prepared; preparation that has been greatly aided by the Lottery and Exchequer funding we receive through UK Sport.

"The squad heading the Paralympic Games is strong, talented and has proven form; but anyone thinking it will be an easy ride to winning medals is greatly mistaken – I believe we will see very close competition during the Paralympics and there are many athletes from a number of nations that will be fighting hard to get ownership of the medals".

 

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