The British para-equestrian dressage team won eleven medals throughout the Games with seven of the medals being gold, making it a Paralympics to remember.
“I’m beyond thrilled and delighted with the incredible performances the whole squad have been able to deliver on the Field of Play this week. For them to come out here and redeliver beyond what they did in London is beyond amazing,” said Para-Equestrian Dressage Performance Manager Sarah Armstrong.
Yesterday saw the Freestyle event, where all five British equestrians took to the arena claiming three golds and two silvers to add to the team gold which they were awarded with in the afternoon.
Grade IV’s Sophie Wells with Valerius, first to go for Great Britain made an impressive entrance down the centre line to new music, where the judges awarded her 76.150%. But just pipping her to the top spot was Belgium’s Michele George with a score of 76.3% to take the gold. “I’m incredibly proud, I’m so happy to come and get Individual Gold and now Silver, I went out there and really enjoyed it today. You dream of this stuff happening and when it does happen it’s amazing,” said Sophie.
Next for Great Britain was the turn of thirteen-time Paralympic medallist Lee Pearson with Zion in the Grade Ib class. They performed their routine to a soundtrack from the Avengers, with superb movements in the working trot and halts, which saw them score 77.400%, to take Gold. “I have the best horse and the best team and it all came together today,” said Lee.
Immediately after Grade 1b the Grade Ia’s took to the arena. Anne Dunham was the first up for Great Britain with Lucas Normark where the pair rode to uplifting music which showed Lucas off to the judges winning them a score of 76.050%. Next in for Great Britain was Sophie Christiansen aboard Athene Lindebjerg who were awarded high scores for their medium walk and transitions giving them a well-deserved score of 79.700% making it a British one-two for the second day running, with Sophie taking the Gold and Anne the Silver.
Last to go for Great Britain was Natasha Baker and Cabral in the Grade II who already had won two Golds this Games. The duo rode their routine to music from the film Avatar where they excelled in horse/rider harmony and choreography to see a final score of 77.850% giving them Gold again. “I can’t believe it, it’s just a dream come true,” said Natasha, “for our last championship test together I think it was just magical. He deserves to go out with a bang and after the five Paralympic Gold medals he’s won, three here and two in London, he’s a legend. It’s been an amazing competition and even more successful than London and to come here and do that, all that work has just paid off,” said Natasha.