The first British Team to compete at a World Para Reining Championship took the Silver medal position on the podium yesterday at the competition held by the Royal Dutch Equestrian Centre in Ermelo, Holland.
The team riders consisting of Sir Lee Pearson, Fiona Durston and Ricky Balshaw posted solid scores to only be beaten by the more experienced riders who flew in from Canada. First out, Ricky Balshaw, rode stallion Yelena My Way and banked a solid score.
“It felt really good to be back in the saddle and with a flag on my chest. I am really looking forward to Saturday,” said Ricky.
Fiona Durston rode Smart Like Valentino in a fluid and graceful test to post the high score of the day while Lee Pearson on Shiners Lenas Oak brought the result home with an accurate and precise ride to seal the Team silver.
"With Ricky having already posted a score I was in a great position to go for It a little more and Tino knew exactly what to do.," said Fiona. "think we both really enjoyed it."
Lee Pearson described the experience as exciting. "Showing a wonderful, well behaved horse in a different discipline with a very enthusiast audience It is credit to the temperament and training on these horses I think this is a very exciting time for another Para Equestrian discipline," he said.
Chef D’Equipe Francesca Sternberg has also been delighted by the ability of these riders to cross over from the dressage arena to compete in a new sport and in a very short period of time.
"The medal is the icing on the cake and well deserved," she said. "They have all been an inspiration in the dressage world and now they have become the same in the reining arena, I am very proud of them and looking forward the Individual finals on Saturday."
The whole team would like to thank the owners of the horses and sponsors that made this all possible. All three riders will advance to the individual finals on Saturday.