Probably the most recognisable face in Para dressage, Sir Lee Pearson will see if his dominance can continue after spending much of 2017 away from the sport. He was part of the British team that captured silver at the 2018 World Equestrian Games.
Affectionately known as ‘The Godfather’ of British Para dressage, Pearson’s break is understandable. The funny, irreverent Pearson has 14 Paralympic medals in a career that started with a blast of three golds back at Sydney 2000. A further three followed at Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008, before a team gold, individual silver and bronze in 2012 at his home Games in London. A further silver and gold followed at Rio 2016. And let us not forget the many world and European titles he has picked up too.
Sir Lee was awarded his knighthood in the 2017 New Year’s honours list for both his sporting accomplishments and his charity work. He is an ambassador for three different organisations and also helps at his local shelter for the homeless.
“It’s great for Paralympic sport as well because no other competing Paralympian has ever been knighted and certainly no other competing rider in equestrian sport either,” Pearson said. “I love the recognition, not just for me but for all my support too. It does take getting used to though, but I’m still just Lee.”
Pearson, who was once famously carried up the stairs of the British Prime Minister’s residence of 10 Downing Street by Margaret Thatcher when he was just a boy, lives with arthrogryposis multiplex congenita, which causes congenital joint contractures.