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Paralympic Sports: Equestrian

Day One of Hartpury Gives First Indicators for Selectors

The Great Britain team is striving to put on its best performance as selectors are getting closer to making a decision on which five riders will make it to London 04 Jul 2012
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rider on horse

Deborah Criddle competed on her horse Pavaroti in Beijing 2008

ⒸGetty Images
By IPC

All riders are eagerly waiting to find out who will be selected for the Great Britain team at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, and their performance this week will play a key role in the selectors’ decision-making.

On the first day of the Hartpury Festival of Dressage, Great Britain’s Sophie Christiansen, Lee Pearson, Natasha Baker, Deborah Criddle and Sophie Wells have all won gold in their respective Team Test events.

The same riders were also gold medallists at the British Para National Championships in Hickstead from 18-19 June.

All riders are eagerly waiting to find out who will be selected for the Great Britain team at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, and their performance this week will play a key role in the selectors’ decision-making.

In grade Ia, Christiansen on Janeiro 6 scored 81.353%, beating five-time Paralympic gold medallist Anne Dunham on LJT Lucas Normark with 74.059% and Emma Sheardown on Purdy’s Dream with 72.824%.

Pearson triumphed on Gentleman in grade Ib with a score of 78.318%, beating teammate Susanna Wade on Fanisk All Sorts (65.227%) and South Africa’s Marion Milne on Shadow (62.409%).

Baker was the gold medallist in grade II, scoring 72.381%. Teammate Erin Orford came second with 71.381% and Ireland’s Eilish Byrne was third with 69.667%. Jo Pitt, who is also up for selection in grade II, came fourth on Estralita with 69.095%.

Criddle, riding LJT Akilles, won grade III with 71.047%, and Wells was the strongest rider in grade IV with Pinnochio, scoring 70.250%.

The event continues on Thursday with the Individual Championship Test.

Hartpury Festival of Dressage continues until 8 July with 37 para-equestrian riders from eight countries, including Argentina, Australia, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, South Africa and the US Virgin Islands competing.