Great Britain’s para-equestrian dressage squad has been announced for the upcoming International Equestrian Federation (FEI) Para-Equestrian Dressage European Championships, which takes place on 17-20 September in in Deauville, France.
Competing at the event will be:
Sophie Christiansen on Athene Ljundberg (grade Ia): Christiansen is the current reigning European and Paralympic champion who also won the world title in individual test and silver medal in the freestyle.
Anne Dunham on Lucas Normark (grade Ia): The multi-Paralympic, European and world champion and medallist competed in her first ever European Championships in 2002. Even further back, she competed in the first Para-Equestrian Dressage competition at the Atlanta 1996 Paralympics.
Lee Pearson on Zion (grade Ib): The “Godfather” of British para-equestrian dressage, Pearson is a multi-Paralympic, world and European champion and returns to the Europeans after a four-year gap.
Natasha Baker on Sooki St James (grade II): Baker is the reigning European and Paralympic Champion, and world silver medallist in individual test.
Sophie Wells on Valerius (grade IV): The current reigning European Champion and Paralympic and World silver medallist in her category.
“I am absolutely over the moon,” said Pearson, who will return to European competition. “I am really nervously excited, being the current world champion in our grade with such competition coming from European countries, I think it will feel a bit like a Worlds again. It does still feel a bit surreal, but I have worked so hard this year, it is just really exciting to be selected.”
Added Chef d’Equipe for the team David Hunter: “The five that have been selected truly deserve to be representing Great Britain at the forthcoming European Championships. It is as strong a squad as ever and it is great to see some new horses coming through to make their senior team debuts.”