Team GB Paralympic Dressage Team claim Gold and Bronze at Tokyo 2020
The Team GB Paralympic Dressage Team claim Gold and Bronze at Tokyo 2020.
As the first day of equestrian action got under way at the Tokyo Paralympics, two Team GB members took to the stage. Six-time Paralympian, Sir Lee Pearson and Paralympian debutant Georgia Wilson both were competing in the Grade II competition.
Grade II competition is for those with great-moderate impairment, impacting their ability to ride. Lee has arthrogryposis, which meant the muscles in his arms and legs grew as scar tissue in the womb. Georgia has cerebal palsy, a group of lifelong condition effecting her balance and co-ordination.
Lee rode a stunning test in the Grade II individual competition. Claiming a “very emotional” gold medal, the medal became his 12th Paralympic gold and eighth individual Paralympic gold. Lee’s gold also sees him overtake Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and former swimmer Dave Roberts to sit third in the British all-time list.
Aboard his home-bred 10-year-old gelding Breezer, Lee scored 76.26%; a personal best for the pair. .
The gelding, born in Lee’s parents’ field, displayed his beautifully free, flowing paces, an impressive overtrack in the walk, as well as plenty of expression in the trotwork. Their test sheet was littered with eights. They also managed to score nines for their circles, lengthened walk, and Lee’s riding!
Talking to Channel 4, Lee, who was
I’m as emotional as the first – probably more,”
“I don’t think I’ve cried immediately after saluting at the end of a test before now.”
“I saw Breezer as a day-old in my parents’ field and to be here with him as a home-bred and win a gold medal – it’s literally fairy-tale stuff.”
“He’s very highly bred and he was getting tied up and tense because he knew it was a special day. He didn’t let me down, but he stayed with me and I’m really proud of him.”
“The judges love him now and I’m going to carry on taking him up the levels with able-bodied too. I just feel so lucky I’ve got horses in my life. They give me their legs, I’m useless at dancing in real life but we can dance here.”
Meanwhile, Georgia also took an early lead. Aboard seven-year-old Supertramp mare, Sakura, she secured the individual bronze at her Paralympic debut. The combination scored 72.76% continuing their 70%-plus streak.
Called up late to the Paralympic squad, Georgia excelled herself on the Paralympic stage!
Header Image; Sir Lee Pearson riding Breezer at the Tokyo Paralympics (British Equestrian/Jon Stroud)
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