Grade 1B paradressage rider Ricky Balshaw was born in November 1986 in Shropshire with cerebral palsy and began riding aged four to help with his exercise therapy.

This led to a keen interest in riding and Ricky later went on to join the national squad, aged just 14.

It is well known amongst his fellow competitors that Ricky refuses to wear the colour green as he believes it is unlucky. His superstition was later confirmed when he was bucked off whilst carrying a green whip.

Ricky has had some great successes, such as being selected as first reserve for Athens in 2004. He went on to win bronze at the 2007 paradressage World Championships and then progressed even further to win silver at Beijing in 2008.

Ricky continued this success winning silver for paradressage at the 2010 World Equestrian Games. However his career was put on hold following a fall whilst training in July 2011, resulting in a broken back.

Fellow competitor Lee Pearson also suffered a broken back at a similar time.

Ricky has recovered from his injury well, and with the help of trainers Lisa Garland and Michael Assouline is hoping to be selected for London 2012 with horse SunnyBoy, aspiring to his uncle Richie Woodhall, an Olympic boxer.

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