Sophie Wells, 22, is a talented young dressage rider who has represented her country in both able-bodied and paralympic championships, winning team gold and two individual Grade IV silver medals at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Hi everyone, and welcome to my first Horse & Hound blog. I’ve been living a crazy rollercoaster over the past five years, so if you are interested in my life, including getting behind the scenes at some of the biggest competitions around the world, jump on board and ride the rollercoaster with me.
I think it’s fair to say that last year was the biggest year of my life so far. Being selected to compete for Britain at my first Paralympic Games was massive — the experience really was something that will take a lot of beating, let alone coming home with one gold and two silver medals!
Life has been quite surreal since the games, something I don’t think any of us was quite prepared for. And my MBE really put the icing on a very special cake. Being part of 2012 was a massive honour — it was amazing to be part of such an iconic year and I will be forever thankful to all the people around me that have made it possible.
However, now it’s 2013 and we look ahead to the future. I’m very excited about what’s to come. My diary is filling fast and trying to combine competing at different levels is proving tricky! While campaigning for the young rider team and paras, I learnt that it’s very important to be organised, so that’s what I’m trying to be now. Pinocchio (Sophie’s London ride, pictured below) is now retiring from para competitions, but we are going to try our hand at grand prix and see how we get on. I haven’t competed at grand prix before so it’s a little daunting as well as exciting.
My second horse for paras for the past few years, Reece, has stepped up and will be my top para horse. I think he will enjoy the attention and focus as we work towards the Europeans this year. And I’m hoping to get my young horse Tango out to a few regional shows at the lower levels this year to gain some experience, as well as going to some squad training sessions. We are also on the look out for a potential 2016 Rio horse to campaign alongside Reece, so if anyone knows of one do get in touch.
During recent weeks we have squad training at the lovely Unicorn Trust, the BETA International trade fair, which was a great opportunity to catch up with a lot of my fantastic sponsors, plus a photo shoot, magazine articles and much more to fit in after picking up the horses from being snowed in for two weeks! So it’s been busy busy busy…
Until next time,