Sophie Wells, born in May 1990, is a grade IV paradressage rider.
She has achieved eight championship gold medals between her two top horses – Pinocchio (Noki) and Valerius (Reece).
Sophie was born with amniotic band syndrome, affecting her hands and ankles. This caused nerve damage in her lower legs, loss of feeling and movement in her feet and the loss of fingers.
Although allergic to horses as a child, Sophie was keen to learn to ride so started attending her local riding school aged seven and went on to get her first pony, Crystal.
Sophie’s riding interest and competitive career continued to grow until she was talent spotted in 2003 whilst riding in an under-21 able-bodied competition.
This led to her being selected on to the World Class Programme.
Sophie has achieved great success on Noki, with whom she won three paradressage European gold medals in Norway in 2009 and two paradressage gold medals at the World Equestrian Games 2010 in Kentucky. Sophie and Noki were also successful at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, winning two individual silver medals and one team gold.
Her other horse, Reece, went on to win three gold medals at the Para European Championships in 2011.
Sophie also competes successfully in able-bodied competitions.
Her idol is dressage rider Laura Bechtolsheimer, who won team gold and individual silver at London 2012.
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