Paralympic gold medallist Sophie Wells is planning to set up a new Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) group at her training base in Nottingham.

Sophie had been thinking of starting a group for a while but, since the London 2012 Games, decided to help para riders in her area rise from grass roots level to international competition. She hopes the group will be up and running within the next few months.

“We don’t have a group locally and, as we already base ourselves around disability riding, it made sense,” said Sophie. “We will soon be looking for ponies to join our team, and donations to help it all get up and running.

“Our aim is to provide riding for therapy, but also a link between RDA and para sport for those who want to progress. It’s exciting, but there’s a lot of paperwork to wade through.”

The group will be based in Papplewick and will be chaired by Angela Weiss, Sophie’s coach, who will also provide training.

“It is fantastic that Sophie has decided to use her success to inspire more people to ride at all levels,” said the RDA’s Ed Bracher.

“The RDA is really excited to be working with Sophie and we are looking forward to a successful group.”

This article was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (27 February 2014)