Golden glory for Britain

  • A fantastic performance by the six-strong British Paralympic squad saw Britain retain its World Championship title last weekend at the Paralympic World Championships in Moorsele, Belgium.

    As well as achieving a brilliant team result, Britain enjoyed individual success, including seven individual golds, and qualified comfortably for next year’s Athens Paralympic Games.

    Riding the first team tests on Friday, Britain’s Anne Dunham (Daydream II), Lee Pearson (Donnerking), pictured, Nicola Tustain (Prinz Heinrich) and Debbie Criddle (Figaro IX) made an ideal start to their championship challenge, winning each of their classes with more than 70%.

    The squad’s depth and strength was highlighted during the individual tests on Saturday, which yielded gold medals for Anne, Nicola and Debbie, who topped their classes with scores of 74.11%, 74.64% and 70.16% respectively.

    The combined score from the two days saw Britain take the World Championship title with a score of 436.25, 8.13 points ahead of the strong German team which took silver. Norway took the bronze medal with 413.47.

    On the final day all four British team riders took gold in their freestyle classes with scores in excess of 77%.

    The British individuals also had a successful event with individual bronze for 20-year-old Michelle Crunkhorn, while Ricky Balshaw, 16, finished fifth in the freestyle with 69.67%.

    World class performance manager, David Hunter says: “I couldn’t be more delighted. Not only did the team retain their World Championship title, but all six riders have performed brilliantly throughout.

    “The world-wide standard of Paralympic dressage has improved greatly and I’m very pleased that the Lottery funded systems and training are working well to help our riders continue to improve.”

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