Sophie Christiansen, British paradressage rider

  • Born in November 1987 in Berkshire with cerebral palsy, Sophie Christiansen is a grade 1A paradressage rider and one of the youngest para riders for Great Britain.

    Sophie was two months premature and suffered a lot of difficulties at birth, including a heart attack and a collapsed lung.

    As she grew older it was recommended that she joined the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) as a form of physiotherapy.

    Sophie’s riding interest continued to grow, so she moved to South Bucks RDA to begin a competitive career.

    Aged just 16 Sophie became the youngest athlete to compete for Great Britain in the 2004 Paralympics in Athens where she won bronze.

    This huge success was recognised with Sophie being awarded the BBC London Disabled Athlete of the Year in 2004 and she still wears the Union Jack socks she wore to Athens to major competitions for luck!

    Sophie’s success continued with winning three gold medals for paradressage at the 2005 European Championships in Hungary and later a gold and bronze at the 2007 World Championships.

    This progressed to Sophie and horse Lambrusco competing at Beijing in 2008 and coming home with individual silver, gold and team gold. Sophie also had success at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, on Janeiro 6, winning two individual gold medals and team gold.

    As well as training for a Maths degree from London University, Sophie was appointed an MBE in 2009, recognising her contribution to Paralympic sport.

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