Beijing Paralympic gold medallist crowned RDA horse of the year

  • A former ride of Paralympian Sophie Christiansen has been named Riding for the Disabled (RDA) horse of the year at the annual RDA awards.

    Lambrusco, a 25-year-old 16.2 grey warmblood gelding based at the South Buckinghamshire RDA centre, is owned by the Para Dressage Training Trust and was nominated along with 27 other horses for the award.

    Helen Burt, yard manager at South Buckinghamshire RDA told H&H: “The reason for nominating Lambrusco as RDA horse of the year is down to his ability to still help riders achieve their dreams even at the age of 25.”

    Lambrusco joined the centre in January 2007. The following year, he represented Britain at the Beijing Paralympic Games with Sophie, winning team and individual gold medals and an individual silver.

    “Since then he has given so much pleasure to several other riders who have gone on to compete him successfully at various different events,” said Helen. “He has been lent to two riders from other RDA groups who were delighted to have the opportunity to compete him.

    “He is a wonderful horse who just keeps giving and helped one of our riders, Susan Wintour, to win the RDA Dressage Anywhere grade 1 championship with a score of 77.94%. We couldn’t do without horses like Lambrusco, who are genuine and kind, enabling us to continue realising dreams.”

    Susan Wintour told H&H: “It has been a privilege to ride such a great horse for the last five years. He is a horse in a million, a joy to ride, sensitive to the slightest aid, and a champion till the end of his competing life.”

    Lambrusco is still actively involved at the centre being used weekly by riders. He works on the lead rein and in private walk sessions with independent riders.

    Award panel judge and equine coordinator for RDA UK Lottie Hansford said: “Lambrusco has achieved and given so much to RDA riders. He is a true star to be able to cater for riders aged from eight to 75 – you have to be something special. It was only right to give him this award.”

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