‘Exciting time’ for para reining as Brits bag silver

  • The first British team to compete at the World Para Reining Championships have won silver.

    Lee Pearson, Ricky Balshaw and Fiona Durston made up the medal-winning team at the competition in Ermelo, Holland, on Thursday (6 July).

    Dressage may be the discipline these three riders are best known for, but the trio had proved their reining prowess by qualifying on their first attempt at the Garden of England Spring Show (26-30 May).

    “Showing a wonderful, well-behaved horse in a different discipline with a very enthusiastic audience is credit to the temperament and training of these horses,” said multiple Paralympic medallist Lee.

    “I think this is a very exciting time for another para equestrian discipline.”

    For Ricky, who rode stallion Yelena My Way, this marks a return to equestrian sport after retiring from dressage and stepping down from the British squad a year ago.

    “It felt really good to be back in the saddle and with a flag on my chest,” he said.

    Fiona added that both she and her horse, Tino, “really enjoyed it”.

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    The gold medal went to an experienced Canadian team, with Belgium and Germany tied for bronze.

    All three riders have qualified for the individual finals, which take place today (Saturday, 8 July).

    “I am really delighted,” said chef d’equipe Francesca Sternberg.

    “These riders have crossed over from the dressage arena to compete in a new sport and in a very short period of time achieved an incredible amount.

    The medal is the icing on the cake and well deserved. They have all been an inspiration in the dressage world and now they have become the same in the reining arena.

    “I am very proud of them and looking forward the individual finals.”

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