‘Her passion was evident’: farewell to ‘central figure’ of para equestrian sport


  • Lynn Lawford, the former chair of the Dyffryn Ceiriog Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) group and international para classifier died on 18 December, aged 72.

    Born in Camberwell, south London, Mrs Lawford studied remedial gymnastics and became a chartered physiotherapist, working in cities around the UK.

    She took up a position at Barnet Hospital in north London and during this time, met her husband Kyran. In 1973, they moved to Ceiriog Valley, Wales, when Mrs Lawford started working on the spinal unit of an orthopaedic hospital.

    During the 1970s, Mrs Lawford “fell in love with the equestrian world” and bought her first horse. Through her work and ambition to help others and her love of horses, she became a long-term supporter of the RDA. She started a lifelong friendship with Anne Sopwith and helped Anne form the Dyffryn Ceiriog RDA group. Mrs Lawford later became chair of the group and was a great supporter of the Clwyd Special Riding Centre. She was also a regional physio for north Wales and sat on the RDA dressage committee.

    Following Mrs Lawford’s retirement from her full-time role as a community physio, she became a para equestrian classifier and was a “central figure” for British Equestrian’s (BEF) para classification system. She was a leading representative on the FEI national classification panel and compensating aids working group, and in her role as FEI classifier she travelled to major para equestrian competitions around the world, including several Paralympic Games, before her retirement last year.

    In November 2022, Mrs Lawford was awarded the BEF medal of honour for her “immeasurable contribution” to para equestrian sport, and her support of the development of the para equestrian classification system.

    “Lynn’s passion for para classification and equestrian sport was evident from the work which she has done for us,” said Lynn Bailey, BEF head of integrity and HR.

    “Her energy, commitment and selfless attitude resulted in many athletes both nationally and internationally being able to enjoy para equestrian competition in a way that would not be possible without people like Lynn to support them.”

    She is survived by her husband Kyran, and their sons Liam and Nick.

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