Paralympic dressage rider Natasha Baker is one of six athletes from a variety of sports shortlisted for the Adidas Sports Personality of the Year category at this year’s European Diversity Awards.
Natasha, a grade III rider, scooped individual silver at this month’s World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina, riding Emma Blundell’s nine-year-old mare Mount St John Diva Dannebrog, as well as team silver for Great Britain alongside Sophie Wells, Lee Pearson and Erin Orford.
She will go up against the likes of the multi-medalled Olympians Sir Mo Farah and Nicola Adams for the prestigious award, which recognizes those who have made an outstanding contribution to equality, diversity and inclusion across Europe.
“I’m a little shocked to be honest, and actually lost for words for once — it was such an amazing honour to have been nominated, let alone shortlisted, and I feel really proud to be up for this award,” Natasha told H&H.
“Massive thanks to Diva as I wouldn’t have been nominated if it wasn’t for her — I’m really proud of our achievements this year.
“I can’t wait for the awards evening; it’s going to be a special night and it’s great to celebrate diversity and all things different in the world.”
The European Diversity Awards evening takes place on Thursday, 29 November at the Natural History Museum in London.
Natasha Baker and Mount St John Diva Dannebrog land their first medal together
The Netherlands makes history as Britain’s 23-year reign as champions of para dressage finally comes to an end
The Team GBR rider had barely started her freestyle test at the end of the afternoon when things unravelled in
Nastaha, 28, contracted transverse myelitis as a toddler, leaving her with permanent nerve damage, loss of balance and sensation and severe weakness in her legs.
She won two gold medals on her Paralympic debut at London 2012, before going on to claim triple gold at the Rio Paralympics in 2016, riding Cabral.
Alongside her riding career, she also works hard to help change people’s perception of disability, through work with charities such as Dreamflight.
Don’t miss H&H’s exclusive interview with Natasha, on sale on 4 October, as well as our full coverage from the para dressage at WEG, out now