Britain’s Natasha Baker takes over provisional gold medal position at Tokyo Paralympics

  • Britain’s Natasha Baker has shot into the lead with a super test in the grade III individual Paralympic dressage at the Tokyo Games.

    Natasha and the 10-year-old Dimaggio mare Keystone Dawn Chorus, who is owned by Joanna Jenson, Christian Landolt and the Baker family, are competing at their first championship as a combination, but produced an assured, and very harmonious performance to earn 76.32% – enough to put her ahead of the Netherlands’ Rixt van der Horst and Findsley.

    Natasha’s test was mistake-free and gorgeously fluent, with smooth transitions, expressive medium trot and lots of suppleness shown by this lovely mare, who is known as Lottie at home, and was purchased from Beth Bainbridge in 2019 for Natasha to aim at the Tokyo Paralympic dressage. The pair gelled fast, and here they scored highly across the board, with at least one eight for almost every movement.

    “I’m so, so happy with Lottie; she was amazing out there and did me proud,” said Natasha. “I don’t think it was the best test we’ve done this year. But the most important thing was she went in there and she let me ride her, and I gave her a nice, confidence-giving round.”

    There was some concern shortly after Lottie’s arrival in Tokyo, with Natasha explaining that the mare didn’t eat during her journey to the Games, so the team was keeping a close eye on her. Thankfully her appetite quickly returned and the pair have been thriving in the Tokyo heat.

    However, there is still some stiff competition to come in this very competitive grade III class, with the likes of Denmark’s Tobias Thorning Jorgensen, Germany’s Steffen Zeibig and the USA’s Rebecca Hart yet to come.

    Natasha will be hoping to hold on to a podium place, and add another medal to those won yesterday by the other members of the British squad.

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