Tandem skydive disappointment for para show jumpers

  • Three disabled show jumpers had to shelve their plans for a 13,000 foot sky dive on Wednesday, despite training for hours.

    Emily Lawes of Bexhill, East Sussex, Alison Betteley from Essex and Rachel Maddocks, also from Essex, were be joined by Emily’s husband Andy for the tandem parachute jump at Headcom Parachute Club in Kent.

    The riders are members of the British Para Show Jumping Association (BPSJA), whose aim is to get para show jumping recognised as a Paralymic sport by 2016.

    But despite a full day of training the riders never got to jump as low cloud meant the visability was too poor for them to go up.

    Andy, who is the chairman of the BPSJA, said: “We want to raise awareness of the availability to disabled and visually impaired people of a sport some thought they would never be able to take part in again.

    “We hope to have another attempt in a couple of weeks’ time.”

    The idea for the jump came from the quizzical looks BSPJA members get when they say they do para jumping.

    “I get the same question asked to me time and time again — so you parachute onto your horse?” said Andy.

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