Three riders carrying British hopes revealed for Tokyo Paralympic team competition

  • Tokyo gold medallist Sir Lee Pearson spearheads the experienced British trio of riders selected for the Paralympic team competition.

    The change in format for this year’s Games means teams have shrunk from four to three and there is no drop score. It runs over two days (28 and 29 August) and the trio of riders from each nation that will compete for the team medals were announced after the individual contest.

    Grade II rider Lee, who already held the record for the most Paralympic individual gold medals ahead of the Games before taking his tally to eight on Thursday (26 August), will be first to go for the team aboard his own 10-year-old Breezer.

    He is joined by Tokyo grade III individual silver medal-winners Natasha Baker and Keystone Dawn Chorus, owned by Joanna Jensen, Christian Landolt, and her parents Phil and Lorraine Baker.

    Sophie Wells and her grade V individual silver medal-winning partner Don Cara M, owned by Roland Kinch, completes the team.

    Britain has won dressage team gold at every Paralympics since the sport joined the Games in 1996. The side faces strong competition, in particular from the Dutch – gold medallists at the 2018 World Equestrian Games and the 2019 Europeans – and the US.

    While the three British team riders have a wealth of past Paralympic experience to draw on, this is the first senior championship for all of their horses. But with a full-house of individual medals across the opening two days of competition, the side has shown they are not to be underestimated.

    Britain’s fourth squad member Georgia Wilson, who won individual bronze on her Paralympic debut here earlier in the week with her own and Geoff and Julie Wilson’s Sakura,  will be back in action on Monday to contest the freestyle medals. Sophie, Lee and Natasha have also all qualified for the freestyle.

    The team test will be set to background music for the first time this year, but unlike the freestyle, riders must follow a set floorplan defined by their grade and there are no marks for artistic interpretation.

    The choice of music will not be judged as it is there to “make the test more attractive to the audience and the media, and to allow the athlete to show some more personality”.

    Tokyo Paralympic dressage: British team start times

    Saturday (28 August)

    Grade II: Sir Lee Pearson (Breezer) 5.32pm (9.32am BST)
    Grade III: Natasha Baker (Keystone Dawn Chorus) 9.16pm (1.16pm BST)

    Sunday (29 August)

    Grade V: Sophie Wells (Don Cara M) 6.56pm (10.56am BST)

    View the full list of teams and start times

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