‘I like to come out of a test feeling happy’: trailblazer Georgia Wilson leads British hopes at early stage of World Para Dressage Championships

  • British trailblazers Georgia Wilson and Sakura set the nation’s World Para Dressage Championships hopes alight with a +71% score in the individual contest. The pair’s performance put them provisional second in the grade II results at this early stage.

    Sakura, an eight-year-old mare who Georgia piloted to double Tokyo Paralympic bronze last year, looked a little on her toes today (10 August) at the Orifarm Healthcare FEI World Para Dressage Championships, presented by Elsass Fonden.

    “It was nice to get the first test out the way. I like coming out of a test and feeling happy, and I feel like I’ve achieved that,” said Georgia, who scored 71.46%.

    This is Georgia’s first World Championships, but she is no stranger to the pressure of riding for medals. She won gold on her senior championship debut at the 2019 Europeans, riding Midnight, and dazzled at her first Paralympics with Sakura in Japan.

    Her talent and cool head shone today, filling the Supertramp mare with confidence as the test progressed, ending with a super halt. Georgia’s trademark beaming smile lighting up the arena.

    “Everything felt as smooth as I could get it and she liked the atmosphere,” said Georgia, musing she wishes they were riding in the main stadium at these championships.

    “It’s taken a while to get her to flick her toes in the medium [trot], but I feel like she’s getting used to it.”

    She added “Suki” has developed to become a much more forward horse and she now has to relax in the saddle to get her to slow down.

    “The leg yield [was a highlight for me], that felt really nice and forward into the contact,” said Georgia, who co-owns Suki with her parents, Geoff and Julie Wilson.

    The change of format for this year’s World Para Dressage Championships means riders perform the “team” test in this individual competition, with the results deciding individual medals and serving as the first qualifier for the freestyle.

    US rider Beatrice de Lavalette holds provisional gold with championship debutant Sixth Sense on 71.76%, with Germany’s Heidemarie Dresing and La Boum in bronze on 70.97%.

    Sir Lee Pearson and Breezer will be the next British combination into the arena at 1.56pm local time (12.56pm UK time).

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