‘I’m taking the best horse home’: How Sir Lee Pearson scooped Britain’s first para dressage medal of World Championships

  • Sir Lee Pearson has secured Britain’s first para dressage medal out in Herning, with individual bronze in the Orifarm Healthcare FEI World Para Dressage Championships results, after a classy performance aboard his homebred Breezer.

    Lee and the sensitive 11-year-old Bacardi gelding, whom he co-owns with David and Lynda Pearson and Jensen Guest, earned a score of 75.09% in this competitive grade II individual contest, for a podium finish.

    This partnership are so in tune with each other and Lee’s partnership with Breezer – a horse he has known since day one – is key to their success as a combination.

    “I was pleased with my riding, and I was pleased with my horse and whatever the results I’m still taking the best horse home,” said Lee, who partnered Breezer to triple gold at last year’s Tokyo Paralympics.

    “It felt really nice, there was one moment of tension in the walk – just before the right leg-yield. But he is a very sensitive horse and he hasn’t still seen that many audiences, really. So to stay as relaxed as he did [I’m delighted].

    “I have the habit of being a bit [too] relaxed in the trot work, but actually I’m still learning at my old age and I haven’t had him as engaged and as expressive as I can. To do well in these competitions now, you can’t just have a normal working trot, you’ve got to add that little bit of spice.”

    The horse looks to have developed even further in strength through his body from Tokyo, showing exceptional cadence and lift through his medium trot. He showed maturity in his brain, too, keeping cool despite cheers from the neighbouring arena mid-way through his test.

    “That didn’t affect him,” said the 14-time Paralympic gold medallist. “That would normally not be brilliant for Breezer, but I ignored it and he ignored that.

    “He just got a little bit perturbed when we were coming away from the end of the grandstand, before the walk leg-yield. Before now he would have cantered on the spot, spun, wanting to have a look at it and he stayed on the aid, so I’m really pleased.”

    World Para Dressage Championships results: +75% podium scores

    The final results were close, with all three riders on the podium earning +75% scores from the judges.

    Denmark secured another home victory – the second of these championships following the dressage team gold on Sunday (7 August) – with Katrine Kristensen and Goerklintgaards Quater scooping top honours in the grade II individual World Para Dressage Championships results on 75.79%. World number one Pepo Puch and Sailor’s Blue took silver with 75.33%.

    Britain’s Georgia Wilson and Sakura were fourth (71.46%), and the results mean both Lee and Georgia are in strong contention to qualify for Sunday’s freestyle (14 August).

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