Para riders excel at the winter championships at Myerscough College Para Winter Championships in Lancashire
“HE’S going great guns,” said Lee Pearson of his Tokyo Paralympic prospect Breezer III, who headed the grade II individual with 75.39%. “I asked for more power and cadence than I usually dare to, and he responded well and was marked accordingly.”
Lee’s aim with the low-mileage and “sensitive” 10-year-old is plenty of exposure to big show atmosphere in the Games run-up.
“We’re trying to get him between the white boards,” explained Lee, adding that the Bacardi son can react to noise but will be able to wear ear muffs. “He is one of the most talented horses I’ve had and his way of going is so much stronger now. He has the qualities I like, and judges like.”
Ashleigh-Rose Turner claimed four classes at grade II with Soensmindes Sylvester, with scores well into the 70% zone.
“Sylvester looks after me so well and would never put a foot wrong,” said Ashleigh-Rose, who teamed up with the Danish warmblood gelding in 2017, three years after suffering a brain injury in a car accident. “Mette Assouline found him and we train with Jess Thomson. In my wildest dreams I’d ride him at a Paralympics.”
Laura Scott scored a grade IV win with her ex-point-to-point gelding Winged Action. According to Laura, a former amateur jockey and eventer who sustained spinal injuries in a fall from a young horse, a relaxed, trainable temperament has helped “Vinnie” switch between disciplines.
“He’s an attractive horse with a lot of presence,” she said. “The para tests seem to suit him.”
Stablemate Koko Pop also stepped up to a victory. Catherine Witt bought him for William Fox-Pitt to event, but Laura – who once worked for William – was handed the ride three years ago.
“I had to make him a bit lighter and more responsive to me, but he’s really smart,” said Laura, who trains with Sue Petty and Pammy Hutton. “He knows it all, so it’s really a case of pressing the right buttons.”
This report is also available to read in Horse & Hound magazine, on sale Thursday 10 June 2021
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