Lee Pearson is a multiple gold medallist in the sport of para dressage. He has won 14 Paralympic gold medals, mostly recently claiming triple gold at the Tokyo Paralympics in 2021 with his home-bred gelding Breezer.
A grade II rider, Lee has a condition called arthrogryposis – this is when a foetus’s muscles don’t grow correctly while in the womb and cause joints to be limited in movement at birth. Lee had to have 15 operations and still can’t move his ankles or knees, so he controls horses using his hips.
Lee discovered para dressage while watching the 1996 Atlanta Paralympics on TV aged 18. He has gone on to win team gold at every Paralympic Games he has competed. He took the triple title (team, individual and freestyle) at the 2000 Sydney Paralympics, 2004 Athens Paralympics and 2008 Beijing Paralympics, setting an equestrian world record by being unbeaten at three consecutive Paralympic Games.
In 2003, he became the only disabled person to have won a title at the British Dressage National Championships competing against able-bodied riders when he took the 2003 elementary restricted title. Awarded an MBE in 2001 and an OBE in 2005 in recognition of his monumental equestrian success and services to sport for the disabled; he then received a CBE in the 2009 New Year Honours List for services to equestrianism and disabled sport.
At the London Olympics in 2012, Lee won team gold, and individual silver and bronze. Four years later he added another individual gold and individual silver to his collection at Rio 2016.