Natasha Baker MBE is a British grade III para dressage rider who has won 11 gold and five silver medals at senior championships on three different rides – Cabral, Sookie St James and Mount St John Diva Dannebrog.
When Natasha was 14 months old, she contracted transverse myelitis (inflammation of a section across the spine), which resulted in permanent nerve damage, leaving her with a severe weakness, loss of balance and sensation, and the inability to feel her legs.
Natasha, who hails from Uxbridge in Middlesex, joined her local branch of the Riding for the Disabled Association aged nine. She decided on her equestrian career after watching the Sydney Paralympic Games on TV in 2000, setting herself the goal of winning a gold medal one day.
The 31-year-old made her championship debut at the 2011 Europeans aboard the late Cabral, winning individual and freestyle gold – a feat they repeated at their first Paralympics in London 2012. In all, the partnership won 11 gold medals together.
She was awarded an MBE in the 2012 New Year Honours list, was named Sports Personality of the Year at the 2018 European Diversity Awards and has built up a successful commentary career alongside her riding.
Natasha has been selected as part of the British squad for the Tokyo Paralympics, aboard Joanna Jensen, Christian Landolt, Phil Baker and her own 10-year-old mare Keystone Dawn Chorus (“Lottie”). This will be the mare’s first senior championship and the combination head to the Games on the back of a hat-trick of wins at Hartpury CPEDI, their final pre-Tokyo international competition.