The para-equestrian dressage team once again dominated the world stage winning a total 13 medals at this year’s Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (25th September – 10th October).
‘The Magnificent Seven’, as they have been dubbed, finished on a high with seven gold medals, including team gold for Sophie Christiansen, Lee Pearson, Jo Pitt and Anne Dunham, and World Champions in six tests. The performance was Britiain’s best ever at a major championship and maintains our unbeaten team record; GB has won team gold at every Paralympic, World and European championship.
Stunning performances from Sophie Christiansen, Anne Dunham and Emma Sheardown in the grade Ia class saw two all-British podiums, with clean sweeps in both the Individual and Freestyle tests. Scoring 76.100, Sophie scooped the Individual Championship ahead of Anne and Emma who took silver and bronze respectively.
Sophie commented on her Championship win, “He was amazing! I’m so happy with my horse, he really looked after me and this is my highest score ever.”
It was a different story in the grade Ia Freestyle as Emma pipped Sophie to the gold with a score of 78.550%, while Anne took the bronze.
Not to be outdone, the grade Ib riders, Lee Pearson and Ricky Balshaw took the top spots, gold and silver respectively, in the Individual Championship class. Lee took his gold medal total to three with a gold in the Ib Freestyle test, recording a staggering 82.500%.
Lee commented; “He warmed up beautifully but once we got in the arena, he dropped off my leg and made me work. I’m over the moon with the score but he could have helped me a bit more!”
Sophie Wells contributed the first and the last won medals of the para-equestrian dressage event, producing two golden performances to take World titles in the grade IV Individual and Freestyle competitions.
“I’m so proud of Noki (Pinocchio),” said Sophie. “Gold number two at the World Equestrian Games, it’s been so amazing!”
Jo Pitt added to her team gold on Saturday with an individual bronze in the grade II Freestyle; “I went out there and enjoyed myself”, said Jo, “I really didn’t know what to expect and just went in and did my best. It’s amazing to be here and see the best of everything.”