At the half-way stage in the para-equestrian dressage team competition the current Paralympic champions, Great Britain, are leading the standings with two more days of competition to go until the team medals are confirmed.
The final team rider for Great Britain, Natasha Baker with Cabral, owned by Christian Landolt and Phil and Lorraine Baker, were the last combination for GB in the Deodoro arena earlier this morning getting their Paralympics underway with the Grade II Team test.
After Cabral spooked just before entering the arena, Natasha proved just how skilled a rider she is and proceeded to produce a lovely test with the fifteen year old bay gelding to see a score of 71.882% awarded to take the top spot in the class.
Commenting afterwards Natasha said; “I’m so, so proud of him. I had to work really, really hard through that test; the atmosphere got to him a little bit, I had to really calm him down after that spook. He was really nervous and I had to keep his confidence throughout the whole thing; I’m really pleased he settled so quickly which gives me confidence for the next couple of days.
“I couldn’t have done anything more in the lead up to the Games and I couldn’t have done anything more in the arena. He tried his best and that’s what we came here to do.”
After three great Team tests yesterday from the other team members, Sophie Christiansen, Anne Dunham and Sophie Wells, Great Britain head into the final two days of the team competition (Wednesday and Thursday) currently sitting at the top of the leaderboard with a total score of 225.884, with Germany just behind with 218.602 and The Netherlands currently third with 215.558.
Tomorrow sees the first day of the Individual Championship tests, with Sophie Wells up first for ParalympicsGB in the Grade IV class, before Lee Pearson competes in the afternoon in the Grade Ib class. For team members, the scores from their Individual Championship tests are added to their Team test scores. The three highest total scores (for teams of four) are then added together to arrive at a team total, which decides the medals.
Full results from today’s tests can be found on the Rio 2016 website