Para Nationals at Hickstead
The Paras all headed down to Sussex this week for their National Championships, which doubled as a selection trial for the Paralympics later this year in London.
They brought good weather with them as well as a good crowd of noisy supporters setting the scene for London. The standard was impressively high with some lesser-known combinations improving to challenge some of the established ones.
The star of the day was Sophie Christianson and Janeiro 6 (pictured above) who won the Grade 1a with a score of 85.13%. In doing so she beat multiple medal winner Anne Dunham on both her old campaigner Teddy Edwards as well as her new horse the Knabstrupper stallion LJT Lucas Normark. Sophie went on to win the freestyle beating the winners of all the other grades including Sophie Wells and Lee Pearson.
Lee Pearson and Gentleman, on 81.20%, continued their winning ways in the Grade 1b and Natasha Baker and Cabral were impressive winners on the Grade II on 76.19%.
In Grade III Nicky Thompson on the beautiful black Welt Santa Cruz beat the experienced Deb Criddle on LJT Achilles by the narrowest of margins, 73.58% and 73.42% (441.5 marks to 440.5). In grade IV Sophie Wells was in a class of her own on both her horses Pinocchio and Valerius.
A few photos below and full results on the Hickstead Website.