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Para Home International: Snowdonia reaches the summit

last updated on June 08, 2016 15:18

Para Home International: Snowdonia reaches the summit

Last weekend, nine teams travelled from across the UK to Vale View Equestrian Centre in Leicestershire for the prestigious Para Home International (4-5 June 2016). The competition was hard-fought but only one team could raise the trophy, and the team to reach the peak, representing its homeland, was none other than Wales Snowdonia (pictured).

The team of Julia Horton (Grade III) with Premier Joyful Moon, Lorna Lee (Grade Ib) with Midnight, Denise Smith (Grade II) with Sheepcote Catkin and Georgia Wilson (Grade II) with Caraca reached the top of the leaderboard with a total team score of 424.84. An achievement made all the more remarkable as it was their third consecutive victory of the coveted title.

“I didn’t dare hope we’d pull off the hat-trick,” disclosed Wales Para Rep and chef d’equipe, Veronica Brewer, clearly thrilled with the performance of Wales Snowdonia. “To maintain this form is such an impressive achievement for the team. It’s a fitting reward for all their hard work.”

The Welsh quartet embraces a holistic approach to training with their four-legged teammates. “Even though they all have their own trainers, they meet as often as possible to ride in front of invited para dressage coaches. They also attend physio and sports psychology sessions two or three times a year, and they go to BD para training and camp,“ said Veronica, who was quick to thank Disability Sport Wales for its support. “Disability Sport Wales enables me to run this programme for the riders. It’s a huge help. They also paid for the horses’ stabling at Vale View, and my farrier Chris Roberts generously provided financial support.”

“Everybody mucked in together over the weekend,” said Veronica. “The riders got a bit stressed in the lead up to the competition but that’s when the sports psychology comes in. Once they’re there, it’s all fine. I couldn’t ask for a nicer bunch of people to work with.”

At the two-day festival, riders also had the opportunity to earn valuable points towards qualification for the Summer Restricted Championships at Solihull Riding Club in August. Diane Green, who hails from Gloucester earned 69.74% in the Grade Ia with Gunstone’s Pride, her nine-year-old roan daughter of Gunstone Iwondo D, a horse she only started competing this year.

Denise Smith and Sheepcote Catkin, her 18-year-old Cassander-sired mare scored 71.19% in the Grade II; Alicia Griffiths and Kate Fletcher’s 16-year-old chestnut mare, Just Arisca, were awarded 66.82% to win the Grade III and Lucy Mae Bush with Rainbow II, her 18-year-old skewbald gelding, claimed the Grade IV with 67.50%.

Team result:-

1st - Wales Snowdonia, 424.84
2nd – Spiders The Only Way is Eastern, 417.08
3rd – Queen of Hearts, 416.28
4th – Central, 405.67
5th – Northern Horseplay, 404.35
6th – Wales Cambrian, 397.31
7th – Mad Hatters, 392.69
8th – Team NWC, 388.06
9th – White Rabbits, 386.02

For full results click here