18 September 2018
Baker wins 'insane' para-dressage silver
‘Insane’ was how Natasha Baker described winning para-dressage world silver just seven months after teaming up with her new horse Mount St John Diva Dannebrog.
Baker is a five-time Paralympic gold medallist from London 2012 and Rio 2016 but all those came aboard Cabral, who was put down in February 2017.
The 28-year-old now rides Mount St John Diva Dannebrog and at just their third international competition together, Baker took individual silver in the Grade III class at the FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina.
The duo were drawn to go first in the class and laid down an impressive mark of 72.471 per cent – a score that could only be bettered by Rixt van der Horst from the Netherlands and her mount Findsley, who topped the standings with a score of 73.735 per cent.
Natasha Baker smiles after winning para-dressage silver
And with such a steep learning curve on a new horse, Baker admits she was shocked – although ecstatic – to leave the USA with a hard-earned silver medal.
“To get a silver medal with seven months of riding her is just insane! If somebody had told me in January that I would be competing here, I would have told them they were lying,” said Baker.
“She [Mount St John Diva Dannebrog] was amazing. She went in there like she owned it and I am so proud of everything that we have achieved in such a short space of time. I am so grateful to her owners for giving me this opportunity.
“Everything is new. I am still learning about Diva – it’s such a learning curve coming here with a new horse but I’ve got more years to get to know her.”
Another Brit, Erin Orford, finished ninth on Dior in her World Equestrian Games debut and will compete again alongside Baker in the team competition on Friday.
Picture credit: © Jon Stroud Media / BEF
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