12 August 2021
Change in the Paralympic dressage squad
The British Paralympic Association, in conjunction with the British Dressage Para Selectors and Performance Manager Georgina Sharples, have made a change to the quartet who will represent ParalympicsGB in the forthcoming Tokyo Paralympic Games. Due to a minor veterinary issue, Innuendo III, owned and ridden by Sophie Christiansen, has been withdrawn from selection.
This brings in FEI 2109 European Gold Medallist, Georgia Wilson riding Sakura, owned by her parents Geoff and Julie Wilson and herself, to make their Paralympic debut in the Grade II division. They join Natasha Baker (Keystone Dawn Chorus), Sir Lee Pearson (Breezer) and Sophie Wells (C Fatal Attraction).
Sophie Christiansen is one of the most decorated ParalympicsGB athletes winning 10 medals including eight golds across four Paralympic Games.
Sophie at Rio 2016
Penny Briscoe, ParalympicsGB Chef de Mission at Tokyo 2020 said: “This is clearly desperately disappointing news for Sophie who is an incredible athlete, ambassador and advocate for the Paralympic movement. She has set the standard at recent games and we were looking forward to seeing her compete in Tokyo.
“An injury to either rider or horse so close to the Games is very unfortunate and we will work with British Equestrian to ensure Sophie has the support she needs.
Georgia’s selection clearly demonstrates the strength in depth in British Para Dressage and we are excited to see her make her Paralympics debut in Tokyo.”
British Equestrian Performance Director Richard Waygood commented; “This will be a personal disappointment to Sophie Christiansen, who has worked so hard for a chance to represent her country at her fifth consecutive Games. However, with the experience of Natasha, Lee and Sophie Wells now joined by Georgia, who, having tasted medal success in 2019, is ready for more, the British quartet will pose a strong challenge on the Paralympic stage.”
Georgia Wilson and Sakura (British Equestrian / Jon Stroud Media)
The Para dressage horses are currently in quarantine ahead of flying to Tokyo on 18 August.
Full combination details:
Georgia Wilson (25) based in Abergele, Conwy, with Geoff & Julie Wilson and her own Sakura (chestnut, mare, 7yrs, 16hh, Breeder: G Eilberg GBR)
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