There’s a mix of youth and experience in Great Britain’s shortlisted teams for para-dressage ahead of World Equestrian Games in North Carolina this September.

Experienced Paralympians Sophie Christiansen CBE, Natasha Baker MBE, Sophie Wells MBE and Sir Lee Pearson are all on the shortlist announced by the British Equestrian Federation.

But just two combinations, selected by the British Dressage selectors, have been to a major championships before with the Games taking place in Tryon, North Carolina.

This year’s World Equestrian Games presents the first opportunity for nations to obtain qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Sophie Wells won gold at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Paralympic Games

Back at Rio 2016, ParalympicsGB topped the equestrian medal table with an incredible seven gold medals from a possible 11 and four silvers.

Para-Dressage Performance Manager Sarah Armstrong said: “I’m delighted for those athletes and their teams announced today.

“One of the impressive things to see from those short-listed is that only two combinations listed have been to a Championships before.

“We have some new combinations to the international scene who have only been working together for a short-period of time, but are already forming exciting partnerships.

Sir Lee Pearson won his 11th Paralympic gold medal at Rio 2016

“The para squad works closely as a team, and credit must also be attributed to the home and World Class Programme staff in their support of the athletes thus far.

“With just 64 days to the Opening Ceremony all efforts will now be focused towards the team hitting peak performance to deliver their best at WEG.”

A total of eight combinations will be submitted to the FEI as the nominated entries on 13 August 2018 with the four entering the team event to be announced at the beginning of August.

The combinations short-listed are (in alphabetical order):

Natasha Baker MBE, grade III, with the Mount St John Stud’s, Mount St John Diva Dannebrog

Sophie Christiansen CBE, grade I, with her own Amazing Romance

Nicky Greenhill, grade IV, with Gary Greenhill and her own Betty Boo

Suzanna Hext, grade II, with the Lady Joseph Trust and Henrietta Cheetham’s LJT Enggaards Solitaire

Erin Orford, grade III, with Annabel Whittet’s Dior

Isobelle Palmer, grade IV, with Mrs N Wells and Sophie Wells’ Touchdown M

Sir Lee Pearson, grade II, with his own Styletta

Sophie Wells MBE, grade V, with Charlotte Hogg’s C Fatal Attraction, and Jackie and Neil Walker, Valerie Woolford and her own Gladstone

Georgia Wilson, grade II, with her own Midnight

In para-dressage there are 5 grades (I-V); athletes whose impairment has the greatest impact on their ability to ride are graded as grade I, with athlete’s whose impairments have the least impact on their riding ability graded as grade V.

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