22 September 2018

Wells doubles up in Tryon with second World Equestrian Games para-dressage gold

Sophie Wells overcame stress, tension and plenty of expectation to secure her second individual gold medal of the FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon.

The Paralympic champion had already enjoyed the golden feeling but made it a double delight in the United States, adding Grade V para-dressage freestyle gold to her collection atop C Fatal Attraction.

That, combined with her team silver, took Wells to three medals overall from her week – well and truly laying to one side the disappointment of missing out four years ago.

But Wells, who won Paralympic gold at both London 2012 and Rio 2016, knew she had to put in plenty of work before recording her world title-winning score of 80.755%.

“C Fatal Attraction was a little bit tense and on edge but he’s come out this week and given me everything,” she said.

“I was a little bit stressed last night as I thought it may be too difficult and we have only done it once at Hartpury but he’s come out and made me very proud.

Quote

When you miss out on an individual gold after training everyday it’s hard, but to achieve this after a big gap like I’ve had is amazing.

Sophie Wells

“That’s why Rio was so special because I missed out on the gold in London too.

“The British team are amazing and it’s so hard to get on the team and selection is a massive hurdle that you have to overcome.

“We have a lot of good riders with a lot of horse power and we’re seeing that more across the world – the team competition proved that.

“The standard of the riders, the training and the horses is amazing for the sport and it makes proud to be a part of it - but that means you have to fight.”

Wells secured her second gold medal of the week in Tryon

Next to compete was Erin Orford in the Grade III class, looking to follow up the form that saw her join the GB squad in recording team silver ahead of the weekend.

And the debutante certainly showed she was up to the challenge, producing a lovely test with Pimms to score 71.073%.

The success wasn’t to continue for Natasha Baker in the Grade III class however, unable to follow her own silverware after she and Mount St John Diva Dannebrog were unseated in their test.

It meant she was eliminated from the competition, though the damage done was only minimal after a successful week in Tryon.

“My ego is bruised and my bum is bruised but I feel fine and at least I hit the centre line,” she said.

“I don’t know what got into her today but it was out of character for her. We untacked her and cooled her down and we’re going to go and sit back on and see how she feels and give her some confidence back.”

Pictures: Jon Stroud Media / BEF

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