Sophie Wells is fully focused on helping Great Britain retain their team title at the Para Dressage European Championships after the triple Paralympic champion secured an impressive individual silver in Rotterdam.

In the Grade V individual final Wells – who won team gold at London 2012 and Rio 2016, while also taking individual gold at the latter – scored 75.595% on her horse C Fatal Attraction, also known as Jorge.

That was good enough for a podium spot but long-time rival Frank Hosmar narrowly took gold with a score of 75.810% on Alphaville N.O.P, as Belgium’s Michele George won bronze.

And while content with a silver medal, Wells was left to rue a nervy start from her horse.

“He was a little tense and really picked up when he spotted all the people watching. He’s never at his best on day one but there were no big mistakes,” said Wells.

“It’s a bit frustrating as of course I’d have liked to start off slightly better but we had no mistakes, so considering he was tense we did get through it.

“If I can get that sort of mark with the tension, then when the quality comes we’ll be happy. It was about dealing with the horse, not disturbing things, but that’s Jorge for you!

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As we’re in the Netherlands, I thought I’d give Frank [Hosmar] a little present to start with!

Sophie Wells

Attention now turns to the team event over the next two days, where GB will renew their rivalry with Netherlands and Belgium.

Wells and co lost their unbeaten team record last year but they are still reigning European champions and the 29-year-old is anticipating a hotly-fought contest.

“It happened [losing the unbeaten record] and the world kept turning! There’s less pressure now but we know the Dutch will be strong and there’s a number of nations coming up,” added Wells.

“We have three inexperienced riders and we’ll just do the best we can, the results will look after themselves.

“Over the last two days, it’s great to see so many nations in the medals – so exciting! We’re here for the team medal, anything after that is a bonus.”

Picture credit: British Dressage

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