Sophie Christiansen

Sophie Christiansen CBE

Athlete Information

  • Region

    Ascot, Berkshire

  • Date of Birth


  • Classification

    la at Rio

Athlete main content


School trips to her local RDA centre inspired Sophie to start riding at aged six. She started competing at 13 and her first major international competition came three years later - the 2004 Athens Paralympic Games, where, riding Hotstuff, she won an individual bronze medal. That same year, she was also voted BBC London Disabled Athlete of the Year.

Aside from her riding career, Sophie used to compete in half-marathons and won the Windsor half-marathon in a self-propelled wheelchair race in 2002. In 2008, she was awarded the Vivien Batchelor Trophy for the most outstanding under 25 rider by the British Equestrian Writers’ Association, as well as the Raymond Brooks-Ward Memorial Trophy - which is awarded to the most promising under 25 rider in eventing, dressage and showjumping.

After securing triple gold (team, individual and freestyle) in London 2012, Sophie went on to win nine medals for Great Britain in the London to Rio cycle, eight of them gold.

At Rio 2016 Sophie successfully defended her individual titles to secure an incredible hat-trick of gold medals, taking her career total to eight Paralympic titles.

In the Team event, Sophie’s contribution to performances by team-mates Sophie Wells MBE, Anne Dunham OBE and Natasha Baker MBE ensured that ParalympicsGB remain unbeaten in the Team event since the sport’s first outing at Atlanta in 1996.

In total, the ParalympicsGB equestrian riders won 11 medals and seven gold, beating their London haul.

In recognition of her achievements in Rio, Sophie was shortlisted for the 2016 BBC Sports Personality of the year. She finished in 5th place in the public vote, the highest placed female athlete and Paralympian.

Aside from her sporting achievements, Sophie also achieved her Masters degree in Mathematics from Royal Holloway University in 2012. She currently works as a tech analyst for an investment bank in the City of London.

Sophie was awarded an MBE in the 2009 New Year Honours list for services to disabled sport, an OBE in the 2013 New Year Honours list and a CBE in the 2017 New Year Honours list.

Major Results

Rio 2016 Paralympic Games

  • Team: Gold
  • Individual (la): Gold
  • Freestyle (la): Gold

London 2012 Paralympic Games

  • Team: Gold
  • Individual: (la): Gold
  • Freestyle (la): Gold

Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games

  • Team: Gold
  • Individual (la): Silver
  • Freestyle (la): Gold

Athens 2004 Paralympic Games

  • Individual (l): Bronze

2015 Senior European Championships, Deauville, France

  • Team: Gold
  • Individual (la):Gold
  • Freestyle (la): Gold

2014 World Equestrian Games, Normandy, France

  • Team: Gold
  • Individual (la): Gold
  • Freestyle (la): Silver

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