I have Cerebral Palsy and a very rare neurological condition with symptoms including ataxia and dystonia; it affects all four limbs and as a result of this I use loop reins, two whips that act as my legs and ride without stirrups. My CP affects all four limbs and has left me weaker down my left side than my right. As a result of my CP my coordination, balance and muscle tone are all affected. I am a full time wheelchair user.
My disability has made it hard for me to make friends and I used to get bullied a lot as I was different to other children and much slower than them. But then I found riding and things changed as it was something that I could do which helped me physically, as I started it as a form of therapy, but also mentally as it was something that I was good at and I could excel at. I was able to develop a fantastic partnership with the horses that I ride and after I decided to have a go at competing it has all spiraled on from there.
Living with a changing condition has its challenges but my motto is “everything happens for a reason” and I’m a fighter!! I really enjoy inspiring others to get involved in Para sport in particular Para Dressage; I am a mentor for four up and coming para riders. I also enjoy carrying out my role as an Ambassador for Arctic One and was delighted and honoured to have been asked to be an Ambassador for the Douglas Bader Foundation (DBF).
In 2016 I became the Grade 3 Restricted Winter Para Dressage Champion, but had been struggling for some time at that grade and so was re-classified. I am now in the most disabled category for Para Dressage Riders (Grade 1)
I have got my sights firmly set on the 2021 Paralympics.
You can now book me as a public speaker (motivational/inspirational). I can talk about how I live with a life changing condition alongside being a full time Para Dressage athlete; my story and sports journey, my work with two charities who I act as an Ambassador for and lots of other subjects.
I have done two workshops for the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy; as well as talked to rotary clubs, a school, a group of guides and talked at a few business lunches.
I am a European Silver Medalist (team) striving towards selection for the Tokyo 2021 Paralympics and winning a gold medal!