Riding for the Disabled is therapeutic riding for people with disabilities. Para dressage is dressage for people with disabilities & Paralympic dressage is competition and performance dressage for riders with disabilities. Riders are classified into one of 5 levels; level 1 being the most disabled and level 5 being the least disabled.
There are approximately 100 Paralympic riders in the UK and Simon is one of only 9 riders in the British Equestrian Federation’s World Class ‘Performance Squad’ which is the top level.
Team manager quote: David Hunter “The distance between able bodied dressage and para dressage is getting closer and closer - I’m sure in time we will see people with disabilities being equally successful in able bodied competitions as para competitions.”
The World Class Programme is a key part of the British Equestrian Federation’s portfolio - It’s aim is to win medals for Great Britain on the international stage. The World Class programme has been in existence since just before the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000. The programme is about identifying the most talented riders and horses and working with them to ensure they reach their maximum potential. Equestrian sport is unique in that it requires not only a world class rider but also a world class horse.
Within the World Class Development programme is World Class Start: designed to identify, support and nurture talent and World Class Potential: designed to assist in the development of that talent. World Class Performance: designed to provide ‘elite’ riders with the best preparation to represent Great Britain. The Equestrian World Class Programme is funded by UK Sport through lottery funding. Each rider receives a small income which is increased by winning medals on the international stage.
Paralympic dressage is the Uk’s most successful sport and has brought home to Great Britain more medals in 25 years than any other sport.
In order for Simon to achieve his full potential in the World Class Performance Squad he has a complete support team there to assist. Team vet, team saddler, team physiotherapist, team psychiatrist, team doctor, and a team horse dentist. Physiotherapy plays a particularly key role in keeping us fit and healthy - with our individual disabilities we each need assistance in different areas.
After a brief stay in hospital, in early 2008, it was apparent that I was losing power, strength and coordination, in my left side which has always been my stronger side. I was introduced to Jan through my physio. His programs, designed especially to meet individual needs. To come back from injury or illness is not easy, but Jan’s enthusiasm and love of what he does is clear. I really feel that without his help it would be doubtful I would be competing at the level I am without his input. For more info on Jan visit his website: www.posturecorrection.co.uk