Our very own Sophie Wells living her Olympic Dream
This is Lincolnshire has done a lovely article about Sophie Wells and her Olympic dream.
She will be riding her horses Pinocchio and Valerius at the Games having excelled with a clean sweep of first and second places in the Grade IV classes at the Hartpury final selection trials.
And now the 22-year-old former University of Lincoln student’s aim is to make it to the top of the podium in August.
“There is only one thing I am going for and that is gold. That is my focus and I will settle for nothing else,” she said.
“I’ve been competing a while now and I know a lot of my potential rivals.
“I’ve got my eye on them, but my sole focus is on what I do, that’s what I can control.
“It is unbelievable to be selected. I’m ecstatic with the news.
“It is something we have been working towards for a long time and I’m really looking forward to the next few months.”
The rider from Nottinghamshire border village Harby was born with Amniotic Band Syndrome and has been riding since the age of seven.
She has represented Great Britain at under-21 level and was named first reserve on her horse Touchdown II at the last Games in Beijing.
Sadly Touchdown II went lame and the dream had to be put on hold.
“I’ve learned a lot over the last few years and I’m still taking every day as it comes,” said Wells.
“Because of the disappointment of the last Games, I don’t want to miss out on this opportunity.”
Selection for the Games was not a forgone conclusion for Wells.
Despite excelling at the World Equestrian Games in 2010 where she took two gold medals in Kentucky, America, she refused to count her chickens.
“Ahead of selection I was feeling confident, but things do change,” she said.
“The selectors will have their own minds and you have little control over that. But I’m really proud of how my two horses have performed.
“They’ve done a great job to get selected and now the big challenge comes.
“They are having a week off now. They have had a busy time recently with the selection process.
“Then we’ll pick back up and the hard work ahead of the Games starts.”
Preparation is everything now for Wells.
With her place booked, the focus is on increasing the bond between her and her horses and making sure they are in top shape.
“We’ll be keeping a close eye on the fitness of the horses and their diet and keep them in the best shape possible,” she said.
“They will get a couple of treats, though. I think they can have a couple of carrots and apples as a well done for getting selected.
“They are very happy horses at the moment. They enjoy their work and work very hard.
“Every day we are building that bond of trust up. It is all about the partnership and we are working on that bond every day.
“We’ll be performing in front of big crowds at the Olympics and they will have to trust me that I can get them through the routines.”
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