An MBE rounds off what has been an amazing year for sponsored rider Sophie Wells. The paralympic rider sponsored by Asmar Equestrian has been honoured by the Queen in the New Year’s Honours list after Sophie contributed hugely to the success of Equestrian sport at London 2012.
The grade IV rider gained individual silver on Dr Jackie and Dr Neil Walker’s horse Pinocchio in both the freestyle and individual tests which are approximately equal to the complexity of a Prix St George level test. Sophie also won her team test contributing her high score to the overall Team Gold placing.
Nottinghamshire based Sophie Wells is not just your average rider, from a non horsey background Sophie has managed the rare condition; Amniotic Band Syndrome, alongside riding, which affects blood flow, development and movement to achieve success at National, European and now Olympic level.
Modest and humble as ever Sophie said “I’m so proud to say that I have been awarded an MBE!!! It’s so exciting and I can’t believe it! I definitely think this honour should be shared with my amazing horse Pinocchio and my fantastic coach, Angela Weiss.” about receiving the honour.
Supplying Sophie with the finest equestrian clothing Asmar is available online at http://www.asmarequestrian.com and from a selection of retailers. Asmar Equestrian designs a range of quality, stylish riding apparel suitable for day-to-day and the show ring. The entire range incorporates classic beauty, fashion and optimum functionality for riders who deserve the best.
…Tuesday was the last chance for us to get into the field of play, so we all decided we would like a run through of one of our tests. I chose the Team test as we had had a lot of emphasis on it from the team as it was quite important to go towards the team medal, that GB have never lost at a major championship since the sport began in 1996. No pressure! So I trotted through the chute, and straight in, dodging the other riders, but got a good feel as to what it would be like, and let Noki know that going in there meant business, and I could make any corrections then too.
The next day was trot up day! The horses were turned out immaculately, Michelle Tipper was grooming for me and Lee for this competition, much to Amie’s disappointment, but accreditation had to be done before she joined us. Next time! But Michelle did a great job turning them out, and thankfully all the British horses passed the trot up without a problem, so we could get on with training for that day. I only wanted to give him a stretch as he had worked for a couple of days and needed an easier day before the competition started. It’s funny how everyone’s routines are different on the team, but they all seem to work for each individual and it does show many paths lead to the same goal…
It was also the Opening Ceremony on Wednesday too. We had been strongly advised not to go, and we all, except Lee, decided to stay in. I really wanted to go, but I know all the standing around for hours in the cold would be negative to my performance, especially as I have problems with my nerves anyway. I was a bit gutted we couldn’t all watch the Opening Ceremony together with the rest of our support team, they all had a party at the hotel in Greenwich and we just had to stay in our flat, which was a bit of a downer considering what a big occasion it was. We had a TV appearance at the beginning of the ceremony at 8pm, pretty prime time! We did it at Paralympic GB House, then the girls, Lucy and Pippa (Pippa was our press officer for the games and also works for the BEF), had a girly night in, opening the balcony door so we could hear the roar of the stadium live as well as seeing it on the TV whilst wearing our very fetching white tracksuits! I would have loved to have experienced the feeling of walking in the stadium and hearing the crowd go mad for Team GB, maybe next time! It was probably a good thing we didn’t go as my legs took a turn for the worse that night. I had tried to keep things under control, I bought a scooter that I could whizz about on instead of loading my nerves with the walking, but I think the stress of the occasion, the long days, lack of sleep (as I wasn’t sleeping very well anyway while we were away), caught up and my legs suffered. People always think it’s funny when I whack out a hot water bottle which I take everywhere, along with my crutches, even in the summer. When my legs go, the nerves go into overload, my lower legs cramp up and it’s a really horrible nervy pain, that makes it difficult to walk, and I lose a lot of the power in my legs because of it. Heat really helps the muscles to try and relax and keeping weight off them helps too. I just hate not being able to do stuff. We have controlled it for a while with medication, but despite upping the dosage it couldn’t control it this time. My scooter then decided to die on me the next day, turns out the fuse had blown in the charger socket, so it had to be taken off to be mended, leaving me with my crutches. A fly then decided to try and commit suicide by flying into my eye, still being a problem hours later, leading our team doc to clean it, put anaesthetic drops in and having antibiotic drops, slightly dramatic for a pesky little fly! But the important thing was I still managed to ride and Noki was a star. I often have to carry 2 whips when my legs are bad to back up my leg aids so he is quite used to it. And as long as I can ride I’m happy…
Asmar Equestrian-sponsored rider Sophie Wells currently leads the Grade IV Rankings at the Paralympics, having scored an impressive 75.906% in today’s IV team test with Pinnochio. Briton Sophie is a full three per cent ahead of her nearest competitor, Belgium’s Michele George with Rainman.
There was a surprise in store for Britain’s Debbie Criddle, who with LJT Akilles was favourite in the Grade III test, as German rider Hannelore Brenner, riding Women of the World, edged ahead to lead the board in this section.
Britain’s Natasha Baker leads the Grade II test riding Cabral, while team mate Lee Pearson with Gentleman leads the Grade 1B class. Grade 1A is being contested at the time of writing.
Asmar would like to congratulate Sophie on her strong performance on her first day of competition, and wishes her and her peers good luck and a massive well done for being selected to represent their respective countries.
The recent edition of Horse & Hound featured a lovely article on Britain’s para dressage riders and our very own Sophie Wells. We have taken a few extracts from the article so we can share it with you. The full article can be found in the most recent edition of Horse & Hound.
Did you know…Britain’s para dressage riders have never been beaten in Paralympic competition or any major international championship. Surely it’s written in the stars for another Gold?!
It’s not only Germany that are hot on our tails – Denmark, the Netherlands and Canada are all looking on top form this year.
The 2012 Paralympics have hit record ticket sales. If you managed to get tickets for the Olympics then you were extremely lucky and the Paralympics is no different. They are set to be the most well attended in history with a record 2.1 million tickets selling three weeks prior to the games.
The article contained some top facts about the format of the dressage competition and the lovely Sophie Wells. She swept the board in the final selection trial and is set for great things in the Paralympics. We are all supporting you Sophie.
“Sophie, 22, pushes herself to compete in able-bodied events, contesting two Young Rider European Championships. She is the only paradressage rider to have done so.”
“Anyone who has watched paradressage can tell you about the calibre of the riding.”
Sophie was also featured wearing the Hunter Jacket by Asmar Equestrian – the stylish sport jacket designed for performance.
Our sponsored rider Sophie Wells features in the recent edition of Horse & Hound. Sophie and her horse Pinocchio took the runner-up spot in the Inter I at The British Dressage Winter Championships at Hartpury.
Sophie is pictured wearing our stunning Tailcoat, which makes her look extremely elegant – if we do say so ourselves!
Sophie says “I’m amazed. We’ve been working so hard for the para selection trials that we’ve had no chance to practise. I couldn’t have hoped for more.”
To order your Asmar Equestrian Tailcoat click here
May’s edition of The Equestrian Lifestyle Magazine features an article on what to wear for dressage. We are pleased to see that Asmar Equestrian’s tailcoat takes centre stage…!
To view more of our fashion range please visit www.asmarequestrian.com
Stunnngly tailored fit
Stylish European tail coat. Like all Asmar Equestrian show apparel, this jacket is made of two way stretch fabric that feels great and breathes too. So versatile too, as it comes with four interchangeable tips in plum, pewter, deep red and golden/yellow. One jacket, four styles. Elegant details throughout. Weighted tails for a pristine fit in the saddle.
View our black tail coat by clicking here
Asmar Equestrian will be launching their stunning Dressage Tail Coat and the new Soft Shell Winter Breeches.
If you are attending BETA we would love to see you there – you can even arrange a meeting with us. Email – firstname.lastname@example.org