Isle horsewoman in Rio as prep for next Paralympics

Natasha Adkinson of Haxey
Natasha Adkinson of Haxey

Dressage champion Natasha Adkinson is to cheer on her team mates in Rio, after being selected for the 2016 Paralympic Inspiration Programme.

The 22-year old Haxey horsewoman, who is a British national champion and reserve for this year’s Paralympics, was nominated by the British Equestrian Federation to join the Programme.

It is formed of 21 athletes across 13 Paralympic sports and will prepare them for a future Games by giving an understanding of the scale and scope of the event, experience of a multi-sport environment and the unique aspects of a Games, such as the Village, the media and transport systems.

Natasha said: “I’m so excited to be part of PiP, giving me the incredible opportunity to go to the Rio 2016 Paralympics.

“I feel incredibly lucky and fortunate to have been given this opportunity.”

The determined rider was born with Spina Bifida, which limits the use of her back and my neck, and VACTERL Syndrome, a congenital condition that means her joints dislocate frequently.

She began competing in Para Dressage in 2009, and has represented Britain Internationally for seven years, currently with her black Hanoverian mare, Sweet Caledonia (Cally).

Natasha and Cally won the KBIS National Dressage Championships at Stoneleigh in 2015, then the British Dressage Grade 1b Winter Championships 2016.

She has a support rider and trainer Sophie Wells, with additional help from Angela Weiss.

While in Rio, She and all PiP participants will have lessons about nutrition, media, anti-doping, competition planning and goal setting, and will keep up their training regimes.

Kate Eddy, Athlete Services Manager at BPA, said: “I look forward to following this Rio cohort on their journeys towards Tokyo. I would like to thank the organisations who support the Programme, as without them it would not be possible to provide these athletes with experience that will impact on their development over the next Games cycle.”