A LEADING Paralympic hopeful from Wrexham  is setting her sights on London 2012.

Natalie Povey, 21, who is on the British Equestrian Federation's (BEF) World Class Development Programme, competed in the International Festival of Dressage at
Hartpury College in Gloucestershire last month.

Riding her horse, Westpoint First Lady, also known as Fizz, the pair came fourth in three classes – the team, individual and freestyle tests.

Classified as a grade 1b rider, Natalie suffers from spina bifida which affects her use of lower limbs and hinders her ability to walk.

She joined the World Class Programme in 2007, and was promoted from start to potential in November, 2009.

As well as the International Festival of Dressage at Hartpury College, 2010 has seen Natalie and Fizz compete at the British National Championships at Hickstead where they achieved two third places.

As Natalie’s results continue to improve, she is competing in events all over the country and is hoping to take part in more international competitions.

She currently receives support from Albion who help with her saddle and also Oswestry Equestrian Centre which helps with the Fizz's livery. Her trainer, Grace
Mew also helps with Fizz’s schooling and coaching.

Natalie said: “I’m so grateful for all the help and support that I have received from
my current sponsors, including the World Class Programme.

“However, it would be fantastic to compete at more events, particularly on the international stage. My long term aim is to be in contention for the Paralympic Games in 2012 so competing abroad will help with my development as I look to take part in higher level events.”

The World Class Programme incorporates the three Olympic sports of dressage, eventing, show jumping and the Paralympic sport of para-equestrian dressage. It comprises the performance and development programmes plus the Equine Pathway.

The aim of the programme is to have in place a sustainable system that can deliver more medals now and in the future. It has been funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, through Exchequer and National Lottery funds, via UK Sport since 1998.

Anyone interested in supporting Natalie should call 01978 290672 or email nataliepovey88@hotmail.co.uk.