Dressage star back in BEF development squad

Reporter:

Claire Gallagher

A PARALYMPIC hopeful from Wrexham is delighted to be re-selected for a top development programme.

Para-equestrian dressage rider Natalie Povey, 22, has been chosen for the British Equestrian Federation's (BEF) 2011-2013 World Class Development Programme.

The UK Sport funded programme works with talented riders like Natalie to maximise their potential and deliver success.

Natalie, from Pentre Gwyn, has spina bifida which affects her use of lower limbs and hinders her ability to walk.

Speaking to the Leader she said that riding gives her a sense of freedom and satisfaction.

“I can only walk with my sticks and riding gives me a great sense of achievement,” she said.

“I also enjoy working with other para-equestrian riders.”

Natalie, who studied a national certificate in horse care at Yale College, began dressage after a suggestion by her physiotherapist and hasn’t looked back since.

The ambitious youngster now has her sights firmly set on competing in the 2012 Paralympics.

Natalie had a busy 2010 which included competing in the International Festival of Dressage at Hartpury College in Gloucestershire.

Riding her horse, Westpoint First Lady (Fizz), they achieved a fourth place in three classes – the team, individual and freestyle tests.

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.

The World Class Development Programme underpins world class performance and incorporates the three Olympic sports of dressage, eventing, showjumping and the paralympic sport of para-equestrian dressage.

World Class Performance Director, Will Connell said: “The standard of riders applying was higher than ever and the selectors had a difficult job; but that's excellent news for us as a nation as it reflects the wealth of talent that we are fortunate to have.”

See full story in the Leader

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