Para-dressage: Adkinson vow to ‘make Danny proud’ after GB selection

Natasha Adkinson with Danny who tragically died earlier this year. Photo: Terry Carrott.

Natasha Adkinson with Danny who tragically died earlier this year. Photo: Terry Carrott.

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A para-dressage rider has got back in the saddle following the tragic death of her horse and she is now bidding for Great British success in his honour.

Natasha Adkinson was devastated following the loss of 12-year-old competition horse Danny - also known as Undercover 7 - who died from a heart attack earlier this year.

Having spent time away from para-dressage, Haxey rider Adkinson, 20, returned to her international duties and was this week selected to represent Great Britain in the prestigious CPEDI 2* tournament at Bishop Burton.

“I have had a very difficult couple of months, but I’ve tried to come out of it fighting,” said Adkinson, who has VACTERL syndrome - a condition which limits spinal mobility and makes her prone to dislocation.

“I’m more determined than ever to make Danny proud.”

Before her Bishop Burton test, Adkinson partnered horse Sweet Caledonia at the Hickstead qualifiers in a bid to give ‘Cally’ as much experience as possible.

Last week, the pair also competed in the Para Summer Championships and enjoyed plenty of success which included a third placing having been narrowly beaten by two of the world’s top riders.

Adkinson, who is hoping for a spot in the Team GB Paralympics squad for Rio 2016, also gained two qualification spots with Cally.

Adkinson has previously been selected for England and the British Dressage Northern region where she took on the Home International alongside Cally.

Her team finished third overall as Adkinson and Cally clinched second place as a pairing.

On that competition, Adkinson told the Bells: “It was Cally’s first time of being away from home for three days, but she was as good as gold.

“To achieve what we did was fantastic.”