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CAMPAIGN: Sophie backs calls for disabled riders at Royal Windsor Horse Show

Published: 12 Sep 2012 14:221 comment

SOPHIE Christiansen MBE has pledged her support to The Observer's campaign to include a Para-equestrian competition in Royal Windsor Horse Show.

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Sophie, who grew up in Sunningdale and lives in Maidenhead, won three gold medals at the Paralympic Games last week and told The Observer disabled riders needed more high-profile competitions closer to home.

Since the campaign was launched on Friday, both the Royal Borough's MPs have voiced their support and SportsAble chairman, John Jenkins, is backing it too.

Sophie said: "We can never have too many competitions for our sport, especially at big venues. Going into London we didn't have competitions with a big crowd so we couldn't get our horses used to them.

"Being included would be excellent, especially now more people know who we are. Also it would be good for Royal Windsor Horse Show to say 'we are inviting Paralympians and other riders'."

The five-day show in May features a Riding for the Disabled (RDA) fancy dress competition, sponsored by the Lions Club of Windsor and supported by The Observer, but after the success and popularity of Paralympic Team GB it is believed now is the time to increase the opportunities.

John Jenkins is chairman of Braywick Park-based SportsAble, which had three competitors return from the Games with five medals. He said: "It would be great to see. Anything that anyone is doing that can promote the integration and involvement of disabled people in any sport is fantastic news."

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