August 30, 2021 10.00 am

Amazing! Gold for Lincoln’s Sophie Wells in Paralympic team dressage

A surprise but brilliant result for Sophie and GB

Sophie Wells has won her second medal of the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo after Team GB went for gold in the team dressage event.

Sophie was in a team with Sir Lee Pearson and Natasha Baker for the team event, and the trio scored an overall total of 229.905 to pip the Netherlands to the gold medal.

It is the second medal of this games for Lincoln-born Sophie Wells, who won silver in the individual test grade five on Thursday. She now has six Paralympic medals to her name in her illustrious career.

Her horse Don Cara started playing up just before the run, and there were serious doubts about the potential gold medal, but Wells and Don Cara managed to calm themselves down and deliver on the biggest stage.

The victory saw GB retain the gold medal they won in this event in Rio five years earlier, but despite being reigning champions, they did not expect to get the result they did.

Sophie said after the event: “It was completely out of the blue – he warmed up amazingly in the other arena and felt awesome but for some reason when I came in, he just kept spinning. And he doesn’t spin, he’s not that sort of horse.

“From then, the team score went out of my head and I just thought ‘I’ve got to complete the test’ because if I didn’t we wouldn’t have any team score and no chance of a medal. I didn’t enjoy a single second – that was stressful!”

Wells performed the final run of the event, bringing home the gold under pressure and saying the result defied all expectations.

Sophie added: “We just had no idea and no expectation that that’s what we could do because we genuinely didn’t think it was possible.

“In the most realistic way, we had horses that had never done it and we’ve not been against anybody else. The Dutch are so strong and so established and secure as horses, we’re not!”

Sophie just missed out on a third medal of the games in the individual freestyle event on Monday, finishing in fourth place to round off her remarkable Paralympic performance.

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