Lincoln-born Sophie Wells has won Paralympic silver in Tokyo after coming in 2nd place in the dressage individual test grade five.
Wells, 31, the defending Paralympic champion in the individual event, secured second place for Team GB on Thursday, finishing behind Michele George of Belgium who won gold.
It is Sophie’s fifth medal of her Paralympic career, after winning two silvers and a gold at London 2012, and another gold in Rio in 2016.
It was a unique challenge for Sophie, who was on a different horse to C Fatal Attraction, on which she won gold in Rio and silver in London, but Sophie and her new horse Don Cara M overcame the odds and got a silver medal.
She scored 74.405% in her run, just over 2 per cent shy of eventual winner Michele George but enough to keep ahead of the bronze medal winner Frank Hosmar of the Netherlands.
Superb SILVER for @sophiewells90 and Don Cara .M in the Individual Test – Grade V! 🥈
— ParalympicsGB (@ParalympicsGB) August 26, 2021
Sophie was born amniotic band syndrome, which means that she has little or no feeling or movement in her feet, and has lost a number of her fingers as a result of her condition.
She was born in Lincoln and now lives in Saxilby, training at her base in Harby where she has been training for this crowning moment in Tokyo.
After the event she said she was “overwhelmed with emotion” as she shed tears at the end of her routine.
Wells said: “I came into this having no expectations, just a little bit of fear of what he could do in there for the bad. But also belief in him that if he relaxed and was with me, I knew he could medal.
“This horse has never been abroad, he has never competed abroad and has never done championships.
“Even though he is 12, he is so green and he is such a sensitive horse. He is anxious in himself and so I was just hoping he would just go in and trust me.”
The individual event is the first of three that she is expected to compete in at this summer’s games in Tokyo.
She is scheduled to take part in the team competition on August 29 and the freestyle event a day later, subject to qualification.
The Lincolnite caught up with Sophie from Tokyo ahead of the Paralympic Games starting, and she said she was excited to take part in the “special” competition. Read the full interview here.