Olympic Dreams: Ricky Balshaw targets October return

Ricky Balshaw
Ricky Balshaw competed with horse Deacons Giorgi in the 2008 Paralympics

Shropshire Paralympic dressage rider Ricky Balshaw aims to be back training in late October after recovering from a freak riding accident.

The silver medallist in Beijing 2008 fractured his back after falling off his horse during a training session after it got spooked.

"The horse [Lenherr Rocco] went one way and I went the other," Balshaw told BBC Radio Shropshire.

"I'm out of hospital now, just trying to get back into a training routine."

Balshaw suffered two compression fractures of his spine in the accident at the end of July.

"I'm allowed to get back on a horse by late October. I need to get my strength back up after being in hospital for a week. It has hampered my training ahead of next year's Paralympics but I'm confident I can get back into the swing of things," Balshaw added.

Balshaw took up riding at the age of four following advice from physiotherapists, the Shawbirch-based rider has cerebal palsy.

His biggest success camne in 2008 when he won the silver medal in the grade Ib para-equestrian dressage competition.

Ricky Balshaw is one of BBC Radio Shropshire's featured athletes as part of 'Olympic Dreams' in the build-up to London 2012.