Rio Paralympics: London 2012 winners named in equestrian squad

The GB team have a wealth of experience
The GB team have won 30 Paralympic medals between them

London 2012 gold medallists Lee Pearson, Sophie Christiansen, Natasha Baker and Sophie Wells have all been named in the British equestrian team for the Rio Paralympics.

The team, which competes in Para-dressage, is completed by 67-year-old Anne Dunham, who will be competing at her fifth Games after missing out on selection four years ago.

Dunham, who has won five golds over her career, is set to be the oldest member of the ParalympicsGB team travelling to the Games in September.

As well as bidding for individual titles, the riders will be hoping to maintain GB's unbeaten record at European, world and Paralympic level in the team competition that has stood since the sport was first introduced into the Paralympics in Atlanta in 1996.

Pearson, 42, who already has 10 golds to his name since making his debut in Sydney in 2000, will ride his own horse, Zion, who he has paired with regularly in competition since London.

"It's very surreal to be heading to my fifth Games and makes me sound very old," said Pearson.

"I do feel surprised on selection, as it's such a strong squad - it makes you appreciate it even more."

After winning three golds in London, Christiansen, 28, goes into the Grade Ia category for the most impaired riders where she will hope to get the better of team-mate Dunham.

"I can't wait to see what Rio has to offer, it will be a very different Games to London but I think my time in Athens and Beijing has prepared me well," she said.

"The Paralympic Games has grown massively since I made my debut in Athens and I can't wait to see where it goes in the future. I think that London was the pinnacle and I really hope that even though it's not a home Games, that people will get behind us again."

Baker, 26, will ride her 2012 mount Cabral with the pair aiming to add to their two London golds, while Wells, 26, who was part of the victorious team four years ago, will be bidding for individual success on Valerius.

The five riders bring a wealth of experience to the team and all represented GB at last year's European Championships in France where they won 11 medals, including three golds.

GB team: Natasha Baker (Horse: Cabral), Sophie Christiansen (Athene Lindebjerg), Anne Dunham MBE (Lucas Normark), Lee Pearson (Zion), Sophie Wells MBE (Valerius)

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