Para-dressage European Championships: Suzanna Hext credits grit for golds

Suzanna Hext
Suzanna Hext also competed at international level before her injury in 2012

Great Britain's Suzanna Hext says it was "completely insane" to claim three gold medals at the Para-dressage European Championships in Sweden.

The 29-year-old won the freestyle and individual events, and helped GB to team gold on her championships debut.

Hext, from Cornwall, was paralysed in a riding accident in 2012 but got back on a horse again two years later.

"I think mentally I was so strong and determined to get back in the saddle, that it helped me," she said.

"I haven't really listened to any of the doctors or surgeons - I've had surgeons that have been on my side, and I've had surgeons that aren't on my side.

"A lot of people would say I'm quite stubborn, and that's probably how I've got back to where I am today."

Suzanna Hext
Hext (pictured) was making her European Championships debut alongside GB teammate Julie Payne

Hext broke her back and pelvis in the accident, spending a year-and-a-half in a wheelchair, enduring eight operations and having a bionic implant put in her spine.

She was on board Abira in Gothenburg, but could also ride LJT Enggaards Solitaire as she targets next year's World Equestrian Games and the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo.

"When I was selected for the Europeans I was obviously over the moon, it's just an honour to represent Great Britain, but to actually win three gold medals is just completely insane for me," she added to BBC Radio Cornwall.

"When I had my accident it was London 2012, and I watched the Paralympics on TV, but I never thought that I would be aiming for that at Tokyo 2020 now."

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