Exciting times ahead

I’ve taken some time out following Rio 2016 and after losing JP, my soul mate, best friend and dancing partner. Together we took on the world, winning 11 gold medals, endless national and international titles and setting Paralympic records. He gave me everything he had and I will miss him forever. JP’s owner, Christian Landolt, myself, my parents and all the team want to do him proud in 2017.

Looking ahead, I’m very excited to have a new horse called Fireball (Freddie). Michel Assouline is our UK Para-Equestrian Dressage Team Coach and has known me since the age of 16. He understands the way I ride and the way I use my voice in place of my legs to give commands to the horse. Post Rio I’d told Michel I was looking for a new horse. He called me in November and told me about a horse he’d brought back from Denmark and that I really needed to try him. I went to meet Freddie and although he was only the second horse I had tried and was quite green and hadn’t really done much, I just knew he was right for me. He is rising 6 and thank goodness doesn’t live up to the name of Fireball. He’s a lovely laid back character that’s very calm and relaxed. I have a wonderful owner in Christian Landolt who bought him for me. 

As Freddie hasn’t done any competitions at all yet, my trainer since 2013, Lisa Hopkins will start to take him out and about to give him some experience. Hopefully, in the summer I will take him to some able bodied affiliated competitions. He has only just learnt rein back and has the walk pirouette to learn, so we have some work to do, which I am really looking forward to.

My top horse Sooki has had a quiet time since I took JP to Rio. I plan to take her to the Para Nationals in June and Internationals in July. She was only 7yo when we won the double European Silver Medals in 2015, so now is only 9yo and we are excited for the future.

2017 4 19 Natasha Baker