Dressage Paralympic champion Natasha Baker has finally found her dream horse, after losing three horses last year.
Mount St John Diva Dannebrog is a nine-year-old, 16.2hh Hanoverian chestnut mare by Don Schufro from the Mount St John stud in Yorkshire.
The stud has already made a name for itself, as Olympic dressage champion Charlotte Dujardin rides a number of their horses, including the top prospect Mount St John Freestyle.
‘Diva’ is another of their rising stars, having gained one of the highest scores for a mare at the FEI World Breeding Championships in Germany. She also has a successful competition record in able-bodied dressage, at regional and national championships, and Natasha is now aiming the mare for the World Equestrian Games in September.
“It is such an honour to be working with Mount St John, I’m so grateful to Emma Blundell for giving me such an incredible opportunity to compete her special horse and I really hope we can be a successful team,” said Natasha.
The 28-year-old has had a tough 12 months since losing her five-time Paralympic gold medal-winning partner Cabral to a virus. ‘JP’ was due to retire at the Badminton Horse Trials in May 2017, but he died suddenly after a small wound became infected.
Natasha’s luck didn’t end there as her new number one horse Sooki also sustained an injury, which forced an early retirement. Tragically, she then lost her first Paralympic Games horse Ludo to old age.
Natasha refused to let her losses beat her and she has spent the past 12 months searching for ‘the one’. Diva has an exceptional temperament and three outstanding paces and the future is looking bright once again for this dressage superstar..
“Diva has settled in very well at home and I am thoroughly enjoying riding her,” said Natasha. “I am so excited to start competing Diva, she carries all the attributes I look for in a para horse and has such a sweet, loving personality.
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