Lee Pearson

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Lee Pearson
Lee Pearson, October 2008.jpg
Pearson at the parade in London to celebrate the achievements of British competitors at the 2008 Summer Paralympics.
Medal record
Competitor for  Great Britain
Summer Paralympics
Gold 2000 Sydney Dressage
Gold 2000 Sydney Freestyle dressage
Gold 2000 Sydney Team dressage
Gold 2004 Athens Dressage
Gold 2004 Athens Freestyle dressage
Gold 2004 Athens Team dressage
Gold 2008 Beijing Dressage
Gold 2008 Beijing Freestyle dressage
Gold 2008 Beijing Team dressage
Gold 2012 London Mixed Team Championship
Silver 2012 London Individual championship test grade Ib
Bronze 2012 London Freestyle Dressage

David Lee Pearson, CBE (born 4 February 1974) is a 10-times paralympic games gold medallist having represented British para-equestrianism in Sydney, Athens, Beijing and London. He also has six world-championship and three European titles.


Pearson was born with arthrogryposis multiplex congenita and first came to public attention in 1980 when then-British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher carried him up stairs in 10 Downing Street having awarded him a 'Children of Courage' medal. He currently lives in Cheddleton, Staffordshire.

He turned professional after he was inspired by the Atlanta Olympics. He won three gold medals in the championship dressage, freestyle dressage, and team dressage events at the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Summer Paralympics. He won gold in the team dressage event at the 2012 Summer Paralympics, silver in the championship dressage and bronze in the freestyle.[1]

He noted after his failure to win gold in the freestyle competition in London that he had been voted down by one judge but said that he would compete at the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio, on a different horse.[2] Despite a comparatively disappointing medal return during the 2012 Paralympics, Pearson felt that his latest gold was grounds for the award of a knighthood in the 2013 New Year's Honours; his response created a public backlash.[3]


Pearson was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Staffordshire University in July 2005.[4]

He was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2001 New Year Honours "for services to Disabled Sports".[5] He was promoted to Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2005 "for services to Equestrianism and to Disabled Sport"[6] and to Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2009 New Year Honours "for services to Equestrianism and to Disabled Sport".[7][8]

On 30 December 2012, Pearson publicly criticised the UK honours system, claiming that his own achievements in the London Paralympics were worthy of a knighthood.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Pearson is openly gay,[10] having come out to his parents shortly before his 21st birthday.[11] In August 2010, he entered into a civil partnership with Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue employee Mark Latham.[12] They have since separated.[13]

See also[edit]