Sophie Wells

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Sophie Wells
Sophie Wells autographing.JPG
Medal record
Competitor for  Great Britain
Equestrian
Paralympic Games
Gold 2012 London Team championship
Silver 2012 London Championship test grade IV
Silver 2012 London Freestyle test grade IV

Sophie Wells MBE (born on 5 May 1990) is a British para-equestrian who won three medals at the 2012 Summer Paralympics.

Personal life[edit]

Wells was born on 5 May 1990 in Lincoln, England.[1] She was born with amniotic band syndrome and as a result she has no feeling or movement in her feet and has lost a number of fingers. Because of her disability she competes in the grade IV Paralympic classification, the classification for riders with the highest level of physical ability.[2][3]

Equestrianism[edit]

The Victorian post box in Lincoln painted in recognition of her winning gold medal performance at the 2012 Paralympics in London which is located in the cathedral quarter area of the city.

Wells took up riding at the age of eight and begin competing in dressage at the age of twelve. In 2008 she won the junior international class at Hickstead U21 International, becoming the first disabled rider to win an able-bodied international event.[2][3] She was named as the first reserve rider for Great Britain at the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing, China, but withdrew when her horse was found to have a tumour on its foot.[2]

At the 2009 European Championships in Kristiansand, Norway, she won three gold medals; with her horse Pinocchio she won the individual and team grade IV events and was also part of the British squad that won the team championship. At the 2010 World Equestrian Games held in Lexington, Kentucky, United States, she won gold medals in both the individual and freestyle grade IV events.[3]

She was selected as part of the dressage squad for Great Britain at the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, United Kingdom. Riding Pinocchio she won a silver medal in the grade IV individual event with a score of 76.323%, finishing behind Belgium's gold medallist Michèle George, who scored 77.065%.[4][5] Wells's result helped to secure a gold medal for the British squad, which also included Sophie Christiansen, Deborah Criddle and Lee Pearson, in the team championship.[6][7] She won her second silver medal of the Games in the freestyle grade IV event, where she scored 81.150%, but was again beaten by George of Belgium.[8]

Wells was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to equestrianism.[9][10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sophie Wells Para-Equestrian Dressage". Team GBR. Retrieved 3 September 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c "13 Questions: Paralympian Sophie Wells, dressage". BBC. 1 September 2012. Retrieved 3 September 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c "Sophie Wells". British Paralympic Association. Retrieved 3 September 2012. 
  4. ^ Baldock, Andrew (2 September 2012). "Equestrian: Sophie Wells wins silver". The Independent. Retrieved 3 September 2012. 
  5. ^ Armytage, Marcus (2 September 2012). "Paralympics 2012: Sophie Wells jumps to silver for Britain's third equestrian medal of Games". The Telegraph. Retrieved 3 September 2012. 
  6. ^ Baldock, Andrew (3 September 2012). "Equestrianism: Wells pipped at the last but GB extend unbeaten run". The Independent. Retrieved 3 September 2012. 
  7. ^ Gibson, Owen (3 September 2012). "Paralympics 2012: David Weir adds to GB gold rush with 5,000m win". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 September 2012. 
  8. ^ "Paralympics 2012: Sophie Wells wins dressage silver for GB". BBC Sport. 4 September 2012. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  9. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 60367. p. 25. 29 December 2012.
  10. ^ [1] Cabinet Office