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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 October 2006, 22:33 GMT 23:33 UK
GB riders claim Belgian successes
Paralympic champion Lee Pearson
Pearson won three golds at the Athens Paralympics
Great Britain's top disabled riders were in winning form at last weekend's international Para-Equestrian competition in Belgium.

Athens Paralympic medalists Sophie Christiansen, Lee Pearson and Nicola Tustain all had three individual first place performances in their classes.

Newcomer Simon Laurens finished first in the grade III individual test.

The GB team of Pearson, Tustain, Laurens and Michelle Crunkhorn also won the team event.

Tustain also won a special prize for having the highest total score from an individual test (76.545 per cent).

Of the other British competitors, 19-year-old Ricky Balshaw finished second to Lee Pearson in the Grade 1b team test and freestyle and 3rd behind Pearson and Jens Lasse Dokken of Norway in 2nd in the individual test.

In the grade II events, Jo Pitt finished 4th in the team test and freestyle and 3rd in the individual test.

As well as his individual test victory, Simon Laurens was second in the grade III freestyle and team tests but Paralympian Debbie Criddle, riding Lee Pearson's Blue Circle Boy, was less fortunate, finishing 15th in the grade III team test.

Michelle Crunkhorn put in a strong performance to finish 2nd in the grade IV individual test and the freestyle events as well as finishing in 6th place in the team test.

David Hunter, performance manager for GB Para-dressage, said: "The team did extremely well and I'm absolutely delighted with the results.

"Although this is not a major international competition, it's a competition that had all the main players in action.

"It's good to see that we've got eight riders who are competing at this standard. But there is no room for complacency.

"We've got to build on this success for the world championships next year in England."

SEE ALSO
GB dressage team shine at Euros
01 Aug 05 |  Disability Sport
Britain win team dressage
26 Sep 04 |  Disability Sport
Second bronze for Tustain
24 Sep 04 |  Disability Sport
Tustain settles for bronze
22 Sep 04 |  Disability Sport
Duo take dressage gold
21 Sep 04 |  Disability Sport


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