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Page last updated at 15:20 GMT, Thursday, 11 September 2008 16:20 UK

Emotional Pearson wins more gold

Britain's Lee Pearson riding Gentleman
Pearson wins his third gold of the Games on his horse Gentleman

Lee Pearson bagged his ninth Paralympic title as Britain's equestrian riders claimed two golds and three silvers on the final evening of competition.

Riding Gentleman, Pearson clinched the freestyle test grade 1b, while Ricky Balshaw won silver on Deacons Giorgi.

He said: "I want to cry, but I can't. I can't believe we made it a one-two."

Sophie Christiansen and Anne Dunham won gold and silver in the freestyle test grade 1a, while Simon Laurens was second in the freestyle test grade III.

Deborah Criddle could not add to the three gold medals she won in Athens, missing out on the bronze by just tenth.

I'm exhausted but I just want to enjoy my success, I don't think it's sunk in yet

Lee Pearson

Pearson has now won three golds at three consecutive Paralympics and only linked up with his horse Gentleman in January this year.

The 34-year-old was equally delighted for team-mate Balshaw, who finished in second place.

"Ricky and I have worked so hard," he added. "I'm exhausted but I just want to enjoy my success, I don't think it's sunk in yet.

"I was more nervous for these three competitions than I have ever been for any competition in my life. I rode my heart out and I don't think Gentleman will ever know how much he has changed my life."

Balshaw, based in Shropshire and winning his first medal, said: "I rode my arse off and I couldn't have done any more. This is a great venue, the people are great, and I have enjoyed every minute of it."

The equestrian haul caps a fantastic Games for the British riders who have won five gold and five silver medals.

This makes it the team's most successful Games ever.



see also
Olympic Dreams: Lee Pearson
22 Apr 08 |  London 2012
Roberts claims 10th swimming gold
11 Sep 08 |  Paralympics
Schedule - Friday 12 September
22 Aug 08 |  Paralympics
Skelhon wins shooting gold for GB
11 Sep 08 |  Paralympics
Paralympics day five photos
11 Sep 08 |  Paralympics
Storeys add to GB cycling golds
10 Sep 08 |  Paralympics
Frederiksen leads swimming charge
10 Sep 08 |  Paralympics
A-Z of Paralympic classification
28 Aug 08 |  Paralympics
Paralympics on the BBC
25 Aug 08 |  Paralympics
GB Paralympic team for Beijing
24 Jul 08 |  Paralympics


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