Some Great News from Bader Grant Recipient Mari Akhurst

It was as always a real treat to hear from Bader Grant Recipient, Mari Akhurst and especially welcome to learn about her fantastic achievements representing Great Britain at Hartpury Festival of Dressage. Mari, who received a Lady Bader Grant and was our first Bader Grant Recipient of the Month, is understandably feeling over the moon and deservedly so. She, and her beautiful horses, Sky and the young and less experienced Bear, did phenomenally well against very top opposition and she is justifiably proud of her team, both 2- and 4-legged! Mari should be proud of herself too – we certainly are!

Mari’s goal is to compete with Team GB in the Paralympics in Tokyo in 2020 and, ideally, to return with a gold medal. With her courage and determination and sheer hard graft, she is getting ever closer to achieving her dream. The DBF is proud to support her.

Read her update and check out the links below.


I am absolutely delighted to say that Hartpury went amazing! 

Hartpury Festival of Dressage- CPEDI3*

Team Test-Day 1
The boys did good today!! Massive thanks to my super support team and super trainer Rob!!
2nd place and 70% with Mr Sky!
And 6th place and just under 70% with Bear at his first ever international. And only 3rd time riding team test!!
Couldn’t be a prouder mum; over the moon!!

Individual Test- Day 2
Sky came 2nd today and 2nd overall!! Behind a triple Paralympic gold medalist!!
And my baby at his first ever international came 6th again and was in the top 6 overall!!
Could not be prouder! Literally had nothing left to give today but both boys looked after me, not our best tests today.
Hope Sky has his dancing shoes on tomorrow 😀

Freestyle Test- Day 3
Finished off the competition with another 2nd place; behind a triple Paralympic gold medalist!! So close to 1st only 3.5% away; got 71.82% not bad considering it was Bear’s music and not ridden it many times before!!
Kicking myself as was absolutely spot on and would have finished bang on until I added an extra 8m circle!! Lesson learnt!! Silly girl!! So proud of Sky, he loves dancing to his music.

Had an absolutely amazing time at Hartpury Festival of Dressage representing GB with both boys a true honour! Both boys were amazing and I could not be prouder of them. Bear took everything in his stride and acted like he had done it all before! Sky was a true pro and rose to the occasion!

To finish with three second places with scores over 69% was amazing especially as it was 2nd to a triple Paralympic gold medalist. For me it was also fantastic to have Bear who is all knew to it finish with two 6th places and to be in the top 6 overall!!

Over the moon and on cloud 9!

I literally cannot thank everyone enough who supports me. I could not of achieved what I have done over the last week if it wasn’t for you all.

You can learn more about what’s involved in training (both yourself and your horses) to compete at this very high and challenging level by checking out Mari’s hugely enjoyable and informative Blog and other links below:

Blog site Link

You can also check out Mari’s Facebook Page (also linked from her Blog site) here:

Facebook Link

GoFundMe Link: Mari has a GoFundMe Page. If you’d like to help Mari to achieve her goal of representing Team GB in the 2020 Olympics, and to find out more about what’s involved to boot, check out the link here:

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