Our inspirational Lady Bader Grant recipient, Bader Grant Recipient of the Month, Mari Akhurst, competed again over the weekend of the 22nd/23rd on both her horses; Sky, who is kindly on loan from Glesni Owen and Bear, her young horse being brought on for the future.

It was clearly a challenging weekend in more ways that one for Mari but, with her usual courage and determination, she managed, despite the odds, to succeed in getting more points and is now very close to qualifying both horses…Keep fingers crossed for this remarkable young rider who is getting ever closer to achieving her dream.


Herewith Mari’s weekend of competition in her own words:

Competing at home is never easy as the boys don’t get the same thrill as going out to a party!! Extremely proud of both boys putting up with my miss behaving body!

I have got some new symptoms recently that neither me or the boys are used to and sadly they came out to play in the test today :(. Its the first time where my condition has influenced the test, which was hard to deal with.

Mr Sky warmed up beautifully and then went to sleep and backed of! Decided he needed to scream and spook as never seen that arena before!! Have to love him and the judge liked him but sadly the lack of activity brought our mark down.

Sadly had a few mistakes in Bears test which were very costly. But lots to like and a much better picture. Very exciting for the future. Still not been doing these tests for very long!

Only got a few more points to get with both boys, 1 with Sky and 3 with Bear so nearly there 😀

Massive thank you to Rob Waine for coming to ride both boys and train me and for your words of wisdom.

Was great to see my para friends and thank you to Elaine for holding such a well run Para show.

Will keep you updated; we are of to Solihull and Mount Ballen in Wales next to get the last remaining points.


We’re delighted to report that a further competition on Friday 28th saw Mari qualify with Sky for the KBIS Finals – a fantastic achievement. She hopes to follow shortly with Bear and I’m sure you’ll all join us in wishing her well. 

In the meantime I had an absolutely fantastic competition on Friday winning both classes with 73.03% and 77%+ (personal best scores) and even better I got a 10 for one of the movements I find the hardest in the test, so delighted!! Sky was an absolute superstar and went amazing. This means I got the one remaining point (well I actually think I got 8 or more points!!) I needed and so Sky is now qualified for the KBIS Semi Finals and I hope to fully qualify Bear very soon.


I know I bang on about it but, if you haven’t already, do check out Mari’s great Website/Blog Page. It’s a wonderful and inspiring read and gives a real insight into the challenges of competing at such a high standard and the sheer determination required, especially when you are also battling your own body to do it.

Mari also has a fund-raising page “Get Mari to The Olympics“. It’s well worth a visit….