News

2023 update from Mari Akhurst

We’ve received news from several of our our lovely Bader Grant Recipients, which I’ve been waiting to add to our smart new website.

Here is an exciting 2023 update from Mari Akhurst, Para Dressage Rider

Bader Grant recipient and DBF Ambassador, Mari, who has cerebral palsy, has been achieving great things in the world of para dressage with her beautiful horses. First was her extraordinarily successful partnership with Sky O’Hara, who had been kindly loaned to her by owner, Glesni Owen. This venerable competitor reluctantly reached retirement age after helping Mari to achieve numerous victories and is now, deservedly, living the life of Riley back with his owner. Mari then competed with her young horse, Bear, who she’d brought on brilliantly but who, sadly, didn’t charm the judges as Sky had managed to do! Damo arrived to help and he and Mari have been competing with great success. Then Mari had the break her determination and courage in the face of some worsening symptoms deserved when Di Redfern offered her the opportunity to ride her beautiful and super talented mare, Athene. In this 2023 update from Mari Akhurst you’ll see that the results are already incredibly promising and bode very well for Mari’s long standing dream of competing at the top level for her country.

Mari writes:

I would like to thank Di Redfern for giving me the incredible opportunity to ride Athene Lindebjerg. She is a lovely mare and I’m really looking forward to developing our partnership and excited to see what the future holds for us.
In our second competition, in gale force winds, we achieved 78.95% in the Grand Prix test B with three 9s. A big thank you to Rob, my mum and dad and to Frankie and everyone at South Bucks for their help and support. Athene’s now qualified for the Gold Semi Finals.
Congratulations to Mari on a wonderful vote of confidence from Di Redfern. We wish this hugely talented new partnership the very best of luck and success in their ongoing quest to Reach for the Sky!
Please note that Mari, who also acts as a mentor for other young para dressage riders is available as an inspirational public speaker. Please contact us if you’d like to know more – the link is at the bottom of this post.
2023 update from Mari Akhurst
Keep an eye out for updates from some of our other Grant Recipients. We are so proud to have been able to support these determined and very committed individuals.
We’ve shifted our focus slightly post our 40th Anniversary to offer more Bader Grants so please check out the link below if you’d like to apply for support to follow your own dream. We consider all applications and love to see initiative and original requests.

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