Latest Update from Lady Bader Grant Recipient, Mari Akhurst

Herewith the latest update from our wonderful Lady Bader Grant Recipient, Mari Akhurst. Mari is doing really well with her young horse, Bear, after great achievements in partnership with Sky, the beautiful horse you will have seen in previous posts, who is kindly on loan by his owner, Glesni Owen. Mari is keen to bring on Bear to be ready to help her to achieve her long-term goal of competing at the Paralympics in Tokyo 2020 and beyond, and to win a gold medal.

As well as training Bear, with the help of her new trainer, Rob, Mari is also undergoing training herself with a tough exercise regime designed to help her to achieve the muscular strength and fitness she needs to cope with the effects of her cerebral palsy. It is these strength and fitness sessions that the DBF was delighted to contribute towards via the Grant Scheme . With her incredible determination and fighting spirit (not to mention an obvious empathy with horses and a hefty dose of sheer talent!), we have no doubt that Mari will achieve her goal and couldn’t be more proud to be able to help her in that quest.

I took my young horse Bear to Vale View on the 9th April we stayed over night as it was such a long way. The test was good but sadly Bear had a spook at the beginning of the test which ruined the fluency and an element of tension was shown. We still managed to get 4 points towards qualification and so just need 8 more.

Last Friday I took Sky to Oldencraig EC. We did two super tests and was delighted to win both with two 71% scores. This gives us 6 points towards qualification so we just need 6 more.

Attached are some photos of Bear, me and my trainer Rob. We didn’t take any photos of Sky at Oldencraig.

I have also attended the University of Hertfordshire and had an s and c session and will be going back again in may. I have a new programme which is challenging but also fun and I am enjoying working through it. They have already seen a big improvement since feb; so my hard work is paying off and I am seeing benefits on the horse especially with my core. Having the input of performance Hertfordshire is just fantastic so thank you once again for the grant which will allow me to access this support every month.

Mari and Bear competing at Vale View already looking like champions
Mari and Bear with trainer, Rob, at Vale View

 We are very grateful to Mari for these great updates and hope she will keep them coming. 

If you missed them before, you can read her initial post (with some wonderful photographs), and her previous blog by following the links. 

She also has a hugely enjoyable and informative Website and Blogs that you can access HERE.

Keeping any horse, but particularly a horse competing at this standard, is an expensive business. If you’d like to contribute to what looks like a very bright future for Mari and Bear, and help to get Mari to the Olympics, she has a fund-raising page where you can also learn more about the hard work that goes into keeping and training a horse (and rider!) when you have your sights firmly set on such an ambitious and exciting goal. It’s inspirational reading.