Featured Bader Grant Recipient – Richard Neumann, Para Dressage Rider

As well as our Bader Grant Recipient of the Month, I will occasionally feature one of our Bader Grant Recipients. I hope that you’ll find their stories inspiring and that seeing how many people and groups receive Bader Grants to help them to pursue a diverse range of dreams and goals will encourage others to apply.

I hope to introduce as broad a range of recipients as possible. I’ll be inviting people to share their stories but would also be delighted if previous recipients could get in touch with their own news and updates. Why did you apply for a Bader Grant in the first place? How may receiving one have helped you to pursue your own personal goal and impacted on your life? We’d love to hear from you…
Herewith Richard’s story accompanied by some photographs of his beautiful equine partner, Otto. Thank you, Richard, for letting us publish it.

I was boxing  when I was offered a full time contract to play rugby. During my career I achieved international honours on several occasions, unfortunately on my last international I injured myself in a way that put me in a wheelchair and was advised I would never walk again, that was on May 17th 2010, on May 11th 2011 I took my first unaided step, I wanted to do something to help me  physically, mentally and emotionally get back to my old life as much as I could.
I started to ride in September 2014  and found I enjoyed the challenge, I began to have lessons and go to the occasional show,  I now ride and am aiming for international honours once again, I run ten miles three times a week and train every day. After three major operations I am hoping there is no more, but cannot be sure, I now have the same ambition I had as a young rugby player, nothing is unachievable if you believe you can achieve your dream, However I was incredibly fortunate that after my injury I had support and encouragement, everybody can achieve the life they want with the right encouragement and support, looking for solutions and not problems and seeing the situation you find yourself in as the start of an amazing journey. When I was told I would probably never walk again as an international sports person I was devastated, however if that would have not happened I would have never have had the opportunity to represent my country again. (Richard Neumann)
Following further surgery, Richard is looking forward to getting back in the saddle and he and Otto will resume competing in June. We wish them luck and the best of success and very much look forward to hearing how he gets on.