Richard Neumann prepares to represent GB

Bader Grant recipient, Para Dressage Rider Richard Neumann, is getting prepared to represent Great Britain on his horse, Smartie.

Richard Neumann prepares to represent GB but Smartie (above right), on the other hand, is blissfully unaware that he soon going to have to work! He’s having a lovely relaxing time grazing with his 2 stable mates, relatively old hand, Otto (2nd left), and precociously talented youngster, Kisper (left).

In the videos below you will see Kisper who likes almost nothing more than a good scratch

Kisper enjoys a good scratch

and Richard and his horse, Smartie, training together.

Richard and Smartie in training

It’s extraordinary to realise that only 12 years ago, following a serious injury playing rugby, Richard was told that he’d never walk again. First he disproved that prognosis, taking his first unaided step a year later, then, in 2014, he decided to try riding to help regain his fitness, found he had an aptitude for it and now he is competing as a para dressage rider for his country. An extraordinary achievement!

In Richard’s words:

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)

Richard has promised to update us after the event. We’re sure you’ll join us in wishing this courageous, determined and, as you can see from the above, very hard working and committed athlete the very best of luck in the meantime…


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