Mari Akhurst – Dressage Videos

Our first Lady Bader Grant Recipient of the Month, Mari Akhurst has kindly sent us a link to 2 videos of her riding her beautiful young horse, Mr Bear, at Hartpury; one of them competing in the Team Test and one in the pre-test warm up. I’m sure you’ll agree that Mari looks wonderful on a horse and they make a fabulous team.

Joan Bader & Patience

The Lady Bader Grant scheme was initiated following Joan Bader’s death in 2015, to commemorate her name and memory with grants and special awards for applicants whose goals match her own interests and life-time achievements. She always loved horses and was an accomplished horsewoman, show jumper and eventer. We knew she would be delighted to support Mari in her quest and would undoubtedly have admired Mari’s great seat on a horse and envied her long legs – she was always bemoaning her short ones! 

I have Cerebral Palsy, hyper mobility and lax ligaments. My CP affects all four limbs and has left me weaker down my left side than my right. As a result of my CP my coordination, balance and muscle tone are all affected. I have a permanent limp and walk with a walking stick. I am unable to walk long distances and so use a scooter. Mari Akhurst

Mari puts so much work into her success as a rider. Due to her condition, she needs to work constantly on building and maintaining her core strength which involves an exhausting exercise programme. Recently a deterioration in her condition means she has had to increase an already punishing regime. She shows extraordinary courage and determination in the pursuit of her goal to compete for Team GB in the para dressage at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. With her sheer guts and Bader can do spirit in spades, we have no doubt that she will achieve her dream.

Check out her videos here if you need any more convincing!

If you’d like to help this really promising young rider, Mari has a GoFundMe fund-raising page and would be extremely grateful for any donations. 

You can read more about Mari’s challenge and about her partnerships with her two beautiful horses, Sky and Bear, from her wonderfully honest and informative Blog Page. It makes inspiring reading!


New Video Footage from Mari Akhurst

Previous Lady Bader Grant Recipient of the Month, the very gutsy Mari Akhurst, has sent us 2 videos of herself and her young dressage horse, Bear, in action. 

Mari, whose dream is to represent Team GB in the Tokyo Olympics in the Para Dressage competition, is getting ever closer to achieving her goal having done extremely well representing GB at the recent Hartpury Dressage Event. As you can see from the videos, Mari is a wonderfully sympathetic rider who looks fabulous on horseback. 


  (Video links may have to be downloaded to your computer to view)

The DBF is proud to support Mari in her quest and have no doubt that with her inspirational, can-do attitude she’ll go all the way. We’re are very grateful to her for keeping us updated. 

Mari has cerebral palsy that affects all four limbs and has left her weaker down her left side. As a result of her CP her coordination, balance and muscle tone are all affected. Sadly, a recent deterioration in Mari’s condition means more adaptations and yet more costs for her as she pursues her goal. While she works hard to raise funds herself, any donations are greatly appreciated, especially at this difficult time. If you’d like to Help Get Mari to the Olympics, you can donate through her fundraising page and support this very determined and talented young rider.