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Keyflow Stage1v3

Para-equestrian dressage rider has to forego selection to represent Great Britain

Dressage competition time: Alison Fryer & Sandy (Copyright photo courtesy Alex Kennedy - atk photography)Dressage competition time: Alison Fryer & Sandy (Copyright photo courtesy Alex Kennedy - atk photography)Alison Fryer lives in a village in the Marlborough area and keeps her horses in stables at Rockley - and she was selected to represent Great Britain in a one star para-equestrian dressage competition.

 

But she decided she could not take part as the competition was at Bishop Burton, just north of Hull.  The expense of getting there would just have been too great.

 

As she told marlboroughequestrian.news: "Yes, unfortunately I had to turn this amazing opportunity down as with only four weeks notice before the competition and financial constraints of competing at such a high level, it was too much for this year - it will be one of our goals for 2019." 

 

"It would have cost about three and a half thousand pounds to get there - with the transport for horse and us: taking my coach, a groom, entry fees, hotels costs and the extra equipment."

 

Alison is thirty-one years old and a Grade III Para-dressage rider: "During my birth I had a stroke, which luckily was only mild.  However, the whole of my right side is significantly weaker than my left wide making me asymmetrical.  It's called right side Hemiplegia."

 

Balance and dressage are two sides of the same coin: "As you can appreciate, this is particularly difficult when dressage's focus is on precision, accuracy and evenness throughout."

 

Alison is now looking ahead to September - and training hard.  She has qualified as an individual entry for both the Bronze and Silver Para Summer Championships - and they are a bit closer to home, at Solihull.

 

Alison Fryer and Sandy Alison Fryer and Sandy Alison Fryer and Boris Alison Fryer and Boris She has two horses.  German-bred Boris, who is thirteen years old and is on loan to Alison from her coach Ali Byrne.   And Sandy, an eighteen year old gelding, she owns herself and has only been riding since February.

 

After a relatively short time training together, she and Sandy were selected in April for the British Dressage South West team and competed at the Para Home Internationals: "We did really well.  We did better than expected."

 

 Although Alison was the least experienced of the four riders in the team, her second and third places counted for the team's score.

 

Alison went to university in Liverpool, but then won one of the European Union's Erasmus scholarships and completed a sociology degree at Innsbruck University in Austria.  As well as gaining her degree, she enjoyed the skiing there.  But the inevitable tumbles did her right knee no good at all.

 

 Four years ago, she came back to England and took up riding again - seriously.  She had ridden before - as a child: "I rode when I was very little - as part of the Riding for the Disabled Association."

 

 For nearly a year Alison has been working full-time as an analyst with Nationwide in Swindon.

 

 Alison's parents, who live in the Marlborough area, have been very supportive.  And she has sponsorship from Alex Kennedy of ATK Photography, RFY Training and Biomechanics, Amaze Brush, Daysoft and coach Ali Byrne.

 

And she is registered with the web-based Leg Up For Talent which helps talented young riders get the sponsorship they need to progress further.  Sponsorship is essential - Alison has her eyes firmly fixed on reaching the podium.

 

 

 

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