Posted: Thu 11th Apr 2024

Golden girl Jess has heart set on Paralympics following equine victory

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales


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Golden girl Jess Pritchard rode to victory in a prestigious equestrian competition.

The Coleg Cambria student won the 1* Grade Three Para Dressage competition at the Addington International Arena.

Representing Team GB, Jess – an Entry Level 3 Learner in Animal Care, based at Northop – said it was the biggest victory of her life.

The 17 year-old, from Cheshire, and her horse Ted completed a number of challenges including a perfect 20m circle, centre line activities and ‘trot-ups’, with tasks becoming “more complicated” each day.

“It was an intense three days of tests and riding, so I’m thrilled to have come first,” she said.

“There were riders there from all over the world and people watching at home via the internet, so it was quite nerve-racking – especially as there was a last-minute delay when I was due to begin my routine! – but I managed to stay calm and scored well.”

A former pupil at Dorin Park School in Chester, Jess added: “I practice at home and hope to keep improving my grade. My ultimate dream is to one day represent Great Britain at the Olympics – I’ll keep working hard to get there.

“I have won prizes and medals before, but this is the biggest one yet, so it fills me with confidence for the future.

“Ultimately, I would love to compete in the Olympics, but I would also like to help disabled children learn how to ride. I am lucky I grew up around horses, so I think that would be very rewarding.”

Jess, who has cerebral palsy and epilepsy, plans to ride her other horse Cheerio in upcoming competitions, supported by mum Shelly, who also coaches her.

Allison Hillier-Jones, a Progress Coach for Foundation and Entry Level at Northop, congratulated her on the “amazing achievement”.

“Jess is an inspirational learner and only let us know a few days before the event that she was a rider with Team GB! We were completely surprised and excited for her,” said Allison.

“She is so down to earth yet so driven and talented, we are really proud of Jess – she smashed it

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