Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

UXBRIDGE star Natasha Baker’s de­ci­sion to try her new horse at a three-star para-eques­trian dres­sage com­pe­ti­tion in Bel­gium paid off.

The Grade II rider won the team and in­di­vid­ual tests in Waregem while rid­ing Sooki St James to her first in­ter­na­tional suc­cess, in place of regular mount Cabral.

Cabral helped her to dou­ble Par­a­lympic gold at Lon­don 2012 but Baker’s score of 74.56 per cent in the team event and 74.71 per cent in the in­di­vid­ual dis­ci­pline jus­ti­fied her brave call.

“What an amaz­ing week,” said the Olympic gold medal­list, “My su­per­star Sooki com­peted at her first in­ter­na­tional and smashed it! Over­all Grade II win­ner and three in­cred­i­ble scores. I could not be more proud of her right now.”

Baker scored 74.200 per cent in the freestyle, leav­ing her marginally short of Bel­gian win­ner Bar­baraMin­neci’s score of 74.500 per cent.

“It’s the first time Sooki has trav­elled to an­other coun­try and she’s set­tled in re­ally well and feels good,” Baker added.

Photo by Ac­tion Images

n BEL­GIAN SUC­CESS: Natasha Baker

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