Sophie Christiansen CBE
‘Multiple gold medals’
Sophie first began riding at the age of six with the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA). Born with cerebral palsy, Sophie initially started having lessons as a form of physiotherapy. Little did she know that she’d one day become a multi-time Paralympian. “The beauty of our sport is that women and men compete on an equal playing field,” says Sophie. “Horses are a great leveller and it puts men and women of all abilities on even terms.” She has become one of the most successful British dressage riders of all time, competing in four Paralympic Games on the trot (netting eight golds), plus winning medals at both European and international level. “Winning gold at the Paralympics in London was really special,” says Sophie. “Having 10,000 people watching was incredible and it’s been great to bring para dressage to a different audience. “I have a new horse now, called Harry, and I’m aiming for the World Equestrian Games in September. The standard of riding has gone up so much recently — even since Rio — so it’ll be tough. It’s great that we have so many riders to choose from, though.” To top it all off, Sophie also has a first-class master’s degree in maths from the University of London. She’s a real-life Wonder Woman!
Sophie has achieved huge Paralympic success