March Update from Mari

I told you last month March was going to be exciting and it couldn’t have started any better! But sadly, due to the COVID-19 pandemic things have been very quiet, and a lot of things have been cancelled; which is completely understandable under the circumstances.

I got invited to speak at Adidas for International Women’s Day. A massive thank you to Sports Aid Eastern for suggesting me when they were asked by Adidas to suggest a strong, successful inspirational woman. Thank you so much to Adidas for asking me to come and share my story. I did a speech entitled therapy to podium. It was a fantastic turn out and everyone was engaged, and I got asked lots of questions at the end. I had wonderful feedback about how I had inspired them by my journey into competitive Para dressage. I was treated to a lovely lunch in the boardroom afterwards and signed my first book. A fantastic day and hopefully I will return with I my gold medals one day!

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Since the Winter Championships I have been working very hard in training with both horses. With Bear we have been working on hind engagement and really getting him to push from behind which then means he is able to lift in front. We have been working on several exercises and I am delighted to say Bear is much stronger and the last session on him I found the lift; which is very exciting! He has come on massively since the Winters; hard work really does pay off. Its great to have input from the World Class Programme and I am able to get feedback from the trainers whilst training at home or in competition.

Before the lock down I managed to get Bear out to a summer qualifier where we posted two more 70% scores. Sky was getting ready for his first party which was sadly cancelled. But believe it or not Sky’s walk has got even bigger!! For those of you that follow my social media pages you will have seen videos of Sky and Bear.

I am delighted to say that I am being supported by the Anders Foundation for another year. I am hoping to put the grant towards competing abroad but obviously plans are on hold at the minute. Thank you to Heather; the Anders Foundation have got a fantastic new website check it out at https://andersfoundation.org/.

I fall into the high risk group as a lot of disabled people do so I am self-isolating and avoiding as much social contact as I can. I am carrying on my gym programme at home and slowly turning my parents living room into a gym! I am also still able to train on the horses as I am not mixing with anyone else and limiting my time there. Thanks to Katie the yard manager there are several measures in place which means we can all continue to train and enjoy our horses.

Its official The Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games have been postponed due to the global impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus). I have been building towards the games for some time so this news is hard to take. We were all so nearly there and its just the date that has changed; my goals haven’t. I am sure when the time is right Japan will deliver a fantastic Olympics and Paralympics. But this is completely the right decision to have made under the circumstances. It allows everyone the time to focus on what really matters and keeping everyone safe. It also means I get longer to prepare and can train even harder and whenever the opportunity comes around I’ll be ready to dance down that centre line!

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I hope everyone is keeping safe; please be sensible and look after everyone else.

That’s it for this month let’s see what happens next month.

Posted on 2nd April, 2020
Posted in Sponsored Riders

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