Unfortunately since this blog was published, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics has since been postponed. Mari tells us all the exciting plans she had in the build up to Tokyo including her training regimes. We would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our customers and friends well. Please enjoy catching up with Mari’s February blog.

February Blog

We started off the month by heading to squad training with Bear. Mum came this time as dad was unable to come and I was also very lucky to have Katie with us. We had a fantastic two days so much learnt and taken on board. It’s fantastic to have so much expertise in one place. It was great to hear so much positive feedback the main ones being my position has improved and that Bear is going so much better. They could see an improvement from the yard visit which was only a couple of weeks ago so that’s super and very exciting!

After squad training Bear had a well-deserved massage from Lee. It was great to hear how good he feels and to see the benefits he gets from having regular massages.

I have had some more great sessions at Bisham with Henry and Caryl. You can follow my journey to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics every Sunday on my Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/MariDurwardAkhurstParaDressage/.

Sky is going really well in training and I have got a date in the diary booked in for our first competition. Sky is very excited and cannot wait to show off to everyone!!

We headed off for the Winter Para Dressage Championships at Myerscough College, a very long drive there and back in total over 12 hours! It was very wet and windy; one night we had no sleep as the lorries were waving so much in the wind! Thankfully Bear had a nice warm stable and was out of the wind and rain.

We had a successful four days of competition and posted three plus 70% scores; a good start to our Tokyo campaign. There is still room for improvement, but things are going in the right direction and that’s a big improvement since Keysoe.

A massive thank you to all my sponsors and supporters; to my mum and dad, sister, friends and family, Trout Rise and Rob for all their help in getting prepared and competing at this competition.

Quiny was fantastic and didn’t get stuck in any of the mud or puddles and got me safely from A to B.

I had the pleasure of mentoring Sophie one of my mentees at the event and am delighted to say she became Grade 1 Bronze Champion.

I finished the month off by going to the Rotary Club of Maidenhead Thames to speak. Despite IT issues I had a wonderful evening and have inspired another bunch of people to take every opportunity they are given and to follow their dreams. There were lots of questions and I think everyone in the room learnt something new.

With February being a leap year, Rare Disease Day was celebrated on the 29th May; a cause very close to my heart. Due to my conditions being so rare I have had so many medical professionals treat me very poorly. I want to spread the word so that no one else has to go through what I did. I finally got some answers last year from genetic tests and hope in the future there will be more known about the conditions and maybe even some treatment.