Black Country Saddles sponsored rider Sophie Wells was presented with the prestigious Horse of the Year Show 2017 Equestrian of the Year Award on the opening night of the end of season finale.
Fresh from her time on the podium at the Para-European Dressage Championships in August, Sophie was presented with the award under the Andrews Bowen International Arena spotlight.
Sophie has been in amazing form this season following on from her many major successes in recent years.
Said Mark Bryan, Managing Director of Black Country Saddles: “We are all delighted that Sophie’s hard work and commitment to the sport has led to her being presented with the HOYS 2017 Equestrian of the Year Award. It is well deserved and everyone in the team is very proud of her many achievements.”
Sophie’s brilliant team of horses have included Touchdown M and her ride at the 2009 Europeans, Pinnocchio, where they successfully won three gold medals, the first gold a British rider had ever won at grade V (then grade IV).
Sophie and Pinocchio went on to win a gold medal in the 2010 World Championships and Sophie also became the first para-rider to compete in an able-bodied championship team at the Young Rider Europeans. At the 2012 Paralympics in London, Sophie won a gold medal cheered on by the home crowd.
The 2016 Rio Paralympic Games saw Sophie and Valerius, her 15-year-old gelding, win another individual gold medal before 2017 beckoned.
This year Sophie won the Prix St George Winter Championship title with C Fatal Attraction, a 10-year-old KWPN gelding owned by Charlotte Hogg.
At the Para-European Dressage Championships in August, Sophie took individual championship silver, individual freestyle gold and team gold in Gothenburg, once again riding C Fatal Attraction, putting in another fantastic performance.
Sophie is currently ranked as second on the FEI World Para-Equestrian rankings and received a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2013 New Year’s Honours list.