David sets sights on gold for his Paralympic team

It is a tough act to follow but David Hunter, chief executive of Fakenham Racecourse, is hoping for more golden moments from Team GB's equine experts in the forthcoming Paralympic Games.

With the extraordinary success of Team GB's Olympic equestrian team still fresh in everyone's minds, Mr Hunter was cautious but quietly confident as he headed to London yesterday for his other job - chef d'equipe for the British para-dressage team.

'There is no room for complacency,' he said. 'It will be a tough competition particularly as it is the first Games we have been to with five riders instead of seven, a change made by the Paralympic Federation to limit nations to five riders. But I am hopeful we will have a successful Games off the back of such a successful Olympics.'

Mr Hunter's role means that he oversees everything regarding the team, from the accommodation to ensuring riders are in the right place at the right time and that they, their carers and the horses have everything they need throughout the competition which will also be held at Greenwich Park.

The team is made up of Lee Pearson, unbeaten at the last three Paralympic Games, with his horse Gentleman, Sophie Wells on Pinocchio, Debbie Criddle with LJT Akilles, Natasha Baker riding Cabral and Sophie Christiansen on Janeiro 6.


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'They need to have someone to manage them and organise everything so they have one point of contact and nothing is left to chance,' he said.

'We are very pleased that all the riders that were selected are fit, as are the horses, so we have not had to suddenly arrange new rider/horse combinations and four of the riders have competed at the test event so they know the venue.

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'There will be pressure but we feel confident we will be able to channel the positive support as the home nation.'

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