Blind dressage rider, Nicola Naylor has recently won the able-bodied Prix St George class at the Hickstead Premier League with a brilliant 67.81% on her horse Amadeus. This is an incredible accomplishment as Nicola, a registered blind Grade IV para dressage rider, only has a minute amount of light perception in one eye.
Winning a class of this calibre takes a lot of hard work and dedication for any rider. However, for Nicola it comes with its own additional challenges such as navigating busy warm up arenas and having to be very reliant on her team once she is on her horse to get her around the showground. Once in the arena, her trainer, International Grand Prix rider Dan Watson, has to call out the letters to her as she reaches them so that she can get her bearings.
Outside of the world of competing Nicola is incredibly independent. She has become an expert at travelling out of London on her own every day using both the tube and the train to go and ride her 5 horses. She is very dedicated to her training and this is shown through her many successful outings nationally and internationally at both para and able bodied competitions since 2011. Nicola had originally showjumped as a child however had to give up the sport when she lost her sight in her twenties. She returned to the equestrian world through dressage after being inspired by her daughter who had decided to take it up.
Having already rocketed up the FEI World Paralympic rankings to 11th place in her Grade this year and with aims to compete at Tokyo 2020, Nicola is certainly one to watch.
Nicola is an accomplished motivational and keynote speaker, if you or your organisation are interested in having Nicola speak at one of your corporate events or training days then get in touch with us.