Young riders from the Chigwell Riding Trust invited to spend afternoon with triple gold medal winning Paralympian Sophie Christiansen

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Brother and sister James and Sophie Lingfield with Paralympian Sophie Christiansen Brother and sister James and Sophie Lingfield with Paralympian Sophie Christiansen

TWO young horseriders were given the chance to spend an afternoon in the saddle with a triple gold medallist Paralympian.

Brother and sister James, 12, and Sophie Lingfield, 16, of Malvern Gardens, Loughton, are regular riders at the Chigwell Riding Trust, based in Grange Farm, Chigwell.

After hearing about the specialist riding school on ITV's London Tonight, British equestrian Sophie Christiansen invited the pair to join her for a riding session.

Miss Christiansen, who has cerebral palsy, won three gold medals at the London 2012 Paralympics, having clocked up two golds and a silver in Beijing.

Davenant Foundation School pupils Sophie and James, who both have muscular dystrophy, joined the champion at her South Buckinghamshire stables on Monday (September 24).

Mum Toni, 48, said: "It was amazing. Sophie just couldn't believe the opportunity and James for once was lost for words.

"It's so hard to put into words because it was an actual dream come true."

Sophie - who last year won two titles at national riding championships - is now hoping to follow in her namesake's footsteps and compete at the Paralympics in 2016.

  • The Chigwell Riding Trust is currently on the lookout for volunteers to help out at the stables. For more information, call 020 8500 6051 or visit www.chigride.co.uk.

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