Laura Curson, a Year 9 student at Stokesley School, has excelled at the National Riding for the Disabled Dressage Championship bringing home a haul of three awards. Riding Hunky Dory, Laura won the graded dressage test and was awarded the Charley Dargie trophy for the highest score in this test. She went on to win the graded freestyle dressage to music, and came 2nd in the dressage pairs with Kathryn Pavitt. As if this wasn’t enough, Laura and her groom were placed third in tack and turnout. However, the icing on the cake was when Laura received a surprise award at the final presentation when she won the Bob Galbreath Trophy for the best combined graded score over the whole weekend.
Laura has Glutaric Aciduira Type One, a rare metabolic condition, which affects her mobility. Her passion for riding is not only her greatest hobby but it also helps to stretch her muscles and improve her core strength.
Laura has developed a very special and unique bond with Hunky Dory, the pony she partnered at the national championships at Hartpury College in Gloucester. Hunky Dory belongs to Claire Robinson, the Manager of Stokesley Riding for the Disabled and Robinson’s Equiteach. Laura rides at the RDA Centre several times each week and her grit and determination to succeed have really paid off.
Robinson’s Equiteach kindly paid for all the Stokesley RDA competitors to enter the national championship and Jane Curson, Laura’s Mum, wanted to help towards the £2,000 entry fee and the additional costs of transporting the horses. Laura was delighted to raise £1,700 from a 10-hour gymathon to which Jane said: “I could not have completed this challenge without the support of family and friends, in particular Helen Wilson, who was my minion for the day!”
Laura commented: “These achievements mean the world to me and I am in my element. I feel I am going from strength to strength with my riding and getting closer to my ultimate dream of becoming a Paralympic champion one day. I would like to thank everyone who made this possible as I could not have done this without them.
Laura isn’t resting on her laurels and is already back in the saddle and looking ahead to next year’s championship. Her long-term goal is to represent Great Britain in the Paralympic Games in the future.
Hannah Millett, Headteacher at Stokesley School, concluded: “We continue to be exceptionally proud of Laura: not just for her incredible sporting achievements, but also for her general warmth and sunny disposition around our school. We are very lucky to have her as one of our students.”