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Shropshire's Ricky Balshaw to represent Great Britain

Sport | Published:

Leading Shropshire para-equestrian dressage rider Ricky Balshaw has been selected to represent Great Britain at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2010 in September.

Leading Shropshire para-equestrian dressage rider Ricky Balshaw has been selected to represent Great Britain at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2010 in September.

Balshaw, 23, who is on the British Equestrian Federation's World Class Performance Programme, will ride Mrs Hoeg's Academy Award at the games - which are being held in Kentucky, USA, from September 25.

Balshaw is classified as a grade Ib rider and has cerebral palsy which makes it hard for him to move his limbs individually.

He made his international debut in Finland in 2002, finishing third in all three classes he competed in and has been a regular at international level ever since.

His crowning moment on the international stage came in 2008 when he claimed a silver medal at the Beijing Paralympics.

Balshaw was understandably delighted to have secured his place in the squad for the Americann trip.

He said: "I'm over the moon to be selected, especially as this is the first ever WEG to include Paras.

"I'm definitely looking forward to taking in all the action, and bringing home some medals - also to try the real Kentucky fried chicken."

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World Class Performance Manager for para-equestrian dressage David Hunter added that Balshaw was part of an incredibly strong British unit that would be gunning for success across a series of disciplines.

He said: "The selected squad is well balanced, showcasing a mixture of experience and up-and-coming young riders, with some exciting new horse/rider combinations to look forward to.

"I feel confident that we're taking as strong a team as possible to WEG and that we'll put up a good fight to retain out team and individual titles.

"I'm working with the team and the ever important support team, to ensure that training continues successfully over the next two months before the games.

"As always, the training and the ability of our riders to train as much as they do, and with the support they need, is only possible with the funding from the World Class Programme and UK Sport - not only to take the squad to WEG and beyond, but also to allow for a transparent selection process."

The games includes eight disciplines with the para-dressage competition - in which Balshaw will be hopeful of winning a medal — taking place between October 5 and October 10.

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