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June 2008 Off the Wire . . .

 

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Second MS Para Dressage Rider Confirmed For Beijing, UK

Main Category: Multiple Sclerosis
Article Date: 27 Jun 2008


A second top Para Dressage rider has been chosen for the fourth time to join team GB at the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing.

Anne Dunham will join training mate Simon Laurens - who featured in this month's MS Matters - on the trip in September and is hoping for an individual as well as team gold medal.

Anne, 59, has been living with MS for 30 years and relies on the use of a wheelchair, but she said she has no plans to throw in the towel just yet and was delighted when news of her selection came through.

"It was a real thrill and almost more exciting than being selected the first time.

"The longer I compete, the harder the pressure is - the standard of sport is so high now. I've no intention to retire but have to take it year by year."

Anne, who lives near Swindon, was diagnosed in 1978 and is classed as a Grade 1A paralympic competitor, meaning she is categorised among the most disabled athletes.

Discussing her technique, Anne said that to command the horse, concentration is key.

"It involves a lot of thinking and subtly moving my weight. It's good exercise but is a mental challenge."

Having won a team gold at every paralympics since 1996, and an individual bronze at that event, she said she is hoping to build on that success.

"A team gold and individual gold is what I'm hoping for. I believe in aiming high."

The MS Society would like to congratulate Anne on her place in the games and wish her the best of luck.

Read more about Anne's team and training mate, Simon Laurens.

Multiple Sclerosis Society

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