Gayle through to finals of dressage championship

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A DISABLED rider is celebrating reaching a championships event at the home of equestrianism.

Para dressage rider Gayle Bloomfield, who trains at the Pegasus Centre near Morpeth, has qualified for the Para Dressage Championships at Hickstead in June.

Gayle, who became national champion in the Restricted Grade 2 Class at the Winter National Championships, qualified whilst taking part in an event at Richmond Equestrian Centre in North Yorkshire.

She was riding her horse Bartie and achieved two first places with scores of 76.11 per cent and 73.8 per cent.

“We had a great day,” said Gayle.

“Bartie really enjoyed himself and performed superbly.”

Gayle was a recent nominee in the North East Disability Sports Awards.

Gayle took up para dressage after she developed multiple sclerosis.

The former air hostess and part-time riding instructor initially gave up horse riding after she was diagnosed with the disease.

However, she was persuaded to get back on a horse and has achieved great success.

Gayle’s horse Bartie was loaned to her by Sue Mead, his owner, who will be a steward at the 2012 Olympic Games.