“We were delighted when Hayley joined our small team supporting Natasha and Cally on their ‘Road to Rio’. Hayley plays an important role in keeping Cally in tip top condition ready for her intensive training and competition schedule. Landy also loves his massage with Hayley, especially liking the ‘apple stretches’ with specially adapted apple sticks.
Hayley has become a valuable team member, providing support at events and competition, and more than that has become a good friend! Thank you x” Yvonne Bennett (Natasha’s Mum)
Hayley is very proud to sponsor the inspirational Natasha Adkinson by regularly offering Equine Holistic Therapy to her stunning Hanovarian horses and sometimes some ‘chair massage’ to Mum, Yvonne and Natasha too when needed.
Natasha is a 24 year old Para Dressage Rider from Moray in Scotland, based in North Lincolnshire.
Natasha is an International Para Dressage rider on the National Lottery funded BEF World Class Programme and competes both nationally and internationally with her two horses Sweet Caledonia and Highlander.
UK Sport and the National Lottery support Natasha as well as British Dressage and the British Equestrian Federation.
Classification for Para Dressage is assessed on strength, range of movement and co-ordination. Natasha was born with VACTERL Syndrome, a congenital condition involving different parts of the body; so her joints dislocate frequently and spina bifida limits the use of Natasha’s back and neck.
Natasha feels very fortunate to train with Michel at Assouline Dressage Assouline and has competed in Para Dressage since 2009 and represented GB on Internationally. In 2012, Natasha’s Mum bought her Danny (Undercover 7), her beloved chestnut gelding, also known as the ‘BFG’. She was selected to represent Great Britain at the Bishop Burton CPEDI YR International where she became Overall Young Rider Champion and UK Leading Rider. Danny sadly had a fatal heart attack in the Spring of 2014 and is very much missed.
Natasha has achieved a great deal with her stunning black Hanoverian mare, Sweet Caledonia (Cally) and came 3rd at their first Hickstead Championships together, which led to being selected to represent Great Britain at the Bishop Burton CPEDI 2* and came 3rd.
Natasha and Cally won the British Dressage Grade 1b Winter Open Championships 2015 and came 2nd overall at the Para Dressage Summer Open Championships held at Hickstead!!!
Highlander, Natasha’s big handsome black Hanovarian gelding, has had a great start to his career too.
Both horses were bred by Caledonian Sport Horses and have been with Natasha from a very young age, which means they have had many years in which to develop the kind of relationship and connection which is essential for top competition.
Natasha really appreciates the support she receives from sponsors and supporters who include:
Blue Chip Horse Feed: www.facebook.com/Bluechipfeed
Well beings Natural Therapies: www.facebook.com/WellbeingsTherapies
Charles Owen: www.facebook.com/charlesowen
Flying Changes Bespoke Jackets and & Tailcoats: https://www.facebook.com/FLYINGCHANGES1
Calton Saddlery: www.facebook.com/CaltonSaddleryServices
Natasha gives thanks to UK Sport, The National Lottery and Equestrian GBR for selecting her onto the World Class Programme, which she has been part of since 2010 and feels lucky to have such a great team around her including her Mum, Grandparents, Coach Michel of Assouline Dressage, Farrier Jed Hallam, Lindsay Harrison of Portland Vets, Equine Massage Therapist Hayley Drakes, Equine Therapy and Rehabilitation Therapist Donna Barker, Saddler Emma Hallam, Strength & Conditioning Coach Adela, Physiotherapist Jill and The World Class team. Natasha has many Sponsors and Supporters including TopSpec, Charles Owen, NAF, Wellbeings Natural Therapies for People and Animals, Donna Barker Equine Therapy & Rehabilitation, Premier Equine International Ltd, Equestrian Surfaces, Equilibrium Products, Secretly Beautiful, Flying Changes Bespoke Jackets & Tailcoats, EquiAmi, Nynke Wierda Photography, Amber Major Eventing, UK Sport, The National Lottery, Equicore Concepts LLC, Caledonia Dressage Horses, Paddockwood Forge Limited Farriery, Portland House Equine Vets, Roeckl Equestrian.
List of Natasha’s Awards
February – 3rd Winter National Championships with 70.22% – Highlander’s first National
April – Deauville CPEDI 3* – 4th place with 70% in the Freestyle – Highlander’s first International
Part of the GB Team which won The Nations Cup in July 2017 at Hartpury Festival of Dressage CPEDI 3* and
Natasha and Sweet Caledonia won the Team Test with 73% at Hartpury CPEDI 3* and the Freestyle with a massive 77.68%
Selected to represent Great Britain 🇬🇧 at the European Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden in August but sadly had to withdraw.
Selected as First Reserve for Team GB Para Dressage team for Rio
2016 BD Grade 1b Para Dressage Winter Champion – Sweet Caledonia
British National Champion 2015 – Sweet Caledonia
BD Grade 1b Para Dressage Winter Champion – Sweet Caledonia
2nd at the Para Home International representing England as part of the Northern Region Team – Sweet Caledonia
‘Highest Placed Senior Rider’ at Para Home International – Sweet Caledonia
2nd at Para Dressage Summer Open Championships – Sweet Caledonia
3rd at Hartpury CPEDI 3* International – Sweet Caledonia
2nd at Bishop Burton CPEDI 3* International – Sweet Caledonia
3rd at Bury Farm CPEDI 3* International – Sweet Caledonia
4th at the Para Dressage Winter Championships – Sweet Caledonia
2nd at the Para Home International – Sweet Caledonia
3rd at the Para Dressage Open Summer Championships at Hickstead – Sweet Caledonia
3rd at Bishop Burton CPEDI2* – Sweet Caledonia
2nd at the Para Dressage Winter Restricted Championships – Undercover 7
2nd Individually and 4th representing England & the BD Northern Region as part of the Northern Region Team at the Para Home International – Undercover 7
2nd at the Para Dressage Summer Championships at Hickstead – Undercover 7
3rd at Bishop Burton CPEDI2* – Undercover 7
3rd at the British Dressage National Championships – Undercover7
2nd at the Para Dressage Winter Restricted Championships – Yogi II
Part of the Winning Team at the Para Home International and 1st Individually – Undercover 7
Overall Young Rider, Overall Grade 1b Young Rider and UK Leading Rider 2012 at Bishop Burton CPEDI 2* – Undercover 7
2nd at the Para Dressage Winter Restricted Championships – Yogi II
2nd at the Para Dressage Summer Championships – Prince Charming
Young Rider Champion at Bishop Burton CPEDI 2* – Prince Charming
Part of the Winning Team at the Para Home International representing England – Prince Charming
2nd at Millfield CPEDI Junior International – Prince Charming
RDA Regional Champion – Tribal Indian
RDA National Champion – Tribal Indian
2nd at Millfield CPEDI Junior International – Tribal Indian
Before Para Dressage:
3rd at the Pony Club National Novice Dressage Championships in 2007 – Chad
2nd at the Dressage Kilgraston Scottish Schools Equestrian Championships in 2007 – Chad
Part of the Winning Team at the Kilgraston Scottish Schools Equestrian Champs in 2005 – Miss Ellie
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games: North Lincolnshire woman going for gold
Scunthorpe Telegraph – 25 May 2015
A PROMISING young horse rider from North Lincolnshire is hoping to go for gold at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Natasha Adkinson, 21, has been riding horses since the age of seven, despite a serious physical disability.
Natasha suffers from spina bifida, which had left large parts of her spine fused.
Her joints dislocate on a daily basis, but it has not stopped her becoming one of the country’s most promising para-dressage riders.
Training at her home near Haxey, she has been tutored by Team GB para-equestrian star Sophie Wells – who won gold at London 2012.
Sophie said: “I have recently started working with Natasha now that she is back on the world class programme – this is a positive step towards her future goals.
“She has a lovely young horse, that with the right training could become a world class horse, which is so exciting for Natasha and her team.
“With hard work, time and effort Natasha will be one to watch for the future.”
Natasha said: “I am on the world class programme at the moment and won the national championships in March.
“I am hoping the next stop is Rio. I’ve got two internationals coming up and I just need to get my scores as high as possible. At the winter championships I finished third to Ricky Balshaw and Lee Pearson, who won gold at London 2012. I was very pleased with that. I definitely think there is a possibility of me getting to Rio. I am on a full training schedule and it would be a dream for me. It is not just about the paralympics, but all the hard work I have done for years. My horse, Sweet Caledonia, is part of the family. To take her would be amazing.”
When she rides Natasha uses a loop on her reins so that she keeps control if one of her fingers dislocates.
She believes her success has come from riding without thinking of herself as disabled.
“I started when I was seven, even though I have the top of my neck and spine fused,” she said.
“I thought you might as well enjoy life and enjoy what you are doing. I never considered myself disabled and started out in able-bodied riding. It wasn’t until I was 14 that I looked into para-dressage. I feel like I am just as capable as other riders. I have done jumping and everything in the past. The only thing that is different is using looped reins, because my fingers dislocate and I can’t grip, so I hold the loops.It is not a massive difference and I just get on with it. I train my horse six times a week and also get help from Sophie Wells, who is my support rider. I would love to go for a gold. That is definitely a goal and I have always said my mare would suit a medal.”