20th July 2012, 4:28pm
Paralympic selection for University of Lincoln student
Sophie Wells University of Lincoln student and international dressage rider, Sophie Wells, has been selected for the Para Dressage team for the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

Her selection follows a first and second place in the Grade IV classes at the Hartpury Final Selection Trials on her two top horses Pinocchio and Valerius.

Modest Sophie said being selected in her first Olympic games is a dream come true.

Weve been working towards it for so long to be told its happening and were that step closer is amazing, although its not quite sunk in yet, she said.

Im chuffed to bits for the owners of my horses, Jackie and Neil. They have been so supportive over the past three and a half years and its a real achievement for them, Im so pleased I can do this for them.

Its also a massive testament to Angela Weiss, my trainer, that Im in this position of having a second horse to call upon; she has been unbelievably supportive in every way possible and its going to be very special heading to London with her.

The 22-year-old athlete - born with amniotic band syndrome, a condition that stops the hands and feet from forming properly in the womb - has dreamed of competing at the Paralympics since watching the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

The fact that I might be able to compete at home, makes it extra special. Not only does it give people who have supported me for years the chance to see me compete in a big competition, having a home ground advantage will be amazing for all British athletes competing, she said.

To focus on getting the best result possible at the games, Sophie deferred her study of sports development at the University whom she says has been very supportive and flexible in allowing her to balance her goals of competing in the Games and gaining a university education.
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