Riding her new horse Lord Louis, our Beijing Paralympics ace Philippa Johnson ended second in a Belgian competition at the weekend, writes Mark Etheridge.
Preparation continues at pace for the London Paralympics and Johnson would have taken heart from her and her horse’s latest result.
The Flanders venue has never been a favourite of Johnson’s but with the Games getting ever closer beggars can’t be choosers.
The 2008 double gold medallist told Road to London 2012: “It has to be my absolutely worst place to ride but at the moment we need to get out as much as possible
“The warm-up arena was shocking and then to make things even more interesting we had to ride our class under a tent. This is not necessarily a bad thing but when you have storm force winds which pick the tent up and then drop it back down again it makes for some interesting riding.
“As much as I hated it the whole experience for Lord Louis was brilliant and hats off to the ‘little boy’ ÔÇô┬áhe behaved amazingly well.”
The combination’s result could have been a whole lot better but Johnson puts the blame on herself.
“We finished second with 66.97% out of 14 horses. We were only one point behind the leader, not 1% but just one point which works out to 0.3%. If I hadn’t fluffed my second walk pirouette we would have had it!”