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Dressage days to help fulfil Paralympic dream

May 17, 2011

Two dressage days are being held in Auckland over winter in the fundraising drive to help Rachel Stock on the path to the London 2012 Paralympics.

Rachel Stock and Donnergrollen, a nine-year-old hanoverian.

Stock had to sell Denzil to help fund her Olympic campaign.

Stock is seeking selection for Equestrian Sports New Zealand's High Performance Squad for the Paralympics. Last year she was named on the 2012 Squad, but these squads were put on hold before the World Equestrian Games in 2010, and new squads are being considered by ESNZ this year.

Stock says she is now "madly fundraising". The money is needed to meet some of the costs of international qualification.

The Ungraded Dressage Mini Winter Championship will be held on June 19 and July 17 at the Clevedon Showgrounds, in Auckland, and will be hosted by the Auckland Manukau Dressage Group.

The days will be open to all registered and unregistered combinations. More details can be found in the entry form below.

Stock broke her back when eventing on her horse in a competition in March 1993.

Since the long recovery process from this accident, she has been diagnosed with a degenerative bone disease which is methodically destroying the joints and remaining bone throughout her body.

"I have always found a way to do the things I love, and I live by the philosophy that, 'I will not allow the things I cannot do, prevent me from doing the things I can'," she says.

Stock rides Donnergrollen, a nine-year-old 17.2-hand chestnut Hanoverian gelding with an outstanding temperament and trainability. She has had to sell Denzil to fund her campaign. Denzil, a black 16.3-hand gelding won the Australian Horse of the Year title before Stock bought him. He has been sold to a rider in Wellington.

"Both horses have been re-schooled to accept a disabled rider and the para aids and are consistently proving themselves in competition.

"We have an amazing group of people who put so much time and effort into helping us achieve amazing results. It could not be done without them."

Stock praised the efforts of competition groom Carissa Thomas, Dutch coach Resa Van der Ven, Ricky Cook, Sarah Cruikshank, Jacqui Winspear, Caroline Barber, Philippa Addis and the Auckland Dressage Group.

"The success and journey belongs to all of us," she says.



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