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Sophie Christiansen & Lambrusco III


The Sophie Christiansen Support Fund, initiated by a group of people in the Ascot Sunningdale area, is designed to help provide financing for British Para-equestrian
Sophie Christiansen in her bid to compete successfully in the London 2012 Paralympic Equestrian Games. In addition, it is hoped that sufficient funds will remain for Sophie to create a legacy in which monies may also be available to encourage promising, up-coming British para-equestrian riders after the Games have finished.
A fund-raising Art Exhibition organized by ‘Team Sophie’ at the Alan Kluckow Fine Art Gallery was held on 11th December 2009. All funds raised will go into the ‘The Team Sophie Olympic Support Fund’ which has been set up at Barclays Bank in Ascot.

Susan Leyland, sculptress and one of the founding members of ‘Team Sophie’ has donated two portrait sculptures of Sophie and Lambrusco III as well as her original sketches and prints.

A video interview with Sophie with Lambrusco III by kind permission of Horse Hero

Alan Kluckow Fine Art. Team Sophie Exhibition

Alan Kluckow Gallery

Paul McCartney & Sophie

Sophie at the gallery

Sketches to sculpture

Sophie Christiansen and Lambrusco III


To me, the Paralympics are the peoples’ Olympics; not everyone can run as fast as Usain Bolt, but they can associate themselves with what Paralympians do—so what if you get a “knock back” in life, as long as you have a dream, you can go out there and achieve it. — Sophie Christiansen, 2009

Sophie Christiansen is a Paralympic equestrian athlete. Against all odds, this woman of courage and determination has achieved greatness. 21-year-old Sophie Christiansen on her horse Lambrusco III, lent by the Para Dressage Training Trust, won two gold medals and a silver medal establishing a world record in equestrian events at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics.

Born with a severe form of quadriplegic cerebral palsy, Sophie began her equestrian journey at the age of six as a form of physiotherapy. At 12, Sophie was referred to a local stable with a trainer who helps prepare riders for international competition—and the rest has been history!

Sophie began international competition at the age of 15 in Madrid. She was selected for the British team for Athens 2004 at the age of 16 with the expectation of earning no more than experience for future Paralympic competition. But Sophie earned more than experience; this extraordinary young woman brought home a bronze medal in the Individual Championship Test!

The whole experience was extraordinary and raised my game completely; I learnt the importance of teamwork, became more confident and less self-conscious… and generally grew up. — Sophie Christiansen, 2009

Sophie continued to compete internationally and earned more awards while preparing for the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games. She won three gold medals at the European Championships in Hungary in 2005, and one gold and one bronze at the World Championships in the United Kingdom in 2007.

Entering the Beijing Paralympics with her characteristic tenacity and strength, Sophie and Lambrusco III had trained and practiced well, seeking a competitive edge. They were ready. As they entered the arena Sophie thought, “I can do this if Lambrusco and I pull off the movements we’ve practiced.” And, they did! With the heart of a champion, Sophie brought home a gold in the Freestyle Test, a silver in the Championship Test, and a second gold in the Team Competition, setting a team world record.

There is nothing like the thrill of receiving an individual gold medal as you listen to your national anthem. —Sophie Christiansen, 2009

Sophie Christiansen has met many celebrities and has been incredibly honoured in her journey. Her photo-portrait was featured at the National Portrait Gallery in an exhibition called Exceptional Youth. Paul McCartney, in a video made to benefit the British Paralympic Association, called Sophie Christiansen a “hero.” Sophie was honoured in 2009 with being made a Member of the Order of the British Empire. But Sophie Christiansen, MBE, continues to be deeply grateful for the special people who have assisted her through her challenges and been a part of her successes.

I am the nurses who resuscitated me after I had a heart attack and a collapsed lung as a tiny baby. I am my Dad, who caught me each time I fell off my pony as I tried to start jumping at age 9. I am the volunteers at the Riding for the Disabled Association. I am my school physical education teacher who recognized me as a sportswoman. I am the famous and inspirational people I have met as well as my brother, who has always treated me like a normal sister. —Sophie Christiansen, 2009

Sophie Christiansen still has a dream. Her Paralympic equestrian history has chapters still to be written as this spirited young woman continues her journey riding toward London 2012.

Team Sophie -  Cheques can also be sent to Alan Carr at Carrs of Ascot, 7 High Street, Ascot, SL5 7JF, and should be made payable to Team Sophie Support Fund

 © Susan Leyland. All rights reserved.