Team Bella to go to National Indoor Carriage Driving Championships.
Following a very successful fund raising dress down day at Chubb Bulleid in support of Team Bella, our head of accounts Kim Lord was delighted to visit the Conquest Riding Centre to present a cheque for £400 to Val Starr who is part of the ground team. On the carriage is Laura who has the reins firmly in hand and standing behind her is Deb Tower who is the trusty "backstepper".
About Laura and the Conquest Riding Centre
My name is Laura Shears and I was diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy when I was 2 years old which affects the whole right side of my body. This is when I first started horse riding for core and general muscle strength. When I was 8 years old I started riding at the Conquest Riding Centre and I went on to represent the south west region in disabled dressage and tried out for the Paralympic Dressage Team and got through to the final stages of selection twice.
In January 2014, I met Barbara Nadin, an extremely experienced carriage driver. I had one carriage driving session with Barbara and I was hooked. The pony that I started driving was Bella, a Norwegian Fjord pony with heaps of attitude and a beautiful nature. She like me had never competed in a carriage driving competition, so we have learnt together and have built an incredible partnership. The rest of the team is made up of Deb Towers who is my backstepper, a trusty ground crew of Val & David Starr who transport Bella and the carriage to competitions and events, together with the invaluable support and energy of everyone at Conquest, my family and friends. We are on our third season of competing in the south west indoor carriage driving and compete against able-bodied competitors. We are only able to train about once a fortnight generally but with a ton of dedication from everyone, Team Bella have achieved first place in our class three times this season. This has got us recognised by the organisers of the National indoor carriage driving championships and we have been invited to compete at the beginning of April, which would fulfil my goal and dreams.
Team Bella would like to thank the staff and directors at Chubb Bulleid who have been so supportive and their generosity has meant that we reached our target quickly. We are so excited to be competing in the championships, watch this space for photos of our adventures!