Tokyo Paralympics: Sir Lee Pearson secures 12th career Paralympic gold medal

Tokyo Paralympics: Sir Lee Pearson secures 12th career Paralympic gold medal


Sir Lee Pearson claimed the 12th Paralympic gold medal of his distinguished career by winning the grade II individual dressage on homebred horse Breezer.

ParalympicsGB’s flagbearer from Rio 2016 triumphed in Tokyo with a score of 76.265.

The victory moved him into third place on Great Britain’s list of all-time Paralympic gold medallists, ahead of swimmer David Roberts and wheelchair racer Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and behind only Mike Kenny and Dame Sarah Storey.

Compatriot Georgia Wilson, a late replacement for the decorated Sophie Christiansen, took bronze on her Paralympic debut, riding Sakura and scoring 72.765.

Pearson had to settle for silver in this event in Brazil five years ago after being beaten by Pepo Puch of Austria.

The two again battled it out but this time the roles were reversed as Puch’s score of 73.441 on Sailor’s Blue was only good enough for second place.

And it’s Individual Test – Grade II GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLD for @SirLeePearson and Breezer in the dressage!#ImpossibleToIgnore

Staffordshire-born Pearson, who has arthrogryposis multiplex congenita, which means he cannot move his ankles or knees, now has a total of 15 Paralympic medals from six successive Games.

He was present on the day nine-year-old gelding Breezer was born, describing him as a “sensitive gentleman”.

The 47-year-old’s paternal instinct is also no longer limited to horses. Last year he took on the responsibility of becoming a single parent to a 15-year-old foster son.

Pearson predicted further Games glory would bring out his emotional side and duly delivered on that prophecy, while also revealing the inspiration behind his mount’s name.

“I am very, very emotional, I cried in the arena,” he said.

“It has been a long journey; he is a homebred horse and I am a dad now – I have never had to keep anyone else alive apart from myself!

“I have lots of emotions, my family aren’t out here to be with me and to do it on a homebred horse is amazing.

“His name is Breezer because his dad was Bacardi, so Bacardi Breezer! To say he has been with me since he was hours old in Staffordshire does make this extra special.”

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