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Da Vinci inspiration helps Sutton to top of the class
6:00am Thursday 20th September 2012 in Sport
THEY may still be a new partnership, but that didn’t stop Swindon-based Alex Sutton and Da Vinci II winning two classes at the Para Equestrian International Dressage Championships held at Bishop Burton College in Yorkshire.
Aboard the 13-year-old chestnut warmblood he has only worked with for two months, Sutton recorded wins in the Young Riders Grade II restricted and team test classes, scoring 68.49 per cent and 68.41 per cent respectively.
The duo also won the Young Rider section in the Grade II freestyle to music on 72.50 per cent, picking up second overall just behind Paralympics 2008 gold and silver medallist, Lauren Barwick.
The 19-year-old Sutton is on the British Equestrian Federation’s UK Sport-funded World Class Development Programme, and was delighted with how the competition had gone.
"We definitely improved as the competition went on and I’m really pleased with all my results,” he said.
“I listened carefully to all the advice I was given and it really paid off as Leo (Da Vinci II’s stable name) and I worked well together.
“We will now be focusing on the qualifiers for the British Dressage Winter Championships.”
Sutton, who is classified as a Grade II rider, was born with cerebral palsy and more specifically, right side hemiplegia which affects the whole of the right side of his body.
He has recently been awarded the Margaret Giffen Bursary at Hartpury College, which provides financial support for disabled equestrian students.