1. Rebecca Hart @rebeccahart136
Rebecca Hart has represented the United States at several international events, including three consecutive Paralympic games and three FEI World Equestrian Games. A Grade III rider, she was born with a rare genetic disease called hereditary spastic paraplegia, a progressive impairment that causes paralysis from the middle of the back down.
2. Emma Booth @emmabooth_paraequestrian
Before the car accident that paralyzed her and killed two horses, Australian para-equestrian Emma Booth was a competitive non-disable dressage rider. After her accident, she spent four months in the hospital with horrific injuries. Incredibly, she was back in the saddle just a few months after that. A Grade III athlete, she represented Australia in the Paralympic Games in Rio and the World Equestrian Games 2018 in Tryon, North Carolina. Her goal is to compete in her second Paralympics in Tokyo, 2020.
3. Natasha Baker @nbakerpararider
At 14 months old, British rider Natasha Baker contracted transverse myelitis, which left her with permanent nerve damage, loss of balance and sensation, and severe weakness in her legs. When riding, Natasha—A Grade III athlete—is unable to use conventional aids, so she instructs her horses entirely through verbal commands and seat movements. She’s a five-time Paralympic equestrian champion and a five-time European champion.
4. Rixt van der Horst @rixthorst
You may not be able to understand the captions of the Grade III Dutch Paralympian, but her photos speak for themselves. Van der Horst has a form of cerebral palsy called spastic diplegia as a result of a lack of oxygen during birth. She says in her FEI profile, “I loved horses and it was recommended by my physiotherapist. At first I rode without a saddle with someone behind me to hold me or I would have fallen off. My hips are in the wrong position, so it was not good to ride on a saddle at first but, after a few years, I wanted to try it and it went really well.”
5. Stinna Tange Kaastrup @ stinnatangesgrankusiner
The young Danish Paralympian is a rock star FEI World Equestrian Games gold medallist!