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This week at the 2017 Gothenburg Championship we are seeing how all the training and hours in the saddle have been paying off for these riders.
Denmark and Great Britain stole the show as they battled for top spots. With Sophie Wells from Great Britain holding her ground on C Fatal Attraction to bring in a 3rd gold for Freestyle, while 17 year old Danish competitor, Tobias Joergensen, brought Denmark a bronze.
The Japanese team was not in Gothenburg this week, but we’re looking forward to seeing them in 2020.
Miyaji Mitsuhide is one of their current-qualifying riders, making his 2016 debut with Bandero in Grade Ib, alongside the likes of Pepo Puch, Lee Pearson, Stinna Kaastrup, Nicole Den Dulk and Sydney Collier.
Mr. Miyaji began working with horses long before his Paralympic career took off, exercising racehorses at the elite training facility of Ritto, one of the two stables owned by the Japanese Racing Association.
His career changed forever one morning in 2005 when he suffered a stroke at the stables.
His love for horses and passion to ride did not waver after he was faced with life after a stroke. He began to train over the next six years, developing his skills as a Para-Dressage rider.
His competition life began in 2011 in Australia at the International Convention. From there he went on to participate at Hartpury in the UK where he came in 6th.
That same year he went to the German Games in Überherrn to claim an 8th and Mulhousein France Competition to claim a 6th, culminating in taking top spot at the 2015 Japan Open 2014 Final Para Baba Equestrian Competition. He then went on to represent Japan at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games where he was placed 16th.
Now, his sites are set on the world stage for Tokyo 2020, where he will represent his home country of Japan in one of the greatest events in Para-Equestrian Dressage.
As we get ready for the world stage to set, the excitement builds around these riders. Their stories make new chapters each day, the words written in every stride taken and drop of sweat poured.
Their unrelenting drive to work hard and unwavering passion for the ride defines the athletes they have become.