A TALENTED young rider has qualified for the finals of the National Riding for Disabled Dressage Championship.

Laura Curson, who has a rare metabolic condition, will be up against the best in the country when she takes part in the finals at Gloucester’s Hartpury College next month.

The 14-year-old Stokesley School student has been riding since she was five and demonstrated a talent for dressage.

She said: "I can’t imagine a week going by when I’m not riding and I love the way I feel free from my disability. In addition, I have a very special bond with the horses I ride, they seem to know that they have to look after me."

The teenager is a member of the Stokesley RDA Group, which is based at Robinsons Equi Tech, where she rides three times each week. She competed in the regional qualifiers on Hunky Dory, a horse she had only been riding for three weeks, demonstrating her natural ability to develop a close relationship between horse and rider.

Claire Robinson, manager of Stokesley RDA, added: "Laura is a superstar, it really is as simple as that. She came to us only a couple of months ago, as she has progressed to a stage where she needed competition-level horses for her events. It is incredible the bond that she has formed with Dory, quite amazing after only three weeks of riding him. She really is a natural and we are immensely proud of Laura's achievements so far. We have a feeling this is only the start of many successes and we are looking forward to supporting her."

Robinson’s Equitech pay £2,000 for all Stokesley RDA competitors to enter the nationals, in addition to paying for the transport and stabling of the horses. Laura’s Mum, Jane, is doing a fundraising event to contribute to the high costs of entry.

On Saturday, June22, she will do a ten-hour Gymathon, which involves continuous gym classes and gym work.

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Hannah Millett, Stokesley School headteacher, said: "Laura is an inspiration to us all. She continues to demonstrate unfaltering commitment to her riding and shows such determination in her quest to succeed. We pass on our congratulations to Laura and know that she will give her very best in the national competition.”