A TEN-YEAR-OLD from Shrewton who was inspired by a Paralympic gold medallist is competing in his first RDA dressage competition on Friday.
Jonny Manning, who attends Woodford Valley School, met Sophie Christiansen before the Olympics on a school visit to her Riding for Disabled (RDA) headquarters in Buckinghamshire.
Regularly riding at Wilton RDA and Gul in Shrewton, Jonny has been busy preparing for the Avon Dressage Competition in Bristol.
His mother Karen said: “He was thrilled to have been chosen to take part in the competition.
“He’s been riding since he was five but this will be the first time he’s taken control of the pony alone in the arena.”
Jonny, who has autism, got to meet Christiansen with a group of his fellow students at the end of 2011.
Headteacher Rebecca Carson said: “The children met Sophie and saw her doing some dressage.
“We followed her throughout the Paralympics and all the gold medals she won. “Johnny was inspired by her and is now taking part in a dressage competition - we are all so proud of him.”