We spoke to Laura Goodall, Grade II International Para Showjumper from Great Britain, as we wanted to find out more about Para showjumping. Not heard of it before? Keep reading!
Tell us a bit about yourself:
I’m a Grade 2 International Para showjumping from Shropshire, England. I was diagnosed with very active, relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) in 2015, aged 21 and now have to go to the Royal Stoke Hospital for a day every 4 weeks for an infusion to help try and control my MS. I have been classified and competing with the paras for 2 years, but also compete in able bodied British Showjumping competitions.
Tell us a bit about your horses!
I have three mares (not sure if I’m brave or stupid)!
- Loretti K (Nessa) is a 16 year old bay mare by Libra K. She is a fantastic little horse and has won a lot with me show jumping on the national circuit prior to my diagnosis and is currently in foal! I have owned her eight years and she can definitely do no wrong in my eyes!
- Lula Bella (Lula) is a six year old bay mare by Luidam. I have owned her for three years. She is still at the start of her ridden career but has a great attitude to work. She is very brave and is proving to be very promising.
- Guusje (Suzie) is a nine year old grey mare by Silverstone. She has been my para horse. She can be quite sharp and not the easiest ride but she is very genuine. I have owned her for two years and in that time we have won Individual Gold and Silver for Great Britain in Germany, 2nd at the National championships last year, 2nd in the para showjumping league last year and won the British Showjumping National Para championships at Boleworth Castle this year.
I’ve had horses since I was eight years old and got into affiliated British Showjumping aged 13 with a 148cm pony. I have been jumping all over the country ever since (with a 2 year break during my diagnosis and due to illness where I was unable to walk properly/ride).
Is para-show jumping run in the same way as able-bodied classes?
Yes, they are often run at able bodied BS shows as separate classes but the rules are exactly the same. Para-riders are classified, given a profile and a grade, so they jump/are judged in a section with other riders that have a similar level of disability. Each grade is judged separately. They usually run ‘single phase’ with the first round and jump off all in one go, but the same principles apply - fastest clear wins!What are your ambitions for next year?
Right now, I would just be happy for life to return to normal and competitions to resume as they did. I currently can’t compete under the new Covid restricted rules due to the limited warm up times and implications that my MS brings. My general goals are just to keep as healthy and mobile as possible, so I can stay riding for as long as my body will let me!If you could tell your younger self anything, what would it be?
Life is short and can change in a split second with no warning. Enjoy it, do what you love and appreciate the small things in life.
What is your favourite thing about Flexars?
How long have you got?! I LOVE them, literally live in them. For me they are perfect and suit everything I do. I can go to the gym in the morning then straight into riding. I can use them as a casual outfit or dress them up (as I have for the races)! They are super comfy, supportive, flattering and available in a great range of colours. I also love their ‘shape of beauty’ campaign and how their products are inclusive of all, available for any shape and size! Well done Flexars, you really have created the perfect product that is loved by many!
A big thank you to Laura for answering our questions!
You can find out more about the technicalities of Para-showjumping on the BS website:
Links to Laura: