A SEAHOUSES woman is celebrating after becoming national champion.
Para-dressage rider Gayle Bloomfield became National Champion in the Restricted Grade 2 Class at the Winter National Championships, riding her horse Bartie.
“I am over the moon,” said Gayle, who is one of the nominees in the Gazette Sports Personality of the Year.
“The achievement is all the more special because I have only been riding Bartie for a few months.”
Gayle achieved a mark of 70.48 per cent in her final test and beat a horse called Lambrusco, which has previously won a gold medal at the Olympics.
On the same day, Gayle also won the National Para-Dressage Talent Spotting Over-26 Group event with a mark of 90.67 per cent.
“It was a long weekend, with all the travelling involved, and I am very tired, but also very happy,” said Gayle.
“I am very grateful to everyone who has supported me, especially those who travelled with me to the championships, those at the Pegasus Centre who helped prepare Bartie and my trainer Cathy Burrell.”
Gayle took up para-dressage after she developed multiple sclerosis.
The former air hostess and part-time riding instructor initially gave up horse riding after she was diagnosed with the disease.
However, she was persuaded to get back on a horse and has achieved great success.
Gayle’s horse Bartie is stabled at the Pegasus Riding Centre in Tranwell, near Morpeth, a designated centre for the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA), and the home of the Morpeth RDA Group.
Martin Peagam, centre manager, said: “We are delighted with Gayle’s success.
“It is a superb achievement and a tribute to her dedication and commitment.”