Equestrian star Gayle Bloomfield admitted she was shocked but privileged after winning a prestigious award at a special event to honour disability sport.
And the mother-of-two, who has multiple sclerosis, is battling it out to claim specialist training equipment – but needs the public’s help to do so.
The 42-year-old from Seahouses was named as female personality at the North East Disability Sports Awards 2012 at the end of February.
It was fitting recognition for the para-dressage rider who had a hugely successful year.
“I was honoured to win the award. I am over the moon,” she said.
Being recognised for her dedication and achievements in 2012 was even morespecial for Gayle because it was the year that London staged the Paralympic Games.
“It makes it extra-special for me,” she said.
“While I didn’t compete in the Paralympics, I had the most amazing year with so many highlights. So to win an award like this, and for 2012, is just amazing.”
There were many stand-out moments for Gayle, who is based at the Pegasus Centre in Tranwell, which is home of the Morpeth Riding for the Disabled Group.
Among the highlights was tasting glory at the RDA National Dressage Championships, when she became National Champion for Grade 2 Dressage and for Grade 2 Dressage to Music. She also won the Carl Hester Trophy for the highest score achieved over the three-day competition.
She also represented Great Britain in Hong Kong.
Gayle won the Northumberland Gazette Sports Personality of the Year Award for 2011 and is in the running to win the 2012 accolade.
And she is also hoping to scoop equestrian equipment for the Pegasus Centre, after being short-listed to win arena mirrors, which would be a great resource for the riders who use the centre each week.
To vote for her, visit tinyurl.com/bxtm3jj
But hurry, the competition closes today.