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I'm back in the saddle and gouing for gold.

A RIDER who suffered horrific injuries after being dragged underneath a horse is determined to compete in the Paralympic Games.

Double amputee rider Jane Lishman has set her sights on qualifying as a Paralympic dressage rider in Rio 2016.

She is back in the saddle after a remarkable fight back from life-threatening injuries suf-f fered in a freak accident.

Back in 2006, Jane had to have both legs amputated after she was dragged underneath a horse while worming it.

Doctors told her she was lucky to be alive but she was left confined to a wheelchair, Jane, 46, said: "I lost both my legs, one above the knee and one below the knee, but it took another year of treatment and operations to finally save the limb below the knee."

Having ridden most of her life, she was desperate to continue with her love of horses. "As a saying goes 'You either get busy living or get busy dying.'.

I always thought I could ride again and this was always my aim through the difficult times."

Undaunted by her disabilities, she started riding at the Riding for the Disabled Association's Unicorn Centre at Hemlington.

Although she had never ridden a dressage test before, she entered her first of many Unicorn Centre RDA dressage competitions and won.

Since then, Jane has never looked back.

For the last three years she's competed at the RDA National Championships at Hartpury, Gloucestershire, winning fistfuls of medals.

Last year she bought her own horse, Lily. She felt safe riding Lily, who "did not bat an eyelid at my wheelchair".

"At our first show with Lily, I competed against able-bodied people at the Unicorn Centre and we won both our classes. This gave me the confidence to take the next step and I entered my first Para dressage competition where, again, we won." From then on Para Dressage became Jane's objective, and her burning ambition is to compete in Rio in 2016. Jane, from Darlington, says she is not afraid of hard work but does need financial backing to help her achieve her dream.

She said: "I never thought I would be able to ride again. I never thought I would be doing what I'm doing now."

To sponsor her, visit Jane Lishman Para Dressage Rider page on Facebook or call Claire Pitt at the Unicorn Centre on 01642 576222.

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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Apr 29, 2014
Words:400
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