Ruth and William riding high

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Wright Hassall employee and para-equestrian rider Ruth MacCarthy is riding high after qualifying for the prestigious UK Para Winter National Championships.

Ruth works as a paralegal within the commercial litigation and sports law teams at the Leamington solicitors and outside work competes as an elite para-equestrian dressage rider, where she mixes it in competition with the UK’s top para-equestrian stars.

Having first qualified for the UK Para Winter National Championships back in 2012, Ruth has again made it through to the elite finals, where she and her horse William Wombat will pit their dressage skills against star riders including Paralympians Lee Pearson, Natasha Baker, Sophie Christiansen and Sophie Wells.

Ruth and her six-year-old black gelding will now spend the next months in rigorous training as they prepare for the main competition in March 2015 at the Vale View Equestrian Centre in Leicestershire.

As well as the prestige of winning at the UK’s premier para-equestrian dressage event, there is also the opportunity to qualify for the International Championships which take place in the summer.

Ruth, who lives in Warwick, said: “It’s brilliant to have qualified. My horse William is very young and inexperienced, I have only had him for a year, so for him to have qualified for these championships is a phenomenal achievement. He has incredible movement and I am so proud of him.

“I am really looking forward to the championships and competing against the elite riders in the sport. The fact that some of the competitors are medal winning Paralympians puts our achievement into context and we will be going all out to put in our best performance.”

She adds that the long term plan is to aim for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo as William Wombat’s lack of competition experience may count against them in the race to take part in the next Olympics in Rio in 2016.

Nick Abell, senior partner at Wright Hassall, said: “It’s a great achievement by Ruth to qualify again for the championships. We know from having Ruth working at Wright Hassall as one of the valued members of the team, how much dedication and effort goes into everything she does.”