Looking Back - equestrian Emily Lawes

emily lawes - looking back
emily lawes - looking back

She is one of Bexhill’s most committed athletes who HAS achieved success against the odds as a gifted horsewoman.

Emily Lawes was born in 1975 without a left arm, and a twisted gut (Pyloric Stenosis). But at age three she started with the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) and by nine years old was “lucky enough” to have a horse on loan for a couple of years.

emily lawes looking back - nostalgia Bexhill Observer

emily lawes looking back - nostalgia Bexhill Observer

She rode a variety of horses as she grew up, including beloved Mossy and Murphy, and her passion for riding survived major life changes such as the birth of daughter Jasmine.

Emily said: “Once home life had settled down our quest to find another horse began. We had a little over £1,000 to spend. After looking at horse after horse at that price range we found that they would have something wrong with them or had such bad temperaments, in one incident a horse picked me up by my arm and threw me across the stable yard, and was coming to trample me. I still have a large scar on my arm from this incident, which really made me lose confidence.

An advertisement was placed for ‘A perfect gentleman’ but even this was unsuccessful. Finally after eight months of searching a friend told me about a handsome brute of a horse that was for sale, I went to see him but he was completely out of our price range. But my lovely husband Andy took out a loan and bought Drizzle for me.

Drizzle is a thoroughbred X Shire, 8 years old when we first got him, he still competes and finished Firle this year at a grand old age of 21 and stands 16 Hands 2.

emily lawes - looking back Bexhill Observer nostalgia

emily lawes - looking back Bexhill Observer nostalgia

One of my dreams has been to enter for the Paralympics I should have tried earlier in my life but have never had the confidence in my own ability, but now with the support of Andy who makes me feel as if I can achieve my goal and given me the kick start I have needed to finally go for it. This will never happen as a horse of the calibre to perform at the Paralympics is £100k plus 

Many people tend to assume that people with horses are well-off, this is far from the case as I am a part-time teaching assistant, Andy runs his own computer maintenance business.

As Drizzle is now getting on in years I managed to purchase another horse Ulysees IV he is a Dutch Warm Blood a quirky horse to start with and took many years to get him to a good level. He was to be my jumping horse but he became lame with Navicular this never goes away but can be treated over time with special shoes and a great Farrier ‘Steve’. Ulie has now become sound again and is preforming really well gaining points at British Dressage on all his outings this year.

Ulysees is going places and it gives Andy and myself great self-satisfaction to see these people who have purchased the best horse they can find, turn up in a horse box that cost more than our house, don’t work for a living and have there own school to practise as long as they like in, and little old me beats them! Dedication does pay off as I have ridden Drizzle in France Internationally, I’ve also ridden in Spain, and Ireland.

I am currently working towards qualifying for the Home International at Vale View Leicestershire, so if any local businesses would like to sponsor a dedicated Para Equestrian Rider please contact Emily by email emily@esas.org.uk