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Paralympic dream over for para-dressage rider Alison Moore
A NECK injury has forced Alison Moore to give up on her dream to represent Great Britain at this year’s Paralympics in London.
The Orleton para-dressage rider has a new injury setback after suffering whiplash in the first Great Britain selection trials.
Alison hurt her neck when horse Just Z was affected by a disturbance near the arena, shot off and spun around.
She also needs an operation on a long-term foot injury which could put her in plaster for up to 12 weeks.
“I have just been given a wild card entry for the British Championships at Hickstead,” revealed Alison, who had not qualified for the event.
“This was a real test of go with your head or with your heart to make the decision.
“More than six weeks after my neck injury I am still experiencing neurological symptoms which I can’t ignore.
“If you have increased pins and needles and stabbing pains in your hand, you can’t ride properly.
“My head has made the decision not to risk myself until I have a better idea of the state of my neck. I am listed to have a MRI scan shortly.
“Being sensible is my only option if I want to safeguard my future in the sport. My original spinal cord damage was at neck level.
“My philosophy is that you can feel sorry for yourself for five minutes and then you have to pick up the pieces and carry on.
“The plan for Rio 2016 continues.”
Alison had not qualified for the British Championships at Hickstead after her injury-affected first GB selection trial.
“I was out of contention for a GB squad place,” said Alison.
“I managed to finish second behind Lee Pearson but it was disappointing because I had hoped to impress the selectors.
“I had almost finished the dressage test when Z was spooked and it made a big difference to my final score.
“I got 66% and Lee got 74%. Looking at my scoresheet, without that blip, I would have got 70% and that’s just 4% behind Lee.
“I was very disappointed but I have to move on.”
Riding has helped Alison get her life back on track after she suffered spinal cord damage following three major falls from the saddle.
However, she is badly affected by balance problems after a series of head and neck injuries which forced her to stop riding for a while.
Before her balance and spinal cord problems, Alison trained horses and taught riders on a self-employed basis.
Alison represented GB at an international event last year and took part in an Olympic Test Event.
“I have ridden in the Olympic arena if that’s any sort of compensation but I am now taking a back seat for a while,” said Alison.
“My aim is to work on a four-year plan for the 2016 Paralympics and I am trying to think towards Rio.
“Z is a world-class horse and he’s only eight years old.
“He’s one for the future and we are going to be much harder to beat in four years’ time.
“I am still riding when I can and I am taking Z to a friend once a week and he’s doing some advanced stuff.”
Alison will be having her foot operation at Hereford County Hospital. She says there is a four-month waiting list.
“I have got to have two joints in my left-foot fused and that could be 12 weeks in plaster,” she said.
“I’ve had pain and stability problems with my foot since Z jumped on it in August last year.”