Freya overcomes odds to make England squad

A DIGGLE-BASED young horse rider has beaten a serious condition to make an England side at a prestigious championships.

Freya Shaw

Freya Shaw has been named as one of the riders in the BD Youth Under-25s Dressage team to compete in the Home Internationals competition in Grantham, Lincolnshire.

That is despite being diagnosed with scoliosis – an abnormal curvature of the spine – and she underwent a seven-hour operation five years ago to have titanium rods fitted to correct the condition.

Freya was unable to take to the saddle until the summer as she completed her 12-month recovery period.

But now she has come back and been selected for the regular side as she is not registered as disabled and does not qualify for a para-riding side.

Proud dad Nigel – who will definitely be there at Arena UK when his daughter – who will be 19-years-old by the time from July 26-28, takes to the ring – saluted her achievement.

“It’s amazing,” he said simply. “Especially when you think of the journey she’s been on.

“It’s always been her goal to pull on an England top and compete under an England flag. Who knows what her goal is going to be afterwards?

“Now she’s been picked, Freya has a tight training regime between now and the championships. It’s the regular squad she’s been picked for, the one for healthy and strong athletes.”

Freya has been riding since she was four-years-old and is a member of the Saddleworth and District Pony Club.

She was introduced to it by her auntie Carol and refused to let her spell on the sidelines dampen her spirits.

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