A HORSE-RIDER who believed she would never ride again after having both her legs amputated has inspired an entire team of disabled people to compete in a national horse-riding competition.

However, the younger riders may not be able to go unless more funds are raised.

Dressage rider Jane Lishman, 46, lost her legs after being dragged underneath a horse in 2006 - but is now aiming to compete in the 2016 Rio Paralympics.

Her story, which was featured by The Northern Echo, has motivated other riders at the Disabled Association’s Unicorn Centre in Hemlington, Middlesbrough.

They have all qualified to compete in various classes in the Riding for Disabled Association (RDA)’s Country Challenge or in the dressage section at the RDA National Championships in Gloucestershire in July.

The dressage competitors are Lucy Akbudak, Emma Wood, Abbie Maddison, Tamara Ullyart, Fiona Bennett and Jane Lishman herself - who is also allowing Daisy Appleton to compete on her horse, Lily Delight. Countryside Challenge qualifiers are Callum Martin, Kelly McKie, Daniel Pine and Kate Telford.

The Unicorn Centre is organising a team of helpers, four horses, eight coaches and staff. The total cost will be at least £3,000.

Claire Pitt, centre manager, said: “Our recent appeal to support Jane Lishman to get to Rio has been amazing. It would be great if we had a similar response to support our young people in their desire to succeed. They are training so hard and really want to go to the Championships.

“The problem is, the centre doesn’t get any financial support, so if we can’t find sponsors for the riders we’ll have to dig very deep into our coffers or tell them they can’t go.”

Call Claire Pitt at the Unicorn Centre on 01642-576222 or log on to https://my donate.bt.com/charities/rdaunicorncentre