News

Sky dive for blind showjumper

Sky dive for blind showjumper

Former International show jumper races to earth to help blind rider on career path to paralympics

A former international show jumper from Stratford upon Avon, knighted for her charity work, will skydive blindfold and race back to Earth at 120 - 300 miles per hour in a bid to raise funds for Britain’s first and only blind show jumper.

Known as The Bond Girl for her looks and her courage, Dame Emma Jane Brown dominated the equestrian scene for twenty years representing Great Britain in the Nations Cup 13 times before an allergy to horses prematurely ended her career.  Now an active campaigner for the sport and an ambassador for Riding for the Disabled, she is raising funds to buy a horse for the international blind rider Karen Law so that she can fulfill her career ambitions.

Karen was born with bilateral collaboma which means that her eyes never developed properly.  At the age of three she had an accident which caused a retinal detachment leaving her with no vision in her right eye.  Having no peripheral vision, only central vision extending a few feet in front of her, Karen is only able to see colours and shapes with her left eye.  This resulted in her being registered blind in 1975. 

Incredibly, she relies on ‘shouting instructions’ to help her guide her horse around each course of jumps.  Karen won her class at France’s biggest equestrian tournament at La Baule eighteen months ago and recently achieved a lifelong ambition to compete a stage 3 cross country course.

Emma explains, “Karen’s career is being held back because she does not have a horse of her own and is forced to travel by bus, train and taxi from Stockport to Croft every month to have a lesson with her trainer Adrian Marsh on whichever horse is available on the day.  

“She is incredibly talented, committed and courageous and is jumping big fences at national and international level. Karen deserves to be able to compete on a par with the likes of Lee Pearson and Natasha Baker – our Paralympic dressage gold medalists.

“I will be skydiving for the first time in my life at Hinton Airfield, Steane near Brackley, Northants on Sunday 4th May to raise awareness of Karen’s cause. I will jump blindfolded from 2 miles high and freefall back to Earth at between 120 – 300 miles an hour before opening my parachute at 5,000 feet. I am terrified! However I’m determined to demonstrate just how brave and deserving a lady Karen is and attract the attention of companies who may wish to sponsor her.”

"I would ask anyone who is moved by Karen’s plight and my madness to support the cause by donating, however small an amount, via my Just Giving page: www.justgiving.com/dameemmajane."

For further information contact Melanie Faldo at melanie@kbapr.com or 0207 734 9995 or 07956 657227.