A Nescot student has qualified for the national round of a horse riding competition.
Jon Gale was successful in a regional contest in Hickstead in West Sussex last Tuesday, and is now eligible to compete in dressage at Gloucestershire’s Hartpury Horse Trials in July.
The 18-year-old Sport Level 1 student has taken part in the national contest before and placed in the top five, but is aiming to finish in the top three this year.
“The horses do get affected by things like the weather, so you have to hope it isn’t a windy day,” Jon added.
“I will do as well as I am able to, but with dressage not everything is in your control.”
Jon also enjoys football and plays cricket at county and national level, and said he is hoping the Hartpury competition dates will not clash with any other commitments.
Jon, who lives in Dorking, started horse riding aged six when he was a pupil at Linden Bridge School in Worcester Park.
He has autism and is part of the Epsom group of Riding for the Disabled, as well playing cricket for Surrey and for England’s Moderate Learning Difficulties squad – despite only picking up the sport in 2008.
“My favourite thing about playing sport is that it surpasses anyone’s ability or disability,” Jon said.
“When I’m playing cricket or doing dressage I’m not the one with autism, I’m the same as everyone else out there.”
Jon is aiming to continue at Nescot next year, studying a Level 2 BTEC in sport, and hopes to become a coach in the future.