Staffordshire equestrian hero Sir Lee Pearson has won his 12th Paralympic gold medal after coming out on top in the Grade II individual test on Thursday at Tokyo 2020.
The victory takes him above Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and ex-swimmer Dave Roberts in the all-time British gold medals list.
Pearson scored 76.265 per cent, almost a whole three per cent more than silver medallist Pepo Puch of Austria.
In an emotional interview after the event, Pearson told Channel 4: “I’m as emotional as the first – probably more.
“I don’t think I’ve cried immediately after saluting at the end of a test before now.”
GB teammate also earned a bronze Georgia Wilson in the event.
Pearson: Breezer didn’t let me down
The 47-year-old, who made his Games debut at Sydney 2000, was riding Breezer, whom he raised from birth.
He paid testament to his horse, adding: “I saw Breezer as a day-old in my parents’ field and to be here with him as a home-bred and win a gold medal – it’s literally fairytale stuff.
“He’s very highly bred and he was getting tied up and tense because he knew it was a special day.
“He didn’t let me down, but he stayed with me and I’m really proud of him.
“The judges love him now and I’m going to carry on taking him up the levels with able-bodied too.
“I just feel so lucky I’ve got horses in my life. They give me their legs, I’m useless at dancing in real life but we can dance here.”
Pearson was born with Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita which shortens joints within the body. It means he cannot move his ankles or knees.
The athlete now has 15 Paralympic medals to his name, 12 of which are gold.
He is one of the longest-serving British Paralympic athletes and becomes one of a small group of people to have competed at six Paralympic Games.
He runs his own dressage yard in Staffordshire and teaches many aspiring learners.
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