Meet Natasha Baker MBE, our new ambassador, with Tokyo 2021 in her sights.
Verm-X is delighted to welcome, five-time Paralympic Equestrian champion and five-time European champion, Natasha Baker MBE to the team in her new role as brand ambassador.
Natasha is currently in training with Lottie for Tokyo 2021 and over the next year, together with Verm-X will be sharing tips and behind-the-scenes glimpses of what it takes to be a champion performer.
It's very much a team effort
For Natasha, performing at competition level is very much a team effort, with friends and family, known affectionately as 'Team Baker' all playing their part. Natasha's Mum, Lorraine runs the yard at home, but also travels with Natasha to all competitions and training, while Natasha's Dad is in charge of driving 'Daphne' the 18 tonne horse box to international events. Poppy, her Skye Terrier, is never far behind.
Her journey so far features in this month's edition of Country Living, and is a story of determination and unstinting positivity:
If you saw Natasha at London 2012, you'll understand the strength of her bond with her horses and why she is called 'The Horse Whisperer'. When she contracted transverse myelitis as a baby, it damaged her spine and nerve endings, and left her paralysed from the waist down. Instead, she uses her voice and her seat to guide the horse.
The rider-horse relationship is based on an acute sensitivity, an almost intuitive understanding of each other. "Spending time with my horses, whatever I'm doing, is my passion,' Natasha enthuses, "but riding gives me that sense of freedom and movement that I can't get elsewhere. There is nowhere in the world I would rather be." Just being with her horses provides comfort. "If I'm having a bad day, I can sit in the stables and chat away to them. It's not like a human-human connection. They love you unconditionally," she says.
Inspiring the next generation
With Tokyo 2021 in sight, Natasha is focused on not just winning as many gold medals as possible but also beating her records and personal bests. She works tirelessly to change the perception of disability, to inspire the next generation of Paralympic athletes and to show the world that despite any challenges, incredible things can be achieved.
Why choosing natural has helped her on her path
In her new role as an ambassador for Verm-X, Natasha is fully focused on what lies ahead:
"My grandad was ahead of his time in his approach to health. Rather than be defeated by a prognosis that I would never walk again after contracting traverse myelitis, we were instead guided by his instinct for natural solutions. They have played a big part in my life, and to be able to translate that into my career and to follow where that takes me with horses is such an exciting prospect."
Image courtesy of Jo Hansford Photography.
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