Ricky Balshaw is a comedian and Paralympic, World Championship and European Championship dressage medallist.
Ricky reached the semi-final stage of the 2021 BBC New Comedy Award competition, and appeared on on BBC One and BBC Three. He also won Best New Act in the 2021 Midlands Comedy Awards and he has performed at comedy clubs and festivals around the UK including Just The Tonic, Glee, Leicester Comedy Festival and Brighton Fringe.
Born with cerebral palsy, he started riding as part of his physiotherapy at the age of 4. At the age of 14 he was invited to join the British Paralympic dressage team and is still the youngest person to be inducted to the senior team.
He was named as first reserve for the Athens Paralympic Games in 2004 and was subsequently on the team for the Beijing Paralympic Games at which he secured an individual silver medal in the freestyle dressage on his horse, Deacons Georgi. He then won medals at the World and European Championships before retiring from dressage at the start of 2016.
He went on to compete in Para Reining and in 2019 became the Para Reining World Champion. He retired from competitive sport shortly after. Since retiring, Ricky has taken on a coaching role within the equestrian world helping both non-disabled and disabled riders to improve.
Ricky is an experienced motivational/after dinner speaker, discussing his sporting career and the journey after retiring. He has also worked as a sports for Channel 4 at the Paralympic Games in London, Rio and Tokyo.
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