September 1 - British equestrian star Lee Pearson had a tenth Paralympic gold medal snatched away from him by Australian Joann Formosa today.
The 38-year-old has won three gold medals at the last three Games – and if he had kept his perfect record he would have passed Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson's mark of 11 titles, although he would still have been behind the record 16 won by swimmer Mike Kenny.
But he saw his dreams shattered in the mixed individual championship test grade lb event.
The 51-year-old Formosa (pictured top), riding Worldwide PB, finished with a score of 75.826 per cent, taking her less than half a point above the British favourite, who was aboard Gentleman.
Austrian Pepo Puch, who was expected to challenge for the gold medal, collected bronze with Fine Feeling, with all three medallists separated by less than one per cent.
Pearson (pictured below) seems set to claim the team event gold medal tomorrow if Sophie Christiansen, Deb Criddle and Sophie Wells can perform to expectations, while he will hope to add another title on Monday (September 3) in the freestyle.
It was also the first time Britain failed to win a gold medal since the sport was introduced at the 1996 Games.
"Joann made no mistakes, rode every single step and had no tension," Pearson said afterwards.
"I'm actually over the moon to medal today.
"Obviously it would have been amazing and a dream come true to have won a gold but it does not mean I'm not pleased with silver.
"With horses you can easily not medal.
"I know the media like the story of the numbers game – what could be – but to come to a Paralympics when things get a bit tough, I am genuinely pleased.
"I will be as proud of this as my gold medals on the wall."
There was gold for Britain to celebrate earlier in the day when Natasha Baker (pictured above) on Cabral won the mixed individual championship test grade II gold medal with a record 76.857 per cent.
Defending champion Britta Napel of Germany posted 76.048 per cent for silver on Aquilina 3, with compatriot Angelika Trabert and Ariva-Avanti, recording 76.000 per cent, for bronze.
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