By Gary Anderson

Sophie Wells is one of five Paralympic medal winners in the British squad for the Para-Dressage World Championships ©Getty ImagesGreat Britain has named five riders who will compete at this year's Para-Dressage World Championships in a line-up that includes four riders who have tasted gold medal success at Paralympic Games.

Sophie Christiansen, Lee Pearson, Natasha Baker and Sophie Wells will be joined by Paralympic silver medallist Ricky Balshaw in the squad that will travel to Normandy next month as overwhelming favourites to retain their world team title.

Five-time Paralympic champion Christiansen will compete in the individual Grade Ia event on board Janeiro 6, while Balshaw and Pearson will be riding LJT Enggaards Solitaire and Zion respectively in the Grade Ib competition.

Pearson, who was part of the gold medal-winning team in London - his 10th Paralympic gold - returns to the squad after missing last year's European Championships in Denmark.

"I'm kind of in a state of shock," he said.

"I've been really focussed to get Zion to the best he can be.

"I don't think we've got below 74 per cent over the last two months and I get so much enjoyment from riding him.

"I'm really flattered and excited, but aware that we need to go in and do the job.

"I'm sure the audience out there will be phenomenal but we just need to stay focused."

Ten-time Paralympic gold medal winner Lee Pearson will return to the British squad after missing the European Championships last year ©AFP/Getty ImagesTen-time Paralympic gold medal winner Lee Pearson will return to the British squad after missing the European Championships last year ©AFP/Getty Images

London 2012 champions Wells and Baker will be riding in the Grade II and Grade IV competitions.

For Baker, this will be a first taste of World Championship action and she is looking to follow up her success in Denmark with more medals in Normandy.

"I'm very excited," said the 24-year-old he will be partnering Cabral.

"I'm heading into it as the WEG (World Equestrian Games) newbie so it's even more exciting.

"JP [Cabral] has been such a star and has been getting better each year; this will be the fourth successive Championship I've been selected with him for, so that really shows our partnership.

"I expect WEG will have more of a feeling of the Paralympic Games, especially as there are eight other sports there competing.

"To be able to watch the other disciplines will make it even more special.

"It will also be my trainer Lisa's [Lisa Hopkins] first Championships with me so I am really excited for her as well."

Wells will be on board her trusted companion Valerius.

"The British Para-equestrian dressage team have enjoyed many successes over recent years and it is clear that there are a number of nations working hard to push us off our perch," commented the team's Chef de Mission, Will Connell.

"We travel to WEG with a very experienced squad that will be focussed on securing Rio 2016 qualification and winning medals for Great Britain."

All riders compete as individuals at the Championships with a team of four riders to be announced before the start of the competition contesting the team event.

The Para-Dressage Championships take place during the World Equestrian Games, which run from August 23 to September 7.

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