By Emily Goddard

Lee Pearson (centre) celebrates clinching the Grade Ib individual title at the World Equestrian Games ©FEILee Pearson of Great Britain has successfully defended his Grade Ib individual title at the World Equestrian Games in Normandy.

The rider, who has 10 Paralympic titles to his name, scored 77.310 per cent on Zion to take the gold medal ahead of Austrian London 2012 champion Pepo Puch, who rode Fine Feeling S to a score of 74.793 per cent to take silver.

"I just love that horse," Pearson said.

"He gives me everything.

"He was still a bit aware of his surroundings within the arena, which is quite novel because normally he's totally focussed on me, but he stayed really relaxed.

"It's been a tough journey, what with London [2012] and not getting selected for the Europeans and a tough five years personally as well.

"It's also been tough with this horse.

"A lot of people didn't have faith in him, but I always have from day one.

"We've had our problems - he broke my back in four places - but I adore riding him.

"I ride him outdoors on my own and we're just two naughty beans that have fun together.

"We make the perfect pair."

The bronze went to Nicole Den Dulk of The Netherlands, who scored 71.621 per cent on Wallace to claim her first major international medal.

Hannelore Brenner secured the Grade III gold medal at the World Equestrian Games ©Getty ImagesHannelore Brenner secured the Grade III gold medal at the World Equestrian Games ©Getty Images

The Grade III event saw Germany's Hannelore Brenner secure the gold medal.

Riding Women of the World, the Paralympic champion successfully defended her 2010 world individual title with a score of scored 73.610 per cent to top Sanne Voets of The Netherlands, with 73.146 per cent, and Susanne Jensby Sunesen of Denmark, with 71.976 per cent.

"I am really happy," Brenner said.

"The ride was wonderful and I am so happy that it was enough for the first place.

"You don't know till the end of the competition and I didn't stay to watch as I don't have the nerves for that, but I looked at the live score when Sanne was riding.

"I think it took a year off my life.

"It could be the last time with my horse because she is 19 years old so I am very emotional, more than the other years."

The Para-equestrian dressage continues tomorrow with the final individual Grades Ia, II and IV tests, while the team competition will also be decided with the top three teams earning the first places at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

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