December 24 - Dressage rider, Simon Laurens (pictured), who won a gold and silver medal at the Paralympics in Beijing last year, is facing an uncertain future in the build-up to London 2012 because his only horse is ill.

The Gloucestershire-based rider has had his preparations compromised because Ocean Diamond is suffering from a severe viral infection.

The 42-year-old, who has been riding since he was seven, won a team gold and individual freestyle gold at the 2007 World Championships.

That led to being selected for the Beijing Paralympic Games where he was part of the gold medal winning team in addition to winning an individual silver.

Earlier this year he won an individual bronze and team gold medals at the European Championships.

But he has now hoping that Ocean Diamond will recover soon so he can resume training.

Ocean Don Jon, Laurens' back-up horse, had to be sold earlier this year to help meet the high costs of competing at international level.

Laurens, who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2004, said: "The next major event is the 2010 FEI World Games in Kentucky.

"I have to take part in five qualifying events to be considered for selection.

"The next of these is in January but I feel it will be very doubtful that my horse will be fit."