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London 2012 Olympics: Sophie Christiansen wins third gold medal in equestrian

By // Sports | London 2012 Olympics: Sophie Christiansen wins third gold medal in equestrian
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By Sportsmail Reporter

PUBLISHED: 12:59 EST, 4 September 2012 | UPDATED: 12:59 EST, 4 September 2012

Sophie Christiansen became Britain’s first triple gold medallist of the London 2012 Paralympics at Greenwich Park.

The 24-year-old, from Maidenhead in Berkshire, also secured a British Paralympic record 11 medals in one Games for Great Britain’s equestrian team.

Christiansen, riding Janeiro 6, added Grade Ia freestyle gold to a team gold medal and individual championship title.

Golden girl: Sophie Christiansen on Janeiro 6 celebrates her latest dressage triumph at Greenwich Park

Golden girl: Sophie Christiansen on Janeiro 6 celebrates her latest dressage triumph at Greenwich Park

She rode three times during the six-day competition, and on each occasion scored more than 80 per cent.

Her patriotic musical freestyle routine included excerpts from Land of Hope and Glory and also featured Big Ben’s chimes plus a quotation from Shakespeare’s Richard II, providing a fitting conclusion to the para-dressage programme.

Britain finished with 10 individual medals - four gold, five silver and a bronze - plus a fifth successive Paralympic team title.

Flying the flag: British fans cheer on Christiansen as the home rider stormed to gold

Flying the flag: British fans cheer on Christiansen as the home rider stormed to gold

But Christiansen, who has cerebral palsy, was the star performer in her third Paralympics, winning with a mammoth score of 84.750 per cent.

She won a bronze medal as a 16-year-old in Athens eight years ago, then captured two golds and a silver in Beijing. She is also a reigning world and European champion.

In addition to her brilliant riding skills, Christiansen has a masters degree in mathematics from Royal Holloway University and currently works part-time as a statistician.

She received an MBE in the 2009 New Year’s Honours List for services to disabled sport.

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