By memorizing the horse’s steps, the route and forms it must perform, as well as her trainer at the foot of the track drawing letters on her leg, Christina Landete became the first deaf-blind athlete to compete on horseback. in Spain.
The 14-year-old girl from Albacete is already a national benchmark, as she is the first person with this disability to compete in Paralympic dressage and is also ranked first in the Pegaso League. “The truth is that I thought I would start lower, I did not expect such good results the first time,” Christina assured Europa Press.
Some numbers they came up with through trial and error, as pointed out by their coach Laura Sanchez. “For me, this was the first time I’ve trained with a user with Chris’ stats, so it’s been a lot of trial and error. At first we tried using colors so that she could distinguish between letters or change the intensity of the light, but in the end we saw that the best way was to memorize the routes and ask me to accompany her to the foot of the mountain. track”.
A method that the Royal Spanish Equestrian Federation gave them permission to compete, and with which they are now preparing a special supplement for the deaf and blind.
“We are very happy to receive the approval of the Federation of Spain and Castile-Manchega and that we can also adapt all these features and include them in the application so that people with the same disability can start competing,” explained Cristina’s mother, Maria. Angeles Prieto.
red and white bracelet
Among the highlights of the new app stands out the creation of a red and white bracelet, the distinctive colors for the deaf and blind. “It may seem silly, but it is a very important step. At the last competition, Christina was walking, and people were passing by her, and she was very confused and said to me, don’t they understand that I am blind and can’t hear? Of course people don’t know that blind riders wear a white armband, we wish Chris could wear a red and white armband, that would make a big difference,” Prieto notes.
In addition, they hope to include the presence of a coach at the foot of the lane in some of the reprises and a figure of a communicative facilitator to talk to the judges about distribution and lighting before the start of the competition.
“We want to try to get other people with the same disability to play this sport and compete. I was the first deafblind woman to compete in a federation in Spain, but I know there are many people. who wants to do the same,” Landete points out.
He lost his sight at 7 months
Christina was born prematurely, weighing only 500 grams. At seven months old, both retinas detached and she became blind “overnight.” It was her mother who, at the age of three, decided to enroll her in horse riding so that she would gain balance and confidence in textures. “It was the best, the girl began to gain stability and confidence and significantly improved her motor skills.”
Years later, just as what happened to his vision, the same thing happened to his hearing. “Within a short time he lost his hearing and had to start using hearing aids.” From that moment on, Christina and her family began to learn how to communicate using palmar fingerprinting. However, this situation did not knock Christina off her horse, on the contrary, she continued to train until she entered the competition just six months ago.
“I want to try to show that you have a disability, no matter what happens to you, you can do what you set out to do and even more,” he says.
Now nominated for the Women’s Sports Institute’s Women’s Sports Institute’s Reference Woman of the Year in the Inclusive Sports category, she’s already thinking about making the leap to regional and national competition with a clear message; “Fight for what you want and what you want, don’t think about people who laugh at you or tell you that you won’t get it, you can get what you have to offer.”
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