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Olympic Equestrians  
 
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His parents, Pearson stated, "were determined to make [his] life as normal as they possibly could" and therefore managed to get him moved from a school for students with special needs to a mainstream school when he was nine. They also gave him a donkey named Sally to ride when he went off into the countryside with his friends since he could not pedal a bicycle.

Pearson progressed to riding horses and rejoiced in the freedom of the movement of the animals but did not initially foresee equestrianism as a profession. He wound up working in the back room of a supermarket, but he found the isolation of that environment insufferable. "If I hadn't discovered the possibilities of a full-time career in sport through watching the 1996 Paralympics in Atlanta, I'd have committed suicide," he stated. "I hated the job so much I was on antidepressants."

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Pearson developed his skills at dressage and began competing in 1998. He enjoyed spectacular success, making the British team for the 2000 games in Sydney, where he won three gold medals--two individual and one team--with his horse Blue Circle Boy, affectionately known as Gus.

Rider and horse swept the medals again in Athens in 2004. Pearson subsequently retired Gus and trained a new horse, Gentleman, aboard whom he won three more gold medals in Beijing in 2008.

Pearson holds a dozen other gold medals from other para dressage competitions and also has the distinction of being the only disabled rider to take a title at the British Dressage National Championships, with a victory in the 2003 elementary restricted finals.

Because of his expertise and achievement, Pearson was named the 2003 and 2004 BBC Midlands Disabled Sports Person of the Year and was also voted BBC Midlands Sports Personality of the Year in 2004.

For his accomplishments in equestrianism and also for his service to sport for the disabled, he was awarded an M.B.E. in 2001 and an O.B.E. in 2005.

Pearson competed on home turf in the London Paralympic Games in 2012. A member of the gold medal-winning British dressage team, he also earned a silver medal in the individual event.

He won a third medal, a bronze, in freestyle dressage, but there was controversy over the judging. Oliver Brown of the London Daily Telegraph called British judge Sarah Rodger's scoring of Pearson's performance "a shockingly anomalous result" and one "wholly at odds with that of fellow judges from Argentina, Belgium and Germany, all of whom put the 10-time Paralympic champion in the silver medal position" whereas Rodger relegated him to tenth place for technical merit and only twelfth for artistic impression.

Upset by the marking, Pearson told Brown, "I'm aware of that judge, and I don't know what the politically correct answer would be" to evaluating her scoring, adding that "it has happened before with her, and probably it will happen again."

It may happen in the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro, which Pearson has announced plans to attend, although with a new mount, his horse Gentleman having "probably had his day now at Beijing and London."

While pursuing his quest for future gold, Pearson is cheering on others, including his British teammate Natasha Baker, who credits him as the person who inspired her to commit to the hard work of qualifying for the Paralympic team and to realize a goal when she received a gold medal in London.

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