AN EIGHT-year-old with quadriplegic cerebral palsy is preparing to take part in UK finals for riding.

Elan Williams, from Corwen, a pupil at Ysgol Bro Dyfrdwy, is undergoing final preparations ahead of representing North Wales in dressage at the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) National Championships in Gloucestershire next month.

Upon her long-time valiant steed, Percy the pony, Elan will perform in two competitions: dressage, in which riders exhibit the art of horse-riding by controlling their horse in a manner that demonstrates obedience, flexibility, and balance, as well as vaulting, which combines riding with gymnastics as riders assume a range of positions on the horse.

Having learned to ride at the Meirionydd Riding for the Disabled and Pen-y-Coed Riding Stables since she was two-years-old, Elan is in a strong position to put in her best performance to date, though she will be up against stiff competition with children twice her age.

Elan’s mother, Ceris Williams, from Carmarthenshire, who moved to Cynwyd 20 years ago, said: “Elan has done really well to qualify for the finals in dressage. I’m very proud of her – she’s only eight!

“Elan’s family and friends are inspired by her – she knows what she wants and it’s our role to help her achieve that.”

Elan, who has performed at the RDA nationals twice before, has been learning and practising the dressage code since Christmas and achieved a high score of 86.5 in the regional dressage tests on May 22.

Elan will be hoping to score even higher this time round and at her assistance will be Percy, a 10-year-old pony that Elan received when she was four.

Ms Williams said: “It will be the third time Elan has performed at the RDA finals, but this is the first time she has taken part in dressage as she wanted more competition, which she will certainly get against children much older than her.

“She’s really enjoying the technical aspects of dressage.”

George Hanson, owner of Pen-y-Coed Riding Stables, said: “We’re proud of Elan and all our riders.

“We enjoy taking on and teaching our riders with disabilities through our RDA groups funded by the charity for children and adults.”

Elan will now look forward to the National Championship finals between Friday, July 13 and Sunday, July 15 at Hartpury College, Gloucestershire.