Chelsea Gatti is a 15 year old with a love of horses, a passion for equestrian dressage and an ambition to compete in the Paralympics one day. Chelsea was born with a limb difference in her right leg and when she was 17 months old, the decision was made to amputate her leg above the knee.
Because of her limb difference, Chelsea’s weight distribution on the saddle was uneven and as a result, it would continually slip. This made balancing on her horse extremely challenging. When the saddle slipped, it also rubbed the back of the horse she was riding, creating sores that required regular treatment. Many professional riders and suppliers were amazed at how well Chelsea has been able to ride and compete given the standard saddle and stirrup she had been using. There was a collective sense that if she had a custom-made saddle, she’d be able to reach her full potential in the sport she loves.
Chelsea applied for a grant from START foundation for a custom made saddle and stirrup to give her greater balance and stability on the horse and to avoid saddle slippage. The saddle and stirrup had to be made in the UK, and took three months to complete, but for Chelsea it was well worth the wait. The saddle is beautifully made and fits perfectly and Chelsea’s performances have shown a marked improvement. She’s won numerous events with her new saddle and reportedly the smile has not left her face. It is so exciting to watch her skills continue to develop and see all the hard work pay off with some tremendous results.
Chelsea’s confidence and skills continue to grow, as she strives to reach her full potential and achieve her sporting dream of becoming a Paralympian. Congratulations and well done Chelsea on all you’ve achieved so far. We look forward to seeing you live your sporting dreams.
You can follow Chelsea on her Facebook page: