About Nicola

Disabled from birth with a Right Hemiplegia, a paralysis down the right side of her body and being in constant state of pain through a condition called Dystonia, Nicola was told by her physiotherapist years ago that riding would be good exercise to help ease the pain caused by her disability.

Nicola 3 years old

Early Years

Nicola's fascination with horses began at an early age, her grandfather kept horses at the family home in Bryneglwys. She used to watch her grandad look after the horses and had her first taste of riding at 3 years old. Nicola's mum and uncle spent a lot of time breaking in horses and then selling them on, so she has always been part of the equestrian world.

Nicola was introduced to Dressage at C.S.R.C in Llanfynydd when she was 10 years old – she found she really enjoyed it and started competing at county level.

I viewed my riding as an escape from the constant bullying I suffered at high school. I was made to feel conscious of my disability at school and never looked forward to P.E. Lessons in case I let the side down. C.S.R.C was a place where I could really excel at sport.


Nicola was talent spotted at the age of 13 years old and became a member of the Junior Squad at the age of 16, at 17 she became a member of the Welsh Squad and 18 competed in her 1st international for Great Britain in Israel.

She saw the Great Britain badges on other athlete’s jackets and found herself wanting one and quite determined to have one of her own.

Determination and self-discipline are key elements of her training.

When I set a goal for myself I put everything into it, I focus on what I want and really go for it.
Nicola Tustain receiving MBE

In 2004, Nicola was nominated for a Laureus award and made it through to the final six athletes, becoming the only Welsh athlete - both able-bodied and disabled - to be nominated for such a prestigious award.

Nicola's Journey of Achievements

Nicola Tustain Gold Medal
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