Mrs Holmes by Natasha Baker

The Paralympic equestrian recalls the upbeat teacher with a steely resolve who helped put her horse-mad pupil on a path to multiple gold-winning glory

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All the teachers at Bishop Ramsey school in Ruislip were lovely, but it was Mrs Holmes who embraced my dream. She taught me maths and was my head of year from Year 7 to 13. She wanted me to be successful in my riding, but also at school. My dream could easily have got squashed if I had a teacher who told me that riding was not a real career. But having Mrs Holmes pushing me in the right direction was a massive help.

Mrs Holmes liked horses herself and we used to chat at break times about our riding lessons, which was really lovely for me.

During my A levels, I would turn up late for lessons ...

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