Surprise Wombles appearance at the Paralympics

Rachel Stock at the ParalympicsHaving missed out on the London 2012 Olympics opening and closing ceremonies, the Wombles managed a surprise appearance (of sorts) during the Paralympics.

New Zealand dressage rider Rachel Stock chose the music of The Wombles for her performance in the grade three freestyle event on 4 September, on her horse Rimini Park Emmerich (Ricki for short).

Rachel Stock said: “We were looking for something British to perform, but most of the obvious options had gone, and we settled on the Wombles. We had to buy the airing rights, and when Mike Batt heard about it he said he would come along to Greenwich Park.”

The special arrangement of The Wombling Song and Remember You’re A Womble was composed in Germany, where Rachel Stock trained with her coach/choreographer Hayley Beresford (any relation?) for three months leading up to the Paralympic Games.

The performance scored 66.850%, placing them ninth. Rachel Stock said: “I was thrilled with the test. Ricki was on form, energic and just felt ready to dance. I am pleased that my scores have continued to improve, maybe thought the test was deserving of a little more, but in the end the crowd loved it and I enjoyed it.”

The 42-year-old para-equestrian dressage rider has broken her back several times and been diagnosed with cancer and a degenerative bone disease. But she says, “I will not allow the things I cannot do to prevent me from doing the things I can.”

Sadly the performance wasn’t broadcast on British television, but a member of the audience posted a short clip on YouTube (see below).