Tributes paid to Juliet Seal, an ‘influential figure’ of British para dressage

Para dressage judge Juliet Seal (right) died peacefully at her home on 30 January at the age of 86. Picture: COLLETTE BISSON.

TRIBUTES have been paid to one of the “most influential” figures in para dressage who called the Island her home for two decades.

British Dressage recently announced that Juliet Seal died peacefully at her home on 30 January at the age of 86.

In their tribute, the organisation said that she had played “a huge role in the unprecedented international success” of GB para-athletes.

British Dressage wrote: “As a BD list 2 judge, FEI para judge, para selector and chair of selectors, Juliet’s unwavering commitment played a huge role in shaping and cultivating the sport of para dressage, leading to successive championship successes for the British team during her time at the forefront of the sport.

“Her outstanding contribution was recognised by her receiving the BEF Medal of Honour in 2015, and the BD Medal of Honour in 2017, following her retirement as chief para selector.”

Ms Seal was born in 1937 and grew up in Cheshire before moving Jersey, where she lived with her family for over 20 years.

British Dressage said: “It was here that Juliet’s interest in para dressage was born.

“While in Jersey, she enjoyed horses of her own, hunting and doing dressage, with lessons from visiting trainers, including Carl Hester.

“Alongside raising her family, she became district commissioner of the Island’s Pony Club, chief road safety officer for all the Channel Islands, and was chair of the Jersey Riding for the Disabled Association for ten years. It was this involvement with the RDA that ignited her passion for para dressage.”

She became chief para selector in 2009, a position she then held until Rio 2016, during which she selected for two Paralympic Games, three World Championships and four European Championships, all of which resulted in team gold.

The organisation added: “Juliet demonstrated an exceptional commitment to the British para dressage team, and her dedication, both nationally and internationally, played a huge part in the unprecedented success of the British team during that time.”

Dozens of people commented on the social media post, saying she was a “massive part of the para world”, “always there to offer advice and encouragement”, and “a lovely lady whose knowledge was worth listening to”.

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