Natasha Baker victorious after baby's birth. GETTY IMAGES

Paralympic gold medalist Natasha Baker celebrated a triumphant return to the dressage arena following a 20-month hiatus from competition, following the birth of her son, Joshua, in 2023.

Tuesday saw her leading the Agria CPEDI 3* Grand Prix A Grade III test with an impressive score of 74.833%, and she repeated her success today by clinching the victory in the Grand Prix B with 73.333%.

"It's really good to be back in competition, and 'Lottie' was amazing - she really looked after me. Today she was feeling absolutely pumped and ready, and that did lead to a couple of small mistakes, but I'm so happy for my first competition back in such a long time," Baker said.

Natasha has been partnered with Lottie since 2019, and together, they contributed to the gold medal-winning team in Tokyo. Additionally, the duo secured individual silver and bronze medals at the World Championships in Herning last year. "She is the kindest, sweetest, cuddliest horse," said Natasha. "She's just the absolute dream to look after, she's so well behaved but also really brave and confident."

Despite achieving a double victory upon her return to competition, their journey back into the arena hasn't been without obstacles. "I had a really bad start to the year, unfortunately my Nan was really poorly so I didn't manage to ride a lot in January, and that's just pushed things back a little bit with our preparations. But the last few weeks have gone really well, and Lottie has been feeling amazing. Now I need to get better and stronger, to be able to cope with all of Lottie's movement.

Equestrian ace Baker returned to winning ways following the birth of her baby. GETTY IMAGES
Equestrian ace Baker returned to winning ways following the birth of her baby. GETTY IMAGES

"I'm not going to lie, I thought parenting would be easier to balance than it actually is! I really want to make sure I balance it well, and to make sure I don't miss anything with my son. I want to be there for all of his 'firsts', but I also want to be back out performing and being the best that I can be. So it's a juggle, but I'm sure every parent will understand that. 

"Becoming a mum has been a real adventure - I love challenges and this is probably the biggest challenge that I've ever had. But coming into that arena yesterday was just awesome."

Natasha's son Joshua recently marked his first birthday, and he now holds a significant role as his mother's top supporter. "Yesterday I came out of the arena feeling really happy with my test, then I saw him and just bawled my eyes out," she said. 

"It's amazing being back doing my day job but with him on the sidelines. His dad has also taken time off work so he can be here looking after Joshua while I compete."