TAUNTON Deane's most successful Paralympian ever is refusing to accept defeat despite a huge setback in her attempts to compete at her fifth consecutive Games.

Dressage rider Deb Criddle, of Trull, was axed from the squad for Tokyo 2020 after picking up a serious leg injury falling from a horse.

Deb, who won three golds at Athens and a team gold and two silvers at London, now has to prove her worth all over again on a new horse to stand any chance of getting on the plane to Japan.

She said: "The selectors have started the process of my leaving the squad. I'm absolutely gutted.

"The governing body set me targets to achieve by the end of April and I couldn't meet them. It means they can't agree to nominate me to the programme until there's evidence of a medal performance trajectory.

"My only recourse is to re-apply, find another horse and get the results to be chosen for the podium potential squad."

Deb was injured in April trying out a horse she was trying out, only to fall and tear a quad muscle that will keep her out of action until next month.

"I'll have to start again with a new horse," added Deb, 52. "It's really unfortunate the accident happened when it did.

"I'll have to self-fund again and that's going to be hard because it's a very expensive sport to be involved in.

"I need to go to a few international competitions again because the selectors won't look at a horse without international experience.

"I want to be at Tokyo. That's my goal."

You can help Deb achieve her ambition by supporting her Crowdfunding appeal to raise £25,000 - supporters have so far contributed more than £6,500 - by clicking here.