SUNNINGDALE’S Sophie Christiansen OBE has been nominated for BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2016 following her incredible achievements at the Olympic Games in Rio.

The 29-year-old dressage rider secured three gold medals for ParalympicGB in the summer, matching her haul from the London 2012 Games.

The former Charters School pupil has now won eight career Paralympic golds over four Games and is one of three Paralympic nominees for the BBC’s SPOTY award along with cyclist Dame Sarah Storey and Kadeena Cox, who won two golds in cycling and on the athletics track.

Christiansen, who now lives in Maidenhead, beamed: “I am so shocked and honoured to be nominated for BBC Sports Personality of the Year, especially in such an important year for sport where hundreds of athletes are worthy of this award.

“That said, I know that many of the British public won’t know who I am because I compete in a minority sport.

“This is why I need your help not to come last.”

Christiansen successfully defended her three titles from London 2012, bringing her career total to eight Paralympic gold medals.

Competing in her fourth Paralympic Games, the 29-year-old has cemented her position at the top of her sport and was one of two British Paralympians to win three Equestrian gold medals in Rio, alongside Natasha Baker MBE.

Such was her success the Royal Mail painted a postbox gold in her home village of Sunningdale.

But Christiansen says she wants people to vote for her in the BBC SPOTY awards not only because of her success in the saddle.

Christiansen was born with cerebral palsy and went on to earn a first class master’s degree in mathematics from the university of London.

She now works as a statistical analyst for Goldman Sachs investment bank in London, combining her time with dressage training, having been appointed OBE in the 2013 New Year Honours list.

She explained: “I want to be voted for by the people because I stand for more than just an athlete.

“So please vote for me if you have ever overcome a challenge, believe in the benefits of sport, studied maths, have a disability but never let that stop you, work in an office, love riding and horses, went to university, always strive for better, go to festivals and gigs, are a computer geek and proud of it, fighting for things you believe in or just like to support the underdog.”

Binfield skeet shooter Amber Hill won the Young Sports Personality of the Year in 2013.

The BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2016 will be decided by public vote during the live show on the evening of December 18.

Gary Lineker, Clare Balding and Gabby Logan will present the programme from 6:40pm on BBC One.

SPOTY shortlist: Nicola Adams - Boxing, Gareth Bale - Football, Alistair Brownlee - Triathlon, Sophie Christiansen - Equestrian, Kadeena Cox - Athletics/Cycling, Mo Farah - Athletics, Jason Kenny - Cycling, Laura Kenny - Cycling, Andy Murray - Tennis, Adam Peaty - Swimming, Kate Richardson-Walsh - Hockey, Nick Skelton - Equestrian, Dame Sarah Storey - Cycling, Jamie Vardy - Football, Max Whitlock - Gymnastics, Danny Willett - Golf.