Yesterday was the final day of competition for the Equestrian Team representing Great Britain at the Abu Dhabi 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games (14 – 21 March). The team have had an incredibly successful Games, winning 17 medals in total including nine golds, four silvers and four bronze, a wonderful achievement.
The Special Olympics is the world’s largest humanitarian sporting event and a global movement which focuses on the empowerment of People of Determination with intellectual disabilities through the power of sport. The World Games were hosted for the first time in the Middle East & North Africa Region since the Games were founded over 50 years ago. Over 7,000 athletes from over 170 countries headed to Abu Dhabi to compete in a series of different sports.
Six athletes represented Great Britain in equestrianism, with the youngest competitor being only 14 years old. T-Jay Wilson from Keighley is a member of Haworth Riding for the Disabled (RDA). T-Jay competed at the Riding for the Disabled National Championships when he was just four years old and placed 6th and a decade later has gone on to win two golds and a bronze medal in Abu Dhabi. T-Jay rides at Haworth RDA four times a week alongside fellow team member James Reed-Griffiths.
James has only been riding for six years and does all he can to support his local RDA. Last year he volunteered at the National Games and plans to do so again this year. James has won two golds and one silver at the World Games. Taking the golds in Level BI - English Working Trails and Level BI – Dressage.
Former Oaklands College Equine student Thomas Miller has had a very successful Games, winning two golds and one silver medal. Following placings in a string of dressage competitions, Thomas qualified for the Special Olympics National Games in Sheffield in 2017 where he won two silver medals. Thomas trained with the Special Olympics team at Oaklands College’s St Albans Campus with team mate Lucy Warne, also selected from the East of England region. Lucy won gold at the Special Olympics National Summer Games in Sheffield and achieved two golds and a silver in Abu Dhabi.
Fellow team mates Marie Stuart and Kristen Wrate have also impressed audiences. Marie took silver in the Level BI - English Equitation and bronze in Level BI - English Working Trails and Dressage. While Kristen Wrate successfully won the gold medal in Level A Dressage and bronze in the English Working Trials class.
The British Equestrian Federation would like to congratulate all team members who competed in the Abu Dhabi 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games on their impressive achievements.