THE World Special Olympic Games were held in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates recently and the Irish Equestrian team enjoyed a very successful trip. The horses loaned to the competitors were endurance ponies and some hadn’t even seen a pole on the ground before, but the athletes managed well.
Megan McElherron from Saddle & Reins, Newry, competing at Level A won a Gold and Silver medal and came fourth in dressage. Lee Mitchell from Omagh Spies, competing at Level BS won two Gold medals. Their team mates from Dublin clubs, Sally Duffy (Level A) won a Silver and a Bronze, while Conor Byrne (CI) won Gold and Silver. Thanks are extended to Head Coach, Etta Hayes and chaperone, Hitesh Varsani.
Many of the families travelled out and had a great experience, I also travelled out to support the team. I was so proud of them all and this is the first time that Ulster has fielded a Level A athlete in Megan McElherron, who had the highest score of all Level A athletes in all classes!
Ireland were very successful in other sports too, bringing home a large haul of 34 Gold, 24 Silver and 15 Bronze medals.
The Team of athletes who won medals in the All Ireland Games in Dublin last June will be appearing in the main arena at Balmoral show at lunch time on Saturday, May 18, in order to salute their success and show off their medals.
Everyone is so proud of the team – the years and months of training really pays off and they have all have improved so much, CONGRATULATIONS!