Horseman made sporting history

PRIZE: Oliver Peace came third in an international competition for riders with intellectual impairments.
PRIZE: Oliver Peace came third in an international competition for riders with intellectual impairments.
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An EQUESTRIAN from Upton has just ridden himself into the sporting history books.

Oliver Peace, 25, was the first rider from Great Britain to compete in the inaugural International Federation for Intellectual Impairment Sport (INAS).

He came third in the dressage section on bay horse Bailey in the world equestrian competition. Oliver, who has autism, started riding at the age of five.

Equestrian sport was added to the INAS sports programme in 2016 to provide the very best riders with intellectual impairments from around the world, the chance to compete internationally. Tracey McCillen, chief executive, UK Sports Association for People with Learning Disability said: “It is a great achievement for Oliver, and a great achievement for the UK to have a talented young man represent us in the INAS Championships. Oliver is such an elegant and accomplished sportsman, which I know is as a result of some real hard work, training and commitment to his sport.”

INAS promotes inclusion of people with intellectual impairments in sport and society. Oliver competed against 13 other competitors from the USA, Australia and Europe. Riders performed the required dressage routine at their home venues and submitted videos for assessment. The video judging format made competition more accessible to athletes from around the world without the expense of transporting horses overseas. Oliver’s coach, Gemma Hughes, from Back Lane Stables in Leeds, worked with Oliver to enter the video.

Bernard Atha, former Lord Mayor of Leeds and current chairman and president of UKSA (UK Sports Association for People with Learning Disability, presented Oliver with his prize rosette at the stables on Thursday.