Upton’s Autistic equestrian athlete Oliver Peace represented Great Britain at the third World Para-Equestrian Competition.
Hosted by Virtus (World Intellectual Impairment Sport organisation, formerly INAS), the competition attracted the best riders with learning disabilities from around the world, giving them the chance to compete internationally via video entry.
This year saw Oliver, 27, submit two entries on different horses. Competing against riders from America, Asia, Europe and Australia, Oliver’s amazing riding earned him two top 10 placings.
Oliver, riding Bailey, finished in fourth place overall, retaining their world ranking from last year and obtaining a new personal best score, which was less than two per cent behind the winning rider, Maximilian Abing, of Germany.
“Bailey did a great test for me and I am very happy to be a prize winner for Great Britain again,” said Oliver, who was also delighted to take tenth place riding Mia, a horse he only began riding earlier this year.
Oliver’s coach, Gemma Hughes, of Back Lane Stables in Leeds, worked with Oliver to enter the competition through the UK Sports Association, who select, manage and support the GB team to compete at Virtus’s programme of elite international competitions.
The event draws to a close the competition season this year for Oliver, who has had an incredible year of riding success, including being Riding for the Disabled double national dressage anywhere champion. Other notable achievements were attaining a fourth place at the British Horse Society (BHS) Riding Schools National Championship and winning overall champion at a Summer Dressage League, competing against non-disabled riders.
Oliver is a member of Able2 Pontefract, a disability sports club offering opportunities for people with learning disabilities. For more information, visit www.soable2.org.uk or ring Steve Peace, Chair on 07551 648661.