Tag Archives: Special Olympics

Jacksonville Equestrian Center Hosts Special Olympics and Dressage Event

Jacksonville, FL (February 14, 2019) – The Jacksonville Equestrian Center has a busy weekend planned as it welcomes 3 events to the facility. The Area 5 Special Olympics and First Coast Classical Dressage Showposium return for their 3rd and 5th years, respectively, with this weekend being the Heartland Farms Obstacle Course Competition’s first event at the Equestrian Center.

The 2019 Special Olympics Florida Area 5 Equestrian Championships will bring over 20 athletes to compete on Saturday. The event, which will begin at 2:00 pm and conclude around 5:00 pm, is part of the Special Olympics program, which provides an opportunity for children and adults with disabilities to compete in a wide variety of sports including figure skating, swimming, Judo, and equestrian. Area 5 consists of 7 FL counties, with the largest participating counties being Duval and Clay. The athletes, who rise above their disabilities to display skill, determination, and passion for their sports, compete in English and Western Equitation, Working Trail, and Showmanship. The top 5-6 placing equestrians will be eligible to compete at the Special Olympics State Equestrian Championships in Weirsdale, Florida in March of this year. This event welcomes and encourages spectators to come watch the competition and cheer on their enthusiastic participants. The Special Olympics has a wide array of volunteer opportunities available. Please contact Kate Breese for additional information on how you can get involved: 352.255.8275, katebreese@sofl.org.

The First Coast Classical Dressage Society hosts its first of 5 annual “Showposiums” at the JEC on Saturday and Sunday. This unique schooling show format has been recognized for its focus on education, engagement, and progression of horse and rider. Each Showposium weekend features lessons on Friday with the weekend’s Judge and test rides with verbal instruction and feedback on Saturday and Sunday.

Last, but certainly not least, is the Heartland Farms Obstacle Course Competition. This event, which was previously held at the Clay County Fairgrounds, is in its 10th year of competition. Nearly 100 horses will compete over a wide variety of challenging scenarios ranging from natural water obstacles to manmade situations like curtains, blow ups, and gates, which are potentially spooky or scary situations to horses. The horses are judged on a scale of 0-10 on how they maneuver the obstacles and a perfect score is awarded when they proceed without hesitation.

All three of these events welcome spectators free of charge and leashed dogs are permitted.

For up to date event information, follow the JEC on Instagram, Twitter & Facebook and visit www.jaxequestriancenter.com.

Jacksonville Equestrian Center
Tim Jones
13611 Normandy Blvd.
Jacksonville, FL 32221

Bruce Ekstrom Wears Judge’s Hat during Special Olympics at Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center

Bruce Ekstrom judging the horses and riders during the April 1st Special Olympics held at Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center in Loxahatchee, Florida. (Photo courtesy of JRPR)

Loxahatchee, FL (April 30, 2012) – When Bruce Ekstrom of Tuigpaarden Farm received the call from Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center asking him to judge the Special Olympics, the accomplished horseman wasted no time in reorganizing his schedule and changing his flights so that he could adjudicate the event.  The decorated trainer has racked up wins across the country and can normally be found at one of his two training centers either in Shelbyville, Kentucky or Ocala, Florida, but Ekstrom admits there is no place he’d rather be than supporting therapeutic riding centers like Vinceremos.  The opportunity to act as a judge for the Special Olympics was not something he was willing to let pass by.

The Special Olympics took place in the Vinceremos covered arena on Sunday, April 1st, and included riders ranging in all age groups and backgrounds.  “I had a phenomenal time as the judge for the Special Olympics,” said Ekstrom.  “These programs are so important to our community and to the people who participate in them.  The value of equestrian therapy in settings such as Vinceremos is immeasurable, and I am always ready to lend support and promote these events, be it any chance I get!  The facility is beautiful, the staff is amazing with their knowledge, and then add to this the kind, wonderful horses.  I believe it to be a very positive situation for all involved.”

Continue reading Bruce Ekstrom Wears Judge’s Hat during Special Olympics at Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center

FEI Award Win Continues to Motivate Haitian Para-Equestrian

Darlene Milord and FEI President HRH Princess Haya at the 2009 FEI Awards ceremony (photo: FEI)

19 August 2010 – As the nomination deadline approaches for the annual awards organised by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), the Haitian Para-Equestrian winner of last year’s FEI Against All Odds Award is calling on the equestrian community to nominate individuals whose efforts deserve acknowledgement.

The Against All Odds Award is given to an individual who has overcome personal setbacks or physical disabilities to pursue equestrian sport. It is one of five FEI Awards that reward outstanding dedication to horse sport.

Orphan Darlene Milord, who was born with the medical condition hemiplegia, has represented her country at the Special Olympics. Her passion for horses evolved from the riding therapy she received as part of a special needs programme at the Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos orphanage in Haiti.

Continue reading FEI Award Win Continues to Motivate Haitian Para-Equestrian