Christine Durrance takes gold in Athens(July 18, 2011)
Christine Durrance of the Mount Group RDA based at Somerby Livery Centre Somerby Leicestershire took a Gold and a Silver in the” A “ riders section of the Equestrian Events for the Special Olympic World Summer Games held at the Marco Poulou Stadium built for the 2004 Olympic Games just outside Athens.
Christine had three disciplines to compete in for the GB Team, Prix Capprilli on the Tuesday, Dressage on the Wednesday and English Equitation on the Thursday. Christine was only introduced to her allocated horse, Gigant, on the Sunday at the horse matching. Gigant was an ex event horse we were told about 15.2 a Chestnut thorough bred type.
Unlike the Olympic and Paralympics, Special Olympic riders do not take their ownhorses, a true test of their abilities.
On the Monday was the “Divisioning” the riders ride their horses and are judged ontheir ability within their sections of A, Walk trot and canter. B, Walk and trot and C Walk only. They are then put in divisions with riders of a similar ability for each discipline.
Christine just missed out on a Bronze on the Tuesday in the Prix Capprilli by half apoint. The Gold going to Germany, Silver to the Swiss and Bronze to Ireland.
On the Wednesday with a determined look on her face she nailed the Gold by TENPOINTS a score of 165 approx. 79% and a comment from one judge of “a verytalented rider”
On the Thursday was English Equitation, no I had no idea either, its like a showclass, each division come in and walk and trot round on both reins. They leave thearena and stand at one end as each rider come back to do a set piece in Canter with simple changes to see if they can strike off on the correct leg. Christine wasthe first one to do it correctly, however this helped the New Zealand girl who took the Gold, with Silver going to Christine.
We were thrilled with both Christine and the other members of the five man GB Equestrian team of three Girls and two men, we came home with four Gold's, fiveSilver and a Bronze (i think)
A trully wonderful experience for them all.