Congratulations to Justin Fairbanks and Alicia Paine who repre- sented Mounted Eagles for the first time in the Special Olympics Equestrian events on August 20 in North Branch. Both riders compet- ed in the English Obstacle Class in which the rider must steer their mount in a designated pattern around barrels, through a gate, in a cir- cle and over poles. Alicia rode the course on her own without the assistance of a volunteer walking at her side. She won the gold medal in this event. Justin also rode in this class and decided to have a side walker with him. He won a silver medal. Their next ride was English Equitation in which the rider must walk, trot, halt and back their horse. Justin won a gold medal and Alicia won the silver in this class.
Riders and coaches were all smiles after their rides. Their victories were not only winning medals, but the thrill of training, riding strange horses, driving to North Branch and performing their routines flawlessly. It was a day they truly felt like the Olympians they were!
Both coaches and riders put in extra time in the saddle to prepare them for their com- petition. Thank you to Lynn Fairbanks, Susie Bailiff, Becky Clarkin and to our sponsors Spirit Horse Center and Grattan Healthcare