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Nicole Kullen and Nikshar Nomination
Nicole Kullen and Nikshar Nomination in Belgium 2006
|Full name||MISS Nicole CASSANDRA Kullen|
|Height||167.5cm (but 4 feet tall and 2 feet short without my legs on!)|
|Weight||Depends how I am put together, but averages around 40 kg|
|Higher education||HSC, TAFE C3 in both horse Industry Management, and in Business Administration. I also studied Marketing and Architectural Technology.|
|Occupation||Unable to work due to bad health, but love doing things on our property with my horses.|
|Residence||Rock Forest NSW|
|Preferred Discipline / Event(s)||Dressage - Para-Equestrian|
|Why this sport?||In 2000, Nicole began competing in dressage with the EFA and the RDAA for riders with a disability, and in 2006 began competing internationally with the FEI. To get to where she is today, Nicole said there have been huge challenges both, emotionally, physically and especially financially, but she’s very proud to have achieved what she has and to be selected for the Australian Team.|
|Awards and honours||Some of Nicole's dressage achievements and awards include:
• The Horse Magazine EQVALAN Rider of the Year 2007
• 2005 RDAA National Dressage Champion for Grade Two
• Finalist in the 2007 Australian Sports Awards run by the Confederation of Australian Sport in the category of "Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability".
• 2005 EFA NSW RDA Rider of the Year Award
• Finalist in the Elders Nicoll and Ireland Sportsperson of the Year 2006 and 2008
Some of Nicole’s International results representing Australia include:
|Hobbies||Equestrian and animal photography, web design and breeding and spending time with her Arabian bred horses and ponies.|
|Other information||In 1996, Nicole Kullen, an up and coming star in the equestrian industry, contracted Meningococcal Meningitis Septicemia. After six weeks in an induced coma, on life support, she spent the next six months in hospital recovering from her illness and rehabilitating. Nicole’s lower legs were amputated, she lost all function in both her hands and wrists and her arm movement and strength were limited, as well as all her internal organs being damaged. Then in 2000 after losing all function from both of her kidneys, Nicole now relies on a peritoneal dialysis life support machine four times daily, which her mother Margaret, who is also her full time carer, has to do as Nicole is unable to do it herself.
Since then, Nicole’s horses have continued to be a huge part of her life and have played an enormous roll in her recovery and in regaining a life after her illness, with her mother Margaret being there every step of the way, as both carer and mother. Nicole’s says her mother has been the most influential and supportive person in her life and if it wasn’t for her Mum’s love and support she wouldn’t be alive today.
|Sporting philosophy / motto||Nicole’s advice for aspiring riders…“Don't give up on your dreams. You can achieve anything if you put your heart and mind to it, regardless of your abilities or disabilities.”|