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Posted by Christine Armishaw on 25/03/2019.
Team Australia with their medals: Shelby Davis-Hill, Nathan Harvey, Willow Hersnat & Jordan Hill
Photo Courtesy Kim Harvey

Nine Medals for Australia at Abu Dhabi Special Olympics World Games

Recently a team of four riders made their way to Abu Dhabi to compete in the World Games Special Olympics. They all rode incredibly well within each of their divisions, coming home with a tally of nine medals between them.

“[Our equestrian team was] fantastic! Couldn’t have asked for any better” said a proud Chris Nott, equestrian team coordinator.

The team was meet with their challenges in a foreign country. In Abu Dhabi they ride Arabian horses, with practically nothing over 15hh. The height and build of these horses made team horse selection an interesting matter, being very different in type to the horses our riders are used to riding back home in Australia.

The horses came from local riding schools in the area. These facilities house many horses, in air conditioned stable blocks and use indoor arenas, because outside is quite literally a desert. The dust storms made their mark on the team’s white jodhpurs and white shirts!

Out of approximately 150 horses that were involved with the Games, 120 were white or grey in colour, with no ‘standard’ bay horses to be seen.

Our team of riders proved their worth and shone bright on the world stage. They produced some very impressive results from a competitive field.

Off the horses, our team represented their country with pride. They got out there and did their best.

“Among all the athletes from all the countries, the sportsmanship was amazing. We sat next to people from all different countries, including Morocco, Greece, the Netherlands and more – no matter the placing, everyone cheered, celebrated and congratulated each other. It was humbling to see that every day, everyone was happy for each other.” shared Chris.


Riding in the Level A division:

Nathan Harvey (QLD)

English Equitation – Gold

Dressage - Gold

Equitation Jumping - Bronze


Riding in the Level BI division:

Shelby Davis-Hill (QLD)

Dressage - Silver

English Working Trails - 4th place

English Equitation - 5th place


Jordan Hill (WA)

English Equitation – Silver

English Working Trails – Silver

Dressage - 5th place


Willow Hersnat (QLD)

English Equitation – Silver

Dressage - Silver

English Working Trails – Silver

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