Lockyer Valley riders strike gold
EQUESTRIAN: Lockyer Valley riders Chantal Simpson and Megan Guilfoyle-Hurley put their months of hard work and training into practice to good effect at the Queensland Special Olympic State Games.
Held every four years, the 2017 equestrian events were held at the Southport Pony Club Grounds over the May Day long weekend.
The games attract competitors from across Queensland, who represent their Special Olympic Sporting Regions.
The Lockyer pair flew the flag for the Special Olympic QLD Brisbane region.
Riding her Hanoverian Warmblood mare Sandford Luminate, Ms Simpson competed in the trail, English equitation and dressage canter level classes and took home two gold medals and one silver medal.
Young Megan, in her very first time competing in the games, rode her Arabian mare Mischka in the trail, English equitation and dressage trot level classes and won one gold and two bronze medals.
Ms Simpson's father Darryl said the girl's dedication to their craft, as well as the sportsmanship they displayed during the events was a credit to the duo.
"Both girls exhibited very high levels of sportsmanship to everyone who was there, they helped other riders where needed and supported everyone around them,” Mr Simpson said.
He was proud to see the two excel against the competition, particularly as he believed there was high standard of judging by the two Equestrian Australia Para-Equestrian Judges who cast their eye over the equitation and dressage classes.
"Just to do that well under very high qualified judges is also a very good point as well,” he said.
It was a proud moment as a father to see his daughter pick up even more medals.
"This is her second games, last games she competed in four events, she got three gold and one silver,” he said.
"She puts a hell of a lot of training into it.”
Even after their success, attention now turns to the next step.
"Next step in the Special Olympics is the Australian nationals in 2018 in Adelaide,” Mr Simpson said.
"But they haven't selected the team as of yet, so fingers crossed.”