June 02, 2014 | Europe Eurasia: Israel

Equestrian - A New Sports at Special Olympics Israel

By Reuven Astrachan

A seminar for the Horse Riding Sports was held at the Vered Hagalil Stables from May 22 - 23, 2014. 20 horse riding trainers, instructors and therapists from a number of stables participated in the seminar. The Seminar was conducted by Ms. Jadwiga (Jagoda) Maciaszek, the Special Olympics Europe/Eurasia Equestrian sport advisor. The rules of the sport pursuant to Special Olympics rules were studied at the seminar, as well as the holding of capability level allocation competitions, planning competition tracks, safety etc. In addition, the participants heard explanations regarding the global Special Olympics organization and about Special Olympics Israel activities. The next day, a competition was held for 35 athletes / riders of varying levels of capability, who came from a number of riding stables all over the country. The athletes were divided into 7 categories, according to their level of competence (from low capability level riders who were assisted by a walker holding the horse’s reins and up to riders at a high level of capability, who ride without any assistance). At the end of each heat, all the participants were awarded medals according to the ranking they attained based on the decision of the judging team. Ms. Jagoda assisted in preparing the competition and in designing the track, and during the course of the competition, directed the senior judging team, with various adjustments of judging within Special Olympics rules. We were given the green light by Ms. Jagoda and her blessing to continue developing this sport at Special Olympics Israel. There is a potential of athletes, there are excellent trainers and instructors and mainly, there is a burning desire to cooperate and to join the Special Olympics Israel Family.

About Reuven Astrachan: I am acting National Director & National Sport Director
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