Royston woman with intellectual disability beats the odds to win selection to Special Olympics Equestrian Team
PUBLISHED: 12:09 07 January 2016 | UPDATED: 12:09 07 January 2016
A Royston woman with an intellectual disability has beaten the odds to win selection for the Special Olympics Equestrian Team, a year after her father unexpectedly committed suicide.
Lucy Warne fell in love with horses in later life after initially starting riding on ponies at the age of three to improve her balance and co-ordination.
The 28-year-old’s talent has always been clear, but her ability to compete in dressage competitions was dealt a cruel blow after the unexpected death of her father, Adrian, in November 2014.
Remarkably – despite months of being isolated as she struggled to cope – Lucy managed to get back on the saddle and even bagged first place in a regional Riding for the Disabled Association in April.
She then kicked on and received a bronze medal for a national association event in July – coming third in the freestyle to music category – which earned her sufficient recognition a few months later to secure a place on the eastern regions Special Olympics team.
Lucy said this week: “Winning my first ever gold medal at the eastern regionals was the best moment of my life.
“If I did not have the support of my mum and all the support of my trainers and my family I don’t know where I would be today.
“My horses are my world, my family and my best friends.”
Mum Alison said: “Watching Lucy receive her gold medal from the Mayor of St Albans at the regionals in April and then her second place at the RDA Nationals was one of the proudest mummy moments of my life.
“Lucy’s disability means she finds doing things in the outside world extremely difficult unless she is with her horses.
“Having lost so much since November and not being able to afford to keep up with riding and competing on her own horses put Lucy in quite a dark and sad place, until I eventually managed to get her back into taking part with training sessions in March.
“So to fight back from the lowest point in her life and win the gold in April was an outstanding achievement.”
Lucy is now looking ahead to achieving more this year and competing at the national games in Sheffeld during 2017.