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STAR Equestrian brings home medals

June 28, 2009

HAGERSTOWN -- STAR Equestrian Center brought home several medals from the 2009 Maryland Special Olympics Summer Games and Maryland Challenge Classic held in Upper Marlboro, Md., at the Prince George's County Equestrian Center.

The center came back from the show, held June 13 and 14, with 10 gold medals, seven silver medals, three bronze medals and one fourth-place finish, according to a press release from the equestrian center.

"The entire weekend was pretty phenomenal," Ginny Gaylor, director of the STAR Equestrian Center, said in the release.

"One exciting part about this year is that a few riders that have participated for many years in a row have now officially moved on to riding independently," she said. "This means that they were in the arena with other horses at the same time and no side walkers. That's really something."

Riders, who ranged in age from 6 to 55, trained for 13 weeks prior to the June event.

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The riders have disabilities including autism, cerebral palsy, developmental delays and spina bifida.

In order to qualify for Maryland Special Olympics Summer Games and the Maryland Challenge Classic, a rider must win a blue or red ribbon in his/her specialty class at the qualifying competition. Classes include English and Western equitation, trail rides, barrel races, speed events, obstacle courses and dressage.

Following are the results from the 2009 Maryland Special Olympics Summer Games:

  • Richard Dobson, gold.

  • Sarah Roney, gold, silver

  • Greg Munch, two gold medals

  • Connor Hay, gold.

  • Sarah Gensler, silver

  • Sandy Snyder, silver

  • Lauren Hay, silver

  • Bryan Larew, bronze

  • James Dobson, bronze

    Following are the 2009 Maryland Challenge Classic results:

  • Caitlyn Seibert, first

  • Larry Cross, first

  • Kayla Ridings, first

  • Melanie Carbaugh, first

  • Charlie Morgan, first

  • Bobby Staley, second

  • Dennis Pipes, second

  • Jane Patterson, second

  • Sarah Bumgarner, third

  • Lane Fortney, fourth

    In all, 19 riders, 20 volunteers, five coaches and six horses attended the weekend's events.

    STAR Equestrian Center, a nonprofit organization, uses horses in various equine activities to enhance the lives of riders and volunteers with disabilities, the release says.

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