MILL SPRING, NC – Special Olympics North Carolina (SONC) athletes of all ages and abilities competed in various events, including showmanship, barrel racing, pole bending, trails, dressage and equitation, in the 2023 SONC Equestrian Tournament Sept. 22-24.
For the second year, the SONC Equestrian Tournament was held at Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring, North Carolina.
Athletes competing in the 2023 SONC Equestrian Tournament represented Johnston, Alamance, Clay, Durham, Forsyth, Gaston, Henderson, Mecklenburg, Pitt, Polk and Rowan counties.
Johnston County competitors and winners included Noah Andrew Byrd, Jamie Ann Curry, Brogan Blaise Debuhr, Laney Michelle, Dorsey, Geoffrey Donavon Ennis, Dawson Anthony Grady, Hannah Jane Hoots, Robert James Kelley, and Amelia Poss.
To ensure fair competition, the athletes were placed in competition divisions based on age and ability level. Gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded to the top three finishers in each division, followed by fourth through eighth place ribbons.
About Special Olympics North Carolina
Since 1968, the organization has used the transformative power of sports to improve the lives of children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Nearly 40,000 athletes in North Carolina inspire thousands of coaches, sports officials, local program committee members and event organizers involved in Special Olympics statewide. SONC offers year-round training and competition in 20 Olympic-type sports on local and state levels as well as health and wellness initiatives to improve the health status and increase access to community health resources for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Youth become agents of change through Unified Champion Schools, an education and sports-based program created by Special Olympics to build an inclusive environment among youth with and without intellectual disabilities as well as empower them to become youth leaders and create change in their community.