Special to the Gazette
Niagara Gazette — The Western Region New York State Special Olympic Equestrian Competition was held recently at the Equi*Star Therapeutic Riding Center in Burt. Twenty special needs individuals participated on their trusty steeds.
Opening ceremonies began with a parade of athletes. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Nick Mosher. Greta Littman gave a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem and the Athlete’s Oath was recited by Darren Huntington.
The riders participated in trail and equitation classes, and were judged by Lisa Kenny. Those who competed had an opportunity to win blue, red, or yellow ribbons. Each rider was awarded a trophy by coach Sandy Klinger.
The Western Region Special Olympic riders for 2012 were Christopher Rose, Zachary Marino, John Edmonson, Michael McAuley, Ryan Beltz, David Krause, Andrew Binks, Rachael Wendling, James Rose, Brian Jacob, Megan Eerhart, Rachel Connor, Tina Leigh, Nick Moshier, Mary Zastrow, Kyla Gallucci, Christian Burt, Melissa Marino, Robert Webb and Darren Huntington.
Those chosen to advance to the New York state competition were Christian Burt, Darren Huntington, Nick Moshier and Robert Webb.
The event included a lunch provided by Lockport-Olcott IRA. Also helping were Lisa Kenny Stedman Nurseries, M&R Klinger Farm, Rhinhart’s Feeds, Ridge Road Express, Leo Smith, Hiller’s farms, and the families, friends and volunteers at Equi*Star.