FRANKFORT, Ky (WKYT) -- More than 40 riders participated in the State Equestrian Competition Saturday at Lakeside Arena in Frankfort. The event, apart of Special Olympics Kentucky, involved dressage, equitation, and working trail classes.
"They're coming in and doing a series of obstacles," said Julie Coon, the event manager. "They're all designed to challenge the athlete, like keep the horse straight, carry an object, weaving through cones, so you're moving the animal quite a bit."
To qualify, riders had to complete at least 10 weeks of training prior to the event. However, many of them have been training for years.
"It feels pretty natural now since I've been doing it for a while," said Thomas Komp, who's been training for the last seven years, practicing at least one day a week.
The competition is welcome to riders of all ages with intellectual disabilities. Amanda Bass, one of the riders, cheered and hugged her mother after winning first place in her class.
"She did really well. She rode good. Like they said, she steered well, and that's kind of an issue with her sometimes," said Beverly Bass, Amanda's mother.
Besides winning, Amanda told WKYT she likes taking care of horses by feeding them and cleaning their stalls.
Komp also placed in his class. He shared advice for others considering horse competing.
"If you fall off of a horse, you shouldn't quit there because that happen sometimes," Komp said. "You just have to keep on going and eventually you'll get to a point where you won't fall off of a horse anymore."