Special Olympians gallop to victory - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Special Olympians gallop to victory

By Jessica Bowman – email

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - More than 50 special needs competitors saddled up at the Harrison County Fairgrounds for the 13th Annual Mississippi Special Olympic Games on Saturday.

Riders from across Mississippi were ready for a day of intense competition. Days of practice lead up to the final Stock Seat Equitation competition. Each rider was paired with a teammate.

"Horses is my passion 'cause I love riding horses," said special Olympian Jodi Fairley.

Jodi Fairley was paired up with Rosie. The American Paint horse she rode gently guided her through the competition.

"I love riding Rosie 'cause she walks fast, and I enjoy riding her," said Fairley.

After many nights of practice the team shined in the spotlight.

"I won a gold medal," said Fairley.

You may not have heard many cheers coming from the crowd when the winning team was announced. That's because those who come to support the athletes clap in sign language so all competitors can see what a wonderful job they have done.

"We are out here to support them and see how they grow in the sport. It's just a blessing for us," said Jaime Wickham.

Supporters came from all around the magnolia state to cheer riders on and volunteer during the event.

Equine Director Pete Cain has been involved in the event for more than ten years. He said assisting with special needs competitors is a lifetime reward.

"I have learned more from you than I could ever teach you," said Pete Cain as he addressed the crowd.

Cain said that is truly how he feels towards Fairley and all special needs athletes.

The Mississippi Special Olympic Games are held twice a year. A benefit trail ride is held in Stone County to raise money for the event, along with donations from Lenny and Earline Sawyer. The couple started the games in 1996.

©2009 WLOX. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Gulfport Main Street presents Phase II of downtown plan

    Gulfport Main Street presents Phase II of downtown plan

    Monday, August 20 2018 6:40 PM EDT2018-08-20 22:40:38 GMT
    According to Gulfport Main Street, 257 businesses are currently active in the downtown area. They say with that type of growth, it's time for Phase II of its strategic plan to go into operation.  (Photo source: WLOX)According to Gulfport Main Street, 257 businesses are currently active in the downtown area. They say with that type of growth, it's time for Phase II of its strategic plan to go into operation. (Photo source: WLOX)
    According to Gulfport Main Street, 257 businesses are currently active in the downtown area. They say with that type of growth, it's time for Phase II of its strategic plan to go into operation.  (Photo source: WLOX)According to Gulfport Main Street, 257 businesses are currently active in the downtown area. They say with that type of growth, it's time for Phase II of its strategic plan to go into operation. (Photo source: WLOX)

    According to Gulfport Main Street, 257 businesses are currently active in the downtown area. They say with that type of growth, it's time for Phase II of its strategic plan to go into operation.

    More >>

    According to Gulfport Main Street, 257 businesses are currently active in the downtown area. They say with that type of growth, it's time for Phase II of its strategic plan to go into operation.

    More >>
  • UPDATE: Man recovering after being shot in east Ocean Springs

    UPDATE: Man recovering after being shot in east Ocean Springs

    Monday, August 20 2018 6:27 PM EDT2018-08-20 22:27:31 GMT
    Jackson County authorities are on the scene of a shooting, involving at least one victim.  (Photo source: WLOX)Jackson County authorities are on the scene of a shooting, involving at least one victim.  (Photo source: WLOX)

    Jackson County Sheriff's investigators are on the scene of a shooting at Derry Street and Old CCC Camp Road in east Ocean Springs.

    More >>

    Jackson County Sheriff's investigators are on the scene of a shooting at Derry Street and Old CCC Camp Road in east Ocean Springs.

    More >>
  • MS man, 74, crushed to death by lawnmower

    MS man, 74, crushed to death by lawnmower

    Monday, August 20 2018 6:02 PM EDT2018-08-20 22:02:16 GMT
    Lamar County Sheriff Danny Rigel said the tragic accident happened at Friend’s home on Friend Road. (Photo source: WDAM)Lamar County Sheriff Danny Rigel said the tragic accident happened at Friend’s home on Friend Road. (Photo source: WDAM)

    A 74-year-old Lamar County man died Monday morning after a lawnmower fell on top of him while he was making repairs.

    More >>

    A 74-year-old Lamar County man died Monday morning after a lawnmower fell on top of him while he was making repairs.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly