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Athletes compete in the statewide Special Olympics equestrian competition in Bryan

BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) – The Brazos County Exposition is once again hosting the annual Special Olympics Texas (SOTX) equestrian competition.

The competition started on Friday and continues through the weekend.

More than 130 athletes from across the state compete in a series of events including showmanship, work trails, western riding, English riding, drill team and more .

The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round athletic training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with developmental disabilities, giving them ongoing opportunities to develop their fitness, to show courage, to experience joy, and to participate in a sharing of gifts, skills, and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community.

The last competition took place in 2019 and was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.

Event organizers say they are happy to be back after being on the sidelines for the past three years.

“Having the athletes smile after getting that medal is hands down one of the best things,” said Special Olympics Texas senior director of competition and games, Chad Eason. “It pumps them up. Again for them it’s been three years since they last participated in Special Olympics and for many of them this is what they look forward to every year so the fact that we are finally back is amazing.

This stand-alone state meet is one of six annual state championship events hosted by SOTX and one of only two single-sport statewide events.

Special Olympics Texas athletes train for at least eight weeks before each competition.

Eason says Special Olympics Texas is always looking for volunteers to help out and fans to cheer on in the stands during competitions.

Special Olympics will host the Fall Classic at Bryan-College Station October 6-8. These events included bocce and softball which will be held at Veterans Memorial Park in College Station. Swimming will take place at the Student Rec Center – Natatorium on the campus of Texas A&M University and golf will take place at the Phillips Event Center at Briarcrest in Bryan. For more information on Special Olympics, Fall Classic, click here.

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