Former Oaklands Equine student Thomas Miller has been selected to represent Team GB Equestrian at the 2019 Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi.
Thomas makes one of just four riders across the UK who have been selected for the Special Olympics team in Dressage, who train at the College’s Equestrian Centre on a weekly basis.
Diagnosed with Oral Dyspraxia and learning difficulties at a young age and mild Epilepsy, Thomas sparked his passion for riding ahead just eight at his Special Needs School. Since completing his Level 1 Equine studies at the College in 2016, Thomas now volunteers his time at the College Equine Centre up to five days a week, helping to care for the horses and support the day to day running of the yard which houses over 24 horses currently.
Following successes in a string of dressage competitions, Thomas made his breakthrough qualifying for the National Games in Sheffield in 2017 in Prix Caprilli (Show Jumping combined with Dressage) winning two silver medals. He was also celebrated in the Herts School Sports Awards in 2017 for his achievements both at the Games and in recognition of his hard work and dedication at College.
With just over a year to go until the prestigious Games, Thomas now trains with the Special Olympics team at the College’s St Albans Campus with teammate Lucy Warne, also selected from the East of England region. During their training they will experience competition practise, develop their skills and prepare for a learning test which forms part of their assessment at the Games.
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, will be the host of the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games. The Games will be held 14 to 21 March in 2019.
The Games will span seven days of competition. About 7,000 athletes from more than 170 countries are invited to attend, with the Games featuring competition in 24 sports.