Medowie Veterinarian returns from Maccabiah Games

Ilona Hudson on the horse she drew to ride for the Games; Dan Dan.
Ilona Hudson on the horse she drew to ride for the Games; Dan Dan.


MEDOWIE Veterinarian Dr Ilona Hudson has just returned from a successful trip to the Maccabiah Games In Israel.

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Dr Hudson was the only equestrian athlete to represent Australia in the competitive dressage event.

The Maccabiah Games, often referred to as the Jewish Olympics, draws together 9,000 athletes from 78 countries.
The first was held in 1932, and the games take place quadrennially in Israel.

These games were a particularly special event for Australian Athletes, as they participated in a ceremony commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Maccabiah games where the bridge leading athletes on their march into the opening ceremony collapsed, killing four Australian athletes and injuring sixty others.

Competitors from around the world cannot always bring their horses with them to compete in the games, so a pool of horses are made available to those competitors, who can then ‘draw’ a horse to compete on.

Dr Hudson told News Of The Area, “The horse I drew was called Dan Dan.”

“In my class there were eight riders, some like me on borrowed horses and some on their own.”

“I had four training sessions with the horse prior to competing and based on a video of each of those sessions I received coaching advice from a coach in Germany and another in Australia,” she said.

The first competition was the Individual Qualifier One, where Dr Hudson finished in fifth place.

The second competition was the Individual Qualifier two, where she jumped up one place and came in fourth.
That one place improvement qualified Dr Hudson for the final, where she finished fifth overall.

Interestingly, Dr Hudson was the only rider in the final to make it that far on a borrowed horse; all competitors that finished ahead of her had brought their own horse to the Games.

There was also a team event that Dr Hudson was ineligible for because there were no other Australian riders.
Dr Hudson said, “I am absolutely delighted with this result and what I achieved in a very short space of time.”

“It’s an outstanding opportunity to test my riding skills, and also to share the experience with new and old friends from all over the world.”


By Rachael VAUGHAN

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