East Texas Athlete Brings Home Silver from Ireland - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

7/1/03 - Golden

East Texas Athlete Brings Home Silver from Ireland

It's been a wild ride for one east texas athlete competing in the world special olympic games in ireland.

"I didn't expect to do as good as I did," says Clay.

23-year-old Clay Roberts has more than souvenirs to show his family from his trip to the special olympics in Dublin, Ireland. His hard work with his horses back home payed off in precious medals. "I won silver in trails, silver in dressage," says Clay.

Plus a sixth place finish in his third equestrian event equitation.

"I normally do Western events, but I also do English, but I don't do as much English as Western. I did better than I thought especially in dressage."

"He had what the coach said was probably the ride of his life over there on a totally unfamiliar horse."

His mother Renae who also coaches Clay at home says Ireland was an amazing experience for Clay and the entire Roberts family, eventhough they were stateside.

"It's nice anytime you can share something you love with your kids and that's what this does for me," says Renae. The day that we got the pictures back and Channel 7 ran the story from over there, my younger son had been in a 4H show in Athens. He had done very well with his horse there and to come home and see how well Clay was doing on the other side of the world with his horse was really really good."

His parents are also proud of the confidence Clay exudes from competing in the Special Olympics. Clay's father Mike says he's a changed man.

"He went from a shy little boy you couldn't hardly get to speak to anybody to engergetic he's got to go and see lots of things," says Mike.

But, the most memorable part of the Dublin world games for Clay was this, "It's fun to do and meet all different people from different countries."

Clay adds his two 2003 silver medals to a gold and two silvers he won in the 1999 world games in North Carolina. What makes this special olympian even more special is he also competes in open equestrian events with riders who are not special olympians.

Dana Dixon, reporting.

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