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Sacral agenesis/spina bifida
Date of Birth
Student, horse riding teacher
First Competed for Australia
Danish dressage rider Andreas Helgstrend, her coach Peter Turner
Winning her test in England in 2006 for the junior championships, Australian champion in 2008 – youngest ever to win it
Riding under lights in Hartpury in the grand arena with flags all around at 14 years of age
Having returned impressive results in the prelude to London 2012, selection for her first Paralympic Games was vindication for Hannah Dodd’s determination and will to succeed. Hannah enjoyed a stellar 2011 campaign, winning the team test at both the Oceania Championships and National Titles as she ramped up her preparations for London. In London, she relished in the electric atmosphere, and performed well in all three events, finishing 11th in the team and freestyle tests, and 12th in the individual test.
Hannah was born with sacral agenesis, a rare degenerative disease that meant most of her renal system needed to be reconstructed. Hannah’s right leg was 180 degrees to the rest of her body, with a shorter tibia bone and no calf muscle. Despite the challenges of her formative years, she has maintained a positive and determined attitude and believes she was aided by her understanding parents who allowed her to be free and enjoy herself throughout her childhood.
With two older brothers already riding, Hannah was introduced to horses at an early age. From the time she was four months old, she would be taken on fun rides around the paddock of her Arcadia home on the outskirts of Sydney. By the time she was two, she was riding independently and has been competing in adult competition since the age of 12.
The Australian champion in 2008 and 2011 and runner up in 2009 is far from being a one trick pony, also enjoying kick boxing, sketching, designing clothing and more recently, wheelchair basketball. She started a degree in exercise and sport science in 2011 and hopes to develop knowledge and experience in this area.
She hopes to continue riding through to the Rio 2016 Games but in the mean time is currently enjoying her new love for wheelchair basketball, playing for the Sydney Uni Flames in the Women’s Wheelchair Basketball National League.
Sport & Disciplines
Disciplines: Individual championship test
Classification: Grade IV