Di is a Grade IV Para-Dressage rider, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and Dystonia. Prior to becoming an international Para-Dressage athlete Di had an impressive equestrian career of a different kind, including success as a jockey and in the show ring!
“I was a normal kid growing up, Pony Club etc., then I left school a little bit early as it wasn’t my thing. I went to ride for Jim Houlihan. He was mainly with steeple chasers and hurdlers and I loved that, I was with him for seven years. I also won leading lady jockey for a couple of those years.
Then I got married and had the children and thought I had better be a little bit more sedate, so I went and did a bit of Showjumping and low grade Eventing and loved that, but then my daughter Jodie was really keen on the horses of we went Showing.
“I was lucky that both of us had really good wins. Champion Hacks at Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide Royals. National Hack of the Year with Royalty, and Champion Rider at Royal Melbourne Show. The best I did in the Garryowen was fifth, it isn’t really my cup of tea. Then we transitioned out of that and started doing the dressage. It is what lead us to this (Para-dressage).”