Marita Hird (born 25 February 1971)[1] is a Paralympic equestrian competitor from Australia. She won a bronze medal at the 2000 Sydney Games in the Mixed Dressage – Freestyle grade III event.[2]

Marita Hird
150600 - Marita Hird - 3a - 2000 Sydney media guide scan.jpg
2000 Australian Paralympic team portrait of Hird
Personal information
Nationality Australia
Born25 February 1971 (1971-02-25) (age 52)
Kew, Victoria, Australia
Action shot of Hird, shown on her horse O.P. Fleur, at the 2000 Summer Paralympics


Hird was born in Kew, Victoria.[1] She was a jockey until 1993 when she fell from her horse during a race.[3] Hird broke her neck in three places[4] and was advised that she was an incomplete quadriplegic.[3] However, after nine months Hird learned to walk again and began riding horses as a form of therapy.[3]

Sporting careerEdit

After being encouraged to compete in dressage, Hird won bronze at the World Championships in Aarhus Denmark.[5] She went on to win bronze in the Mixed Dressage - Freestyle grade III event at the 2000 Paralympics in Sydney.[1] Hird also represented Australia at the 2004 Paralympics where she just missed out on a medal.[3] At the 2006 Pacific Rim Championships, held in Vancouver, Hird won three silver medals.[3][5] She credits some of her success to Manolo Mendez, who gave her guidance.[5]


  1. ^ a b c Australian Media Guide : 2000 Paralympic Games. Sydney: Australian Paralympic Committee. 2000.
  2. ^ "Athlete Search Results". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Marita Hird". The Australian Equestrian Federation - South Australian Branch. Archived from the original on 11 December 2015. Retrieved 11 October 2015.
  4. ^ "The Current Equestrian Paralympic Preparation Squad". Riding For the Disabled Association Australia. Archived from the original on 9 April 2013. Retrieved 11 October 2015.
  5. ^ a b c "Marita Hird". Dubbo Eventing & Showjumping Association. Archived from the original on 11 December 2015. Retrieved 11 October 2015.

External linksEdit