Aussie Equestrian Legend and Grandmother of Four- Mary Hanna Enters Her Sixth Olympics

Published 06/30/2021, 3:53 AM EDT


Last week, Australia announced their equestrian teams for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics 2021. Andrew Hoy, 62, will lead the eventing squad in his eighth Olympic Games. In dressage, the team includes Mary Hanna, who will lead the team at the age of 66.

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Mary Hanna enters her sixth Olympics

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Competing in her sixth Olympic Games, Mary Hanna has been a part of the Australian dressage team since 1996 (except 2008). She will become the oldest athlete in the 2021 Olympics, and probably the only grandmother of three to compete in the Games. Hanna will ride Calanta, her husband Robert’s horse.

Hanna has two children, Alexandria and Gitti, and three grandchildren, with a fourth on the way. Her fourth grandchild is due in a couple of weeks. She won’t be in Tokyo during this time and can witness this special moment. However, she’ll shed that side of her once the Games begin.

Despite being a legend in the sport, Hanna hasn’t won an Olympic medal, unlike her eventing counterpart, Andrew Hoy, who also sets a longevity record in Tokyo. In Atlanta 1996, Hanna finished 24th in individual dressage, finished 6th in team and 34th in individual in Sydney 2000, 39 (individual) in 2004, 9 (team), 43 (individual) in 2012 and 9 (team), 39 (individual) in 2016.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be selected for my sixth Olympics, said Hanna to Horse and Hound. “It has been a truly testing time for all with so many challenges… a bit like walking a tightrope to get this far, and I am sure it’s been the same for my fellow team members. In spite of this I am so proud to be joining Kelly Layne and Simone Pearce to represent Australia, and I am sure together we will make a great team.”

Who are her teammates?

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Hanna won’t gun for gold by herself, as she has some incredible talent under her wings. Simone Pearce and Kelly Layne will join the veteran as Australia pursues a medal in dressage. Unlike Hanna, Layne and Pearce haven’t competed in the Olympic Games before.

Simone Pearce is one of the fastest rising stars in international dressage. She has been incredibly successful in the past years, and her spot in the Olympic dressage team was a certainty.

Kelly Layne almost entered the Olympics in 2016, but an injury to her horse ruled her out of of contention. She’s represented her country at various competitions, but she has a point to prove this year, as she finally steps onto the Olympic stage. Under Mary Hanna’s guidance, can these youngsters pull off a shock win?

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Nathan Fulgado

1174 articles

Nathan Fulgado is a WWE and AEW author at EssentiallySports. Having published close to 1000 professional wrestling articles, Nathan is currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier's College. He has previously worked at Free Press Journal as a local journalist.

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