Chelseas Story

Chelsea Higgins is a Brisbane-based equestrian rider who has dreamt all her life of representing Australia in equestrian events at the Olympic Games. A talented, tenacious and successful equestrian rider identified by Equestrian Australia scouts as one of Australia’s most exciting emerging Olympic prospects, Chelsea has worked towards this goal from a very young age.

Chelsea began her competitive career in three-day eventing; show jumping and dressage events. Trained by highly-regarded equestrian coach Thomas Muehlanbeck, Chelsea was successfully competing in ‘3 star’ events across the country at only 15 years old; a pre-requisite for the elite squads.

Chelsea Higgins is a Brisbane-based equestrian rider who has dreamt all her life of representing Australia in equestrian events at the Olympic Games.

In September 2010 a horrific horse riding accident turned her world upside down. Competing at the Inter-School nationals in NSW, Chelsea was moving through the course when her horse clipped the top of the second jump. Event onlookers watched as Chelsea was crushed beneath her falling horse. Chelsea spent nine days in an induced coma. The accident caused a lacerated liver, fractured scapula, bruising and internal bleeding in the brain, a perforated lung and partial paralysis down one side of her body. She has been permanently affected by the accident and suffers from short-term memory loss and processing functions, speech difficulty, impaired vision, loss of movement and some feeling on her right side and continual spasms. Despite this, Chelsea is not prepared to give up on her dream of representing Australia at the Olympics in equestrian events.

Six months after the accident Chelsea got back on her horse to begin the hard battle of restoring her confidence and riding abilities. No longer able to jump, Chelsea focused on dressage. During this time Chelsea was approached by Equestrian Australia to take part in Australia’s Paralympic talent identification program.

Chelsea now competes as a Grade 3 para-equestrian and is the only Queenslander to be a member of the Australian Team at the World Equestrian Games in Dressage. In 2013 Chelsea moved to Melbourne to compete in all 3 selection-events for the World Equestrian Games; and was selected to represent Australia at the 2014 World Equestrian Games in France, securing an impressive top 10 position.

Chelsea has been voted Queensland Para Equestrian of the year for 2012/2013 & 2014, and in 2014 her horse, HP Comedian won Queensland horse of the year.

Relocating back to Brisbane at the end of September 2014, Chelsea moved back home with her Mum, Kerry, who she credits as being her biggest inspiration. She is training for the selections at the end of the year, which if successful will see her achieve her goal of representing Australia in equestrian dressage events at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Chelsea has been voted Queensland Para Equestrian of the year for 2012/2013 & 2014, and in 2014 her horse, HP Comedian won Queensland horse of the year.

When she’s not riding her horses, Chelsea’s favourite things in life are her family, her dog and relaxing in bed with a great book in the cool. Mum Kerry, says Chelsea is a great ambassador for younger children in the sport; both able bodied and para-equestrian. “She helps them with warm-ups and helps them get over being nervous about competing and gives her time generously’.

  • Awards and Achievements

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    2014 Para Equestrian Elite Squad

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    2014 Qld Para Equestrian of the Year

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    2013 Qld Para Equestrian of the Year

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    2013 Para Equestrian National A Squad

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    Para Equestrian Grade 3 Champion

    2012 HAMAG Australian Young Rider and Junior Championships

    (3rd Qualifier for the 2012 London Olympics)

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    Reserve Champion

    2012 Australian Para Equestrian Championships

    (4th Qualifier for the 2012 London Olympics)

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    2012 Qld Para Equestrian of the Year

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    2012 Qld Women in Sport 'Rising Star' Award

    Qld State Championships Para Equestrian Grade 3 Champion
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    Para Equestrian Grade 3 Champion

    2012 Qld State Dressage Championships
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    Para Equestrian Grade 3 Champion

    2012 Qld Young Riders State Championship
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    2012 National Australian Para Equestrian Squad

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    2011 Talent Identification for the Australian Paralympic Committee

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    Para Equestrian Grade 3 Reserve Champion

    2011 Australian Young Rider and Junior Championships
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    2011 Saddleworld Dressage Festival CPDEI 3 Star

    Top Australian Rider (2nd Qualifier for the 2012 London Olympics)

    (2nd Qualifier for the 2012 London Olympics)

  • 2016 @ Chelsea Higgins. All rights reserved