IDAHO FALLS — Karissa Trinchera, 28, of Idaho Falls has tackled more near dream-shattering hurdles than most people may find in a lifetime.
Yet she always pushes herself far beyond where anyone expects in order to show that anything is possible, like convincing the Special Olympics to open an equestrian event in Idaho.
To compete, however, Karissa needs help. A GoFundMe page has been created to help Karissa get a new horse because her old one is being retired.
Karissa is a 53-time Special Olympics gold medalist who wasn’t expected to live long after her birth. She proved doctors wrong and found a love in competing and athletics. She was the only special needs student on her varsity swim team, which led her to compete in the Special Olympics.
Karissa was involved in a car crash a short time later and was no longer able to swim. She could have just accepted defeat but she loved competing. Karissa has always loved horses and she discovered there was an equestrian event in the Special Olympics.
Around this time, Karissa and her family moved to Idaho Falls and they quickly realized equestrian sports were not part of the Special Olympics here.
“And they were like, ‘We want Karissa. Yes, we will start an equestrian team. Whatever we need to do’,” says Christa Trinchera, Karissa’s mom.
While they waited for a team to join, Karissa and her horse, Kodiak, took home a blue ribbon and five second-place finishes during an Equestrian event in Montana.
“They didn’t know that she was special needs until after the competition,” Christa explained. “A few weeks later, they saw the Olympic Channel article and were like ‘… This is fantastic that they’re opening the doors for people with disabilities in the equestrian world.”
In July, Karissa and Kodiak took a bad fall. Arthritis surfaced in his leg and medication wasn’t helping. To ensure both of their safety, Kodiak had to retire.
Karissa’s trainer spent a long time searching for a new horse and found one in Florida for $12,000.
“As far as equestrian jumping horses, that’s a bargain,” Christa explains. “Kodiak was like a $60,000 horse.”
Despite that, the cost is still more money than they’re able to spend. The idea of adopting a horse came to mind, but they decided pushing an adopted horse to compete in the Special Olympics is just too dangerous.
The Trincheras are asking you to contribute to the GoFundMe so Karissa can fulfill her dream. In return, she’s promising to do her part and represent the community well.
“I can honestly say that Karissa will make (people) proud. She will do everything she can to represent this community and show the love that they’ve shown her to the world,” Christa added.
To learn more or to donate, click here.
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