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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Jake McManus represents Illinois in the Special Olympics 2015 World Games

Jake McManus and Harry: photo
Fox32 Chicago | June 1, 2015
Harry is more than a horse to Jake McManus. The 19-year-old from Barrington Hills will represent Illinois in the Special Olympics World Games next month. It's a once in a lifetime achievement, and a journey that began several years ago when Jake met Harry.
"The power and connection they have together is nothing like we have ever seen," said Staci McManus.
It's a connection that blossomed more than a decade ago, when a shy and quiet Jake first laid eyes on Harry and noticed something interesting about the horses face.
"The white on his head down to his nose," Jake said.
From that moment on, the boy and his horse became inseparable.
Jake would help Harry in the stable, and Harry would help Jake grow from that timid little boy into a talented and graceful rider.
"When Jake started riding, he barley spoke," Staci said. "Harry has propelled him forward and created opportunities and vocational path for him."
Jake's future is bright, but it hasn't been an easy ride. It's consisted of countless hours of intense practice, and like two old friends, sometimes there is frustration.
"He can be a little wily," Jake said. "He cantors around the arena,"
Next month, that arena is going to get much larger for Jake.
One of the best riders in Illinois, Jake will be commanding a horse in three events at the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.
However, Jake is a little nervous
"All the chills running down my spine," he said.
And he's excited to see a new city.
"It's the home of the future famous. Rock stars, musicians," Jake added.
Now, Jake will have his chance to be a rock-star in LA. But unfortunately, his best bud Harry can't make the trip.
"He is a little bummed," Staci said. "he is looking forward to the challenge of riding new horses."
Jake will bring it all - confidence, talent and determination - when he competes at the world games.
"He started riding and competing for Special Olympics as a 9-year-old. It's been a decade for him proving himself and competing at an international level for the first time," Staci said.
FOX 32 wishes Jake the very best when he competes at the Special Olympics World Games. The competition begins July 25th in Los Angeles.

FOR VIDEO SEGMENT: http://www.myfoxchicago.com/story/29213039/chicago-stories-jake-mcmanus

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