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Profile 1 - Selena O'Hanlon

.By Christine Hamelin with photography by Bernard Clark

Selena O’Hanlon, a top-level eventing star, a proud Olympian, an inspiring teacher and still a “horse-crazy girl,” admits that she has “a dream life”: she’s doing exactly what she dreamed of doing as a seven-year-old. “As my mom says, it’s a lifestyle rather than a hobby. I’m so lucky to have this job and a really great staff and support system.”

A tall, wholesome, red-headed woman with clear blue eyes, Selena was born in Salisbury, England, and immigrated to Canada with her parents when she was two. Her Glasgow-born mother, Morag, was already a top-level dressage and show-jumping competitor when she arrived in Canada. Morag’s sister had come to Canada and had three children. “She said it was a great country to raise your kids in and very affordable.”

For the first year, the family lived in Saskatoon, where Morag had been offered a job training horses. She switched to eventing, the sport Selena competes in now, and “won all the horse shows in the area.” The O’Hanlons then relocated to an equestrian centre between Oakville and Milton, where they lived for 13 years. At seven, Selena, who dreamed of competing in the Olympics, was ready for her first horse. . . .

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