Micah Deligdish is one step closer to earning a spot atop her horse at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics.
Born in Brevard County, Deligdish was raised in Indialantic where she attended both Indialantic Elementary and Hoover Middle School. She received her high school diploma from Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy.
Now she is preparing to compete at one of the largest equestrian events ever hosted in the Netherlands – the 2019 FEI (Fédération Equestre Internationale) European Championships, a qualifier for the upcoming Olympic games.
During this international dressage competition, she will join about 70 of the finest horses and athletes while representing the country of Israel.
Deligdish, whose grandparents are holocaust survivors, holds dual citizenship and is a member of the Israeli Dressage Team.
She describes dressage as a classical discipline of equestrian where the horse and rider execute a series of precise movements in a harmonious and artistic manner.
Attaining a spot in the FEI championships has been a lengthy road that began when she partnered with her Grand-Prix trained equine Destiny earlier this year. The duo made their CDI (Concours de Dressage International – or International Dressage Event) debut at the Grand Prix level (the highest level of dressage) in April at the North Carolina Tryon Spring Dressage, and went on to achieve top scores in several competitions throughout Canada.
Earlier this month Deligdish made her European debut in Luxembourg, earning qualifying Grand Prix scores there, and again in Sweden in the Falsterbo Horse Show, which secured her a spot in the FEI Championships in August.
But the 28-year-old is not a newcomer to the sport, having already secured Bronze, Silver and Gold medals from the United States Dressage Federation. “I began riding at the age of 5; I always loved animals and horses and asked my parents for lessons,” Deligdish said. “I was a dressage rider from the start. I did my first national dressage competition when I was 7 years old.”
After high school, she attended college at American University in Washington, D.C., and then worked for a pharmaceuticals company for about a year before realizing she wanted to ride full time.
Deligdish currently lives in Wellington, Florida, and is engaged to Shahmir Quraeshi, a polo player who also grew up in south Florida. From Wellington, she owns and operates Gemini Dressage LLC, offering equestrian training, coaching and sales.
But she still finds plenty of reasons to visit Indialantic because it’s where her parents live – and her father, Dr. Craig Deligdish, serves as president and CEO of OMNI Healthcare.
This month she is in Germany training and competing.
“We train most days a week working on the horse’s fitness and ability, and training for competition through exercises that prepare them for the tests,” Deligdish said.
“Competition is very exciting and fun. We travel to the show and prepare all week for our seven minutes in the ring. I love to show, and my horses do too.”
She said qualifying for the FEI European Championships feels surreal.
“I’m living the dream. This horse gave me the opportunity to train and compete in Europe and I am so incredibly thankful,” Deligdish said.
“There was a lot of pressure I put on myself and I could not have done this without Destiny or the people he has brought into my life. The quality of riding and training I’ve been exposed to over the past few weeks has been an incredible educational opportunity.”
The 2019 FEI European Championships will take place Aug. 19-25 in Rotterdam, Netherlands.