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Mary Hanna

Mary Hanna



Place of Birth

Melbourne, VIC

Olympic History

Atlanta 1996

Sydney 2000

Athens 2004

London 2012

Rio 2016

Tokyo 2020

Career Events

Equestrian Dressage Mixed Individual

Equestrian Dressage Mixed Team

Individual - Open


Mary's Story

Fast Facts

Sport: Equestrian
Event: Dressage
Horse Name: Calanta
Olympic History: Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, London 2012, Rio 2016, Tokyo 2020
Year Born: 1954
State Born: VIC

About Mary

Mary Hanna made history at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, becoming the oldest athlete on the Australian Olympic Team and oldest competing Olympic Equestrian. She surpassed the record of Bill Roycroft, who competed in five Olympic Games, ending his run at the Montreal Games in 1976. 

She is a six-time Olympian, making her debut at the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996. She competed with her horse Mosaic, placing 24th overall. She went on to compete with Limbo in 2000, where she placed 6th in the team event and 34th individually. Mary competed on Limbo again in Athens where she placed 39th individually. She took Sancette to London, finishing 43rd and 9th with the Australian team. With Boogie Woogie 6, she placed 9th in the team event and 39th individually in Rio. 

At 66 years of age, Hanna competed at her sixth Olympic Games in Tokyo. There, she paired with the horse Calanta where she finished 40th in the Individual competition and 13th in the Team's event. At Tokyo, she declared that age is no barrier to success in equestrian sport and that she plans to campaign for a seventh Olympic Games.

Hanna has struggled with a persistent back injury throughout her career, having undergone surgery for a herniated disc that took half a year of rehab to heal. 

Mary has represented Australia five times in the World Equestrian Games, making appearances in 1994, 1998, 2002, 2014 and 2018, where she produced a best result of 8th with a team in Tyron, North Carolina, and 29th individually in Normandy, France. 

Hanna was due to compete at the 2018 World Cup Finals in Paris, having qualified Calanta for the event with a score of 75.390%, but upon arrival it was discovered that the horse had sustained an injury and it was decided that they were unfit for competition. 

In the later half of 2019, Mary stepped away from competition to return home and be with her daughter, Gitte Donvig, who suffered extensive injury and was placed into a medically-induced coma after a fall from a horse in their stables in Victoria. 

At the Dressage by the Sea in 2020 she competed with both Calanta and Syriana. Mary became the first Australian ever to score above 80% in the Grand Prix Freestyle, scoring an amazing 80.145% in the Grand Prix CDI4 with her horse Calanta. Over two events spanning three days each, she finished in first position, never dropping her pole position. Her performance puts her in prime position amongst competitors coming into Tokyo. 

Equestrian requires athletes’ attendance in Europe for around six months to maintain their position at the top, as most of the FEI competitions take place there. While many Australians have preferred to move somewhere in Europe altogether, Hanna prefers to come home in the off-season, wanting to spend time with her children and grandchildren.

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