Gladstone, NJ (September 19, 2011) – Dr. Cesar Parra, the international dressage rider who has made no secret about his love for the United States of America, realized a dream come true during the 2011 Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Festival of Champions when he was named as a member of the 2011 United States Dressage Team headed to the Pan American Games in Mexico. Parra also made history with his Pan Am goal, becoming the first Latin American rider to compete on a United States Dressage Team. The Intermediaire I Championship served as the USEF Selection Trials for the upcoming Games, and Parra rode Michael and Sarah Davis’s Grandioso to third place in the division and to a spot on the team.
Parra, a former dentist from South America who went on to become one of Colombia’s top international riders, moved his family to the United States in 1999 and became an American citizen in 2008. Last year at Gladstone Parra recognized his first dream of becoming an American champion when he rode Lori Washton’s Olympia to the National Intermediaire I Championship. Parra’s second dream, to represent the United States by being a member of the U.S. Dressage Team, has now also become a reality.
“This past weekend was very emotional and exciting for all of us. We had set as a goal to make the USA team for the Pan Am Games, so to accomplish that is wonderful. I feel very blessed to be representing the country that has given my family and I such a wonderful new life,” Parra said. Parra is no stranger to the Pan Am Games as he placed fourth individually at the 2003 Pan Am Games riding for Colombia. As a Colombian rider he also competed in the Olympics, the World Equestrian Games and was named the Colombian National Champion multiple times.