Houston, TX – January 24, 2012 – As the 2012 London Paralympics approach, the opportunity to qualify individually as a para-equestrian dressage rider is down to just six months. Before time runs out para-equestrians should consider adding to their schedule the Houston Dressage Society 2012 Spring Classic CPEDI3* scheduled for April 26-29 in Katy, TX. The Houston Dressage Society (HDS) has masterfully planned to produce an impressive CPEDI3* event at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center. From the remarkable facilities to the carefully executed show schedule, the HDS is looking forward to hosting many international level para-equestrian dressage riders.
As President of HDS and the Recognized Show Chair, Kathy Jones is thrilled to showcase Texas hospitality. She noted, “I am delighted to offer the para-equestrian dressage riders one last chance to qualify for the 2012 London Paralympics. In early 2011, para-equestrian dressage rider Jonathan Wentz of North Texas Equestrian Center approached our team to produce a CPEDI3*. Within an instant I knew that a competition that has this caliber of horses and F.E.I. athletes would fit right in with our goals as a dressage society. With the help of North Texas Equestrian Center and Kai Handt this show has been made possible.”
Wellington, FL – January 22, 2012 – For dressage enthusiasts there is not a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than watching F.E.I. level freestyle competition. As was the case at the final day of the Gold Coast Dressage Opener CPEDI3* where para-equestrian dressage riders exhibited their energizing freestyles and where team and individual awards were presented. Capturing the title of 2012 Gold Coast Dressage Opener CPEDI3* was the Canadian Team followed by The United States Team in second. Topping each Grade division overall was Jody Schloss (CAN) and Inspector Rebus in Grade Ia, Ashley Gowanlock (CAN) and Ferdonia 2 in Grade Ib, Lauren Barwick (CAN) and Off to Paris in Grade II, Eleanor Brimmer (USA) and Carino H in Grade III, and James Dwyer (IRE) with Orlando in Grade IV. Over three days, 23 riders from Bermuda, Canada, Finland, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, and the United States challenged themselves in front of F.E.I. judges Carlos Lopes (POR), Hanneke Gerritsen (NED), and Marc Urban (BEL). The Gold Coast Dressage Opener CPEDI3* is the first of two weekends at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center. Para-equestrian dressage riders continue to work toward earning their individual and team qualifying scores in anticipation of being selected for the 2012 London Paralympics.
Wellington, FL – January 21, 2012 – Consistency continues for para-equestrian dressage riders at the Gold Coast Dressage Opener CPEDI3* held at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center. Saturday was the Individual Test competition and the second day to earn an individual qualifying score for the 2012 Paralympics. Para-Equestrians from Canada, Ireland, Finland, Japan, Mexico, Bermuda, and the United Sates challenged each other and themselves in front of international judges Carlos Lopes (POR), Hanneke Gerritsen (NED), and Marc Urban (BEL). Multiple riders achieved their qualifying scores above the 60% mark including a brand new para-equestrian dressage rider from the United States.
In Grade Ia Jody Schloss of Canada and Inspector Rebus maintained her lead from the Team Test with a 70.583% on Saturday’s Individual Test. Just behind Jody was the Fresian stallion Niekele fan Busenitz with Laurietta Oakleaf in the irons scoring a 65.083%. Laurietta moved from a Grade II to a grade Ia this week based on her classification evaluation. Laurietta explained, “I am happy that I was revaluated this week to a Ia however; I only had 24 hours to learn the new tests for this weekend. The change has made me less tired and I have regained my confidence.” For Laurietta her goals may be a little easier to achieve now with recent sponsors Ohio Horseman’s Council and Nutrena who have stepped up to make her goals achievable. Following Laurietta for the third position in Grade Ia was Kim Decker aboard Dasher’s Destiny from the United States, Bermuda rider Alexander Mitchell aboard Guiness Maskell, and Japan rider Mina Chinju on NTEC Manchada who earned her qualifying score in the Individual Test competition rounded out Grade Ia.
Wellington, FL – January 20, 2012 – As the sun rose over the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL the Gold Coast Dressage Opener CPEDI3* commenced. Twenty-three para-equestrian dressage riders from seven countries vied for top scores under F.E.I. judges Carlos Lopes (POR), Hanneke Gerritsen (NED), and Marc Urban (BEL). For two weekends, beginning with the Gold Coast Dressage Opener CPEDI3* and ending with the Wellington Classic Sunshine Challenge CPEDI3*, para-equestrian dressage riders have the opportunity to earn their qualifying scores and increase their international rankings before the 2012 London Paralympics. For each country the next two weekends will mark the closeout of the team rankings before London. Dueling for the top positions in Friday’s Team Test were Canada and the United States. Competition will continue Saturday with the Individual Test and end Sunday with the Freestyle competition followed by the awards ceremony.
The first of four para-equestrians representing the United States was rider Mary Jordan (Grade IV) of Wells, ME aboard Sebastian, para-equestrian Dale Dedrick (Grade II) from Ann Arbor, MI on Bonifatius, Rebecca Hart (Grade II) of Erie, PA aboard Lord Ludger and Jonathan Wentz (Grade Ib), NTEC Richter Scale from Richardson, TX led by Chef d’Equipe Missy Ransehousen.. The United States team set the pace with the first ride of the day from Mary Jordan beginning at 8:30 a.m. on her team horse Sebastian. She noted, “Sebastian went pretty well today. I had a morning ride at a beautiful facility, on a great horse. However, I am looking to produce even more out of him.”
Lexington, KY – The U.S. Para-Equestrian Team continued to make strides in qualifying for the 2012 Paralympic Games by winning Team Gold at the 2011 Melbourne CPEDI3* held in conjunction with the Saddle World Dressage Festival. The U.S. was represented by Donna Ponessa, Becca Hart, Erin Alberda, and Mary Jordan all riding borrowed horses at the competition held December 8-11 at the National Equestrian Centre in Werribee, Victoria. The team win came in spectacular fashion as the four riders earned the highest overall team score that the U.S. has ever produced. Australia place second with New Zealand and Japan placing third and fourth, respectively.
The winning was not limited to the team competition – U.S. riders finished no lower than second in any of the tests they rode. In Grade 1a competition, Ponessa (New Windsor, NY) produced three winning efforts riding Miike Setsuko’s Don Armani to scores of 70.588%, 69.5% and 68.5% in the Team Test, Individual Test and Freestyle, respectively. Alberda of Woodinville, WA, also had a clean sweep of her Grade III division tests scoring 66.913% in the Team Test, 65.556% for the Individual Test and earning a 71.5% Freestyle score with Adele Plumbridge’s Southern Cross Tamaris. Grade IV rider, Jordan (Wells, ME) produced second-place efforts in the Team Test, Individual Test and Freestyle riding Elainie Castiellini’s Northern Charmer to scores of 64.271%, 65.161% and 68%, respectively.
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia – December 16, 2011 – When the United States Para-Equestrian Team flew Down Under for the 2011 Melbourne CPEDI3* (held at Werribee Park National Equestrian Center), they were prepared to give it their all. This competition was not just about top scores but it was an opportunity to earn team spots for the 2012 Paralympics held in London, England. With outstanding performances each day, the United States Para-Equestrian Dressage Team captured their third Team Gold within a four-month period. The impressive Gold Para-Equestrian Dressage Team consisted of Donna Ponessa for Grade Ia (New Windsor, NY), Rebecca Hart for Grade II (Unionville, PA), Erin Alberda for Grade III (Woodinville, WA), Mary Jordan for Grade IV (Wells, ME), and Chef d’equipe Missy Ransehousen. From December 9-11, 2011 teams from Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and the United States challenged themselves under F.E.I. international judges Mr. Kjell Myhre (NOR), Dr. Ulf Wilken (SWE), Ms. Jan Geary (AUS), Ms. Sue Cunningham (AUS), and Ms. Wendy Barker (AUS).
Lausanne (SUI), 2 December 2011 – Sales of Paralympic Equestrian tickets for the London 2012 Paralympic Games have broken records, with more than 40,000 tickets already sold. And there is a further opportunity for spectator numbers to increase with remaining tickets going on sale on 2 December.
The number of tickets sold to date for the 11 Paralympic Equestrian events taking place in Greenwich Park next year (30 August – 4 September) has already overtaken the previous record of 33,000 spectators that watched the Beijing 2008 Paralympic equestrian events in Hong Kong.
In total over one million tickets have already been purchased for the 20 sports at the London 2012 Paralympic Games since they went on sale this year.
“We have six days of Paralympic Equestrian competition in Greenwich Park, in a country where Para-Equestrian Dressage was pretty much born,” said Tim Hadaway, Equestrian Competition Manager at Greenwich Park, venue for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Thousand Oaks, CA – December 1, 2011 – With a Team Gold under their belt earned at the 2011 CPEDI3* in Mexico City, the United States Para-Equestrian Team takes to the air headed to beautiful Melbourne, Australia. The 2011 CPEDI3* in Werribee, Victoria, Australia begins Thursday, December 8th with a horse inspection, followed by the Team Test on Friday, Individual Test on Saturday, and finally the Freestyle competition on Sunday, December 11, 2011. This international competition will be held in conjunction with the Saddle World Dressage Festival held at the Werribee Park National Equestrian Center located southwest of Melbourne, Australia. The United States Para-Equestrian Team consists of Donna Ponessa from New Windsor, NY for Grade Ia, Rebecca Hart of Unionville, PA for Grade II, Erin Alberda of Woodinville, WA for Grade III, and Mary Jordan from Wells, ME representing Grade IV. Each rider will compete throughout the weekend against Para-Equestrian team members from Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. This competition is one more stride on the road to the 2012 Paralympics held in London, England.
Mexico City, Mexico – November 15, 2011 – Sitting aboard a horse with unbelievable mountain views from all angles in a brand new facility was what eighteen para-equestrians experienced at the most recent CPEDI3* event. The red carpet was rolled out for United States Para-Equestrian Team at the 2011 CPEDI3* in Mexico City, Mexico at Rancho San Juan. Eighteen Para-Equestrians competed under five stringent judges for their respective country November 10-12, 2011. The five countries represented were Mexico, United States, Venezuela, Norway, and Argentina. The United States Team included Chef d’Equipe Kai Handt, Para-Equestrian Donna Ponessa (Grade Ia), Jonathan Wentz (Grade Ib), and Dale Dedrick (Grade III) who gave flawless interpretations of their tests to take home the Team Gold for the United States.
This competition was unique because they did not ride their own mounts, each of the para-equestrians rode a horse that was graciously donated by The Mexico Para-Equestrian Team. The United States Para-Equestrian Team rode horses donated by The Baitenmanns (Erica Baitenmann is a Mexico Para-Equestrian rider). Besides earning the Team Gold the United States Para-Equestrians excelled individually as well. Donna Ponessa of New Windsor, NY captured gold medals in Grade Ia Freestyle, Individual, and Team competition while riding Gecko, USEF 2011 Para-Equestrian Dressage National Champion Jonathan Wentz from Tyler, TX also earned three gold medals in each Grade Ib test aboard Ariello, Grade II rider, Dale Dedrick from Ann Arbor, MI earned the Silver Medal on Bruno in Mexico City rounding out a spectacular weekend for the United States.
Wellington, FL – November 15, 2011 – Premiering Tuesday, November 15, 2011, on Dover’s World will be the United States Para-Equestrian Team. Beginning at 6:30 p.m. two hours will be devoted to discussing the eighth international equestrian discipline, Para-Dressage. Anyone interested in calling in to the broadcast may call 561-844-6167 or 800-889-0267.
Three important Para-Equestrian organizers and one Para-Dressage rider will be on hand to answer questions and to discuss the sport of Para-Dressage. Those four include USEF Director of Para-Equestrian Pam Lane, Chef d’Equipe of the 2010 Para-Dressage Team Missy Ransehousen, the President of the United States Para-Equestrian Association, Hope Hand, and Donna Ponessa who is a Grade Ia Para-Dressage equestrian. Donna has had an exciting year with top results in California, New York, and recently she earned Gold in all three tests in Mexico City at the CPEDI3*. Donna was also part of the United States Team alongside Jonathan Wentz and Dale Dedrick who recently won a Team Gold in Mexico City on November 12.
Listeners may call in around 7:20 p.m. to speak with Rober Dover, Pam, Missy, Hope, or Donna about the future of Para-Dressage.