Tucson, AZ – November 3, 2011 – Warm winters, kind equestrians and the west coast competitions and clinics are what first attracted trainer Sabine Rijssenbeek to Tucson, Arizona. In 2006 Sabine landed in Phoenix, Arizona to give a clinic at a Dutch breeding facility. Her impressive background as a rider, manager, and trainer in Holland attracted many competitive equestrians to her clinic. Three months later Sabine was asked back for her second clinic where she met a rider looking for a horse from The Netherlands. It would not be long before Sabine landed in the United States with a horse in hand from the Netherlands and a suitcase to stay for three months in Tucson, Arizona. Sabine became popular for her training skills not only in Arizona but all over the United States including California, Texas, and Minnesota. Since graduating with a Master’s degree from Deurne University in the Netherlands in 1975, Sabine has worked hard managing and training over 400 horses in Great Britain, Holland, and the United States. Her unique skills in both dressage and show jumping have created exciting professional paths for her including teaching a Para-Equestrian Dressage competitor in FEI events.
“What started as three weeks to help train this horse I brought to Arizona from The Netherlands, turned into a three month stay. I loved Arizona, I was captivated by the equestrians, and I could not resist the horses; Of course I wanted to stay,” noted Sabine.
Fort Worth, TX – October 14, 2011 – In 2010 the Para-Equestrian discipline debuted at their first World Equestrian Games, the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. The Games launched the Para-Equestrian sport and Para-Equestrians into household names. The recognition let people know that Para-Dressage, like all equestrian disciplines, requires strength, drive, FEI level horses, and experienced athletes. As like all equestrian sports it also requires strong support. The 2011 International Andalusian Lusitano Horse Show Association (IALHA) decided their 2011 IALHA National Championship and Charity Horse Show would benefit the United States Para-Equestiran Association (USPEA). This is the biggest show of the year for the IALHA which is held October 11-16, 2011 at the Will Rogers Equestrian Center in Ft. Worth Texas. The IALHA and the United States Equestrian Federation present the National Championship.
“I brought the idea to our committee of having our last big show of the year benefit the USPEA and it was unanimous that it would happen,” smiled 2011 IALHA Show Chair Christina Cardenas. Christina became captivated by the Para-Equestrians while in Lexington at the 2010 World Equestrian Games. She noted, “When I saw these riders dancing with their horses and making it look so effortless I knew in that moment I wanted to have a fundraiser for the cause.” Over the course of this week, the IALHA horse show holds a silent auction and has a clothing drive to add to their fundraiser. It will be support of the patrons, the sponsors, exhibitors, IALHA members, and spectators who will contribute to supporting the USPEA. As part of the fundraiser the USPEA will receive 50% of all profits.
Saugerties, NY – September 18, 2011 – Intensity, impulsion, power are three words that defined Sunday’s Para-Equestrian Individual Test competition at the 2011 NEDA Fall Festival of Dressage. Sunday was the last day of the CPEDI 3* and it was the championship day for the 2011 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championship. After Saturday’s Freestyle only a tenth of a point separated Jonathan Wentz and Dale Dedrick for the National Championship. Following an exceptional day of tests Wentz earned the scores he needed to earn the national championship. Only .308 behind Wentz was Dale Dedrick and Bonifatius who garnered the highest score of the day from Judge E, Anne Prain of France, a 75%. Dedrick’s percentage secured the reserve championship accolade. In the CPEDI3* Team competition Para-Equestrians from USA, Canada, Ireland, Mexico, and Bermuda competed in Grades Ia-IV under judges Anne Prain of France, Kjell Myhre of Norway, and Carlos Lopes of Portugal. The USA achieved the top ranking with team members Jonathan Wentz, Mary Jordan, Wendy Fryke, and Rebecca Hart.
Hart was the third place finisher in the 2011 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships in addition to supporting the USA Team competition. After three days of tests Hart was delighted with Lord Ludger. She noted, “I was really happy with LoLu; this was his first major competition where he had to be on it three days in a row. He handled the pressure and he even stepped up to the plate for me.”
Saugerties, NY – September 16, 2011 – At 7:30 a.m. Friday morning it was a brisk but beautiful 46 degrees at the 2011 NEDA Fall Festival of Dressage and 2011 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships. Twenty-four Para-Equestrians competed in the CPEDI3* with riders from U.S.A., Ireland, Canada, Mexico, and Bermuda. Grade Ia, Ib, II, and III were dominated by United States riders. James Dwyer of Ireland and his horse Orlando earned the Grade IV win. With the tough competition of the CPEDI3* and the National Championships hanging over the United States Para-Equestrians, the U.S.A still excelled over the rest. It may be September, but these riders are preparing and building their team for 2012 when London hosts the 2012 Paralympics.
Friday’s competition for the CPEDI3* consisted of the same scoring style as the Paralympics, the Team and Individual score of each team rider will be combined and averaged. The lowest averaged number will be dropped from each team’s score and a final tally will be conducted. The 2011 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championship scores are calculated with the team competition representing 40% of the total score, Saturday’s Freestyle representing 20% followed by Sunday’s Individual classes earning the last 40%. For many equestrians, this is a weekend not about scores but about first time rides, first time shows, and first time travels.
Dale Dedrick a retired Orthopedic Surgeon from Ann Arbor, Michigan is a brand new rider to Para-Equestrian Dressage. In Friday’s Team competition she earned the top score of 70.079% in Grade II. Dedrick was happy with Bonifatius’ progress and performance for his first day out. She noted, “Bonifatius is a great horse and he has phenomenal gates. The test today was not my best test but it was a good test.” Since being introduced to the Para-Equestrian world Dedrick has utilized a training program that fits her inability to tolerate a lot of activity for a duration of time. She explained, “Since I have a pacemaker, I can’t tolerate a lot of activity. Therefore, I ride in short bursts and walk for a length of time. Those long walks on the bit have increased my horse’s back strength, endurance, and it has overall helped both of us.”