Category Archives: Para-Equestrian

FEI Celebrates Clean Sport at Rio 2016 Paralympic Games

Denmark’s Stinna Tange Kaastrup and Smarties, double bronze medallists Rio 2016 Paralympics, grade 1b (Liz Gregg/FEI)

Lausanne (SUI), 23 September 2016 – The FEI is proud to announce that all human and equine samples taken during the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games have returned negative, making for back-to-back clean Paralympic games for para-equestrian sport, from both London 2012 and Rio 2016.

This follows the recent announcement by the FEI of back-to-back clean Olympic Games for the Rio 2016 and London 2012 Games.

“We are very proud of our efforts on clean sport at the FEI, working closely with our National Federations and all our athletes, and everyone involved should be proud of our clean Olympic and Paralympic Games record in 2016 and 2012,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said. “We actively educated our athletes about the importance of clean sport before both Games in Rio and this is proof that our educational campaign is working. It’s the icing on the cake following such a successful Paralympic Games which saw amazing performances from 75 athletes representing 29 nations.”

A total of 38 equine samples were taken during the Games and sent for testing at the FEI’s Central Laboratory in Newmarket (GBR), one of the five FEI Approved Laboratories worldwide.

Human testing, which is conducted by the IPC during the Paralympic Games, also returned 100% negatives for the equestrian athletes that were sampled.

Six days of top level competition at the Rio 2016 Paralympics saw Team GB continue its unbeaten Paralympic record with another team gold, with members Sophie Christensen (grade 1a) and Natasha Baker (grade II) becoming 2016 triple gold medallists when successfully defending their London 2012 titles.

Belgium’s London 2012 champion Michèle George (grade IV) also successfully defended her Individual Freestyle gold, with Ann Cathrin Lübbe (NOR) topping the grade III Individual Championship, and Lee Pearson (GBR) winning yet another Individual Freestyle grade 1b. Sanna Voets (NED), Individual Freestyle grade III, Sophie Wells (GBR), Individual Championship grade IV, and Pepo Puch (AUT), Individual Championship grade 1b, all topped the 2016 podium.

The Games also saw Uruguay field a para-equestrian athlete for the first time, and the host nation won bronze in the Individual Freestyle grade 1a with Sergio Olivia, the first Paralympic equestrian medal for Brazil since 2008.

FEI Media Contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Press Relations
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 787 506 142

Leanne Williams
Manager Press Relations
leanne.williams@fei.org
+41 79 314 24 38

Carlisle Academy Receives Federal Grant to Coach Disabled Veterans in Para-Equestrian Sports

Lexington, Ky. – Carlisle Academy, New England’s premier integrative riding school, has received a federal grant of $52,100 from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Adaptive Sports Program. This grant was awarded in partnership with the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH) to increase and expand para-equestrian sport opportunities to disabled veterans and their coaches at the community, regional, and national levels.

The USEF and the United States Para-Equestrian Association (USPEA) recently designated Carlisle Academy as one of three International Para-Equestrian Dressage Centers of Excellence for fostering growth in para-equestrian dressage.

“This grant is a testament to the success of Carlisle Academy and the vision of Sarah Armentrout and all who work with her,” said Will Connell, USEF Director of Sport. “Equestrian has so much to offer those with disabilities, whether it be therapeutic or the opportunity to excel as an elite athlete on the international stage. As a former member the British Armed Forces, I have complete admiration for, and fully support, those that seek to provide opportunities for our disabled veterans. This grant will expand opportunities for veterans and I hope will allow more to experience all the noble horse has to offer.”

Carlisle Academy has been a long-time leader in its field and offers a range of equine-assisted therapy and sport programs. Since 2008, the Academy has provided services to disabled veterans, and this grant will expand on these offerings to build a national coaching and training pathway for eligible veterans to pursue their Paralympic sport dreams.

“We are thrilled to receive this grant which will allow us to bridge the therapeutic horsemanship and para-equestrian communities, while creating greater access for veterans and their coaches to these growing adaptive sports,” said Sarah Armentrout, Head of School at Carlisle Academy. “I would like to thank our congressional leaders, U.S. Senator Susan M. Collins, U.S. Senator Angus S. King Jr., and U.S. Representative Chellie Pingree, for their ongoing support.”

Carlisle Academy has invested considerable resources in para-equestrian experts who complement its staff of therapists and instructors to help athletes and their coaches lay the foundation for success in para-dressage and para-driving. Clive Milkins, Paralympic Coach from the United Kingdom with over 20 years dedicated to the sport of para-dressage is on staff at the Academy, actively training athletes, coaches, and their horses from the grassroots through high-performance levels. Scott Monroe, a carriage driving national champion and PATH Level 2 Therapeutic Driving Instructor is an affiliate coach for driving clinics and lessons. As a veteran who served in the U.S. Marine Corps, Monroe has a keen interest in working with wounded service men and women to develop their competition skills in Para-Driving.

“Carlisle Academy is staffed with highly trained and enthusiastic personnel who are respectful, caring, creative, and accommodating of the varied needs and concerns that many veterans have,” said Amy L. Marcotte, Team Leader, Sanford Vet Center and a veteran. “Many veterans have reported back to us that through participation in the Carlisle Academy programs, they have found a sense of purpose and connectedness to others. To date, we have received nothing but positive feedback from our veterans and their family members.”

Learn more about Carlisle Academy

Learn more about USEF/USPEA Centers of Excellence

From the USEF Communications Department

Dancing Horses Lead Their Riders to Gold

Grade 1b freestyle podium, L-R: Pepo Puch (AUT) silver, Stinne Tange Kaastrup (DEN) bronze, Lee Pearson (GBR) gold (Jon Stroud/FEI)

Rio de Janeiro (BRA), 16 September 2016 – Three London 2012 freestyle titles were successfully defended in the Para dressage competition of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games on Friday (16 September).

Belgium’s Michèle George retained hers in the grade IV competition on what was her last championship ride on FBW Rainman, the horse that has taken her to two FEI World Equestrian Games™ titles and three Paralympic gold medals. George beat individual Championship test winner Sophie Wells (GBR) into second place with a score of 76.300% to Wells’ 76.350%. The Netherlands’ Frank Hosmar took the bronze.

“I’m overwhelmed at the moment because I really wanted to have that medal,” George said. “I owe this to my horse. He picked me up out of my wheelchair and said, ‘come on, we going to make this work together’. I thought he should stop in beauty.

“At one moment I was laughing because I knew it was my last ride with him in this big arena, in Rio, in Brazil. It was really a dream come true.”

Great Britain’s Sophie Christiansen became her country’s first triple gold medallist of these Games when she won the grade Ia freestyle. Christiansen scored 79.700% on Athene Lindebjerg with team mate Anne Dunham taking the silver and Brazil’s Sergio Oliva winning another hugely popular bronze.

Speaking afterwards, Christiansen said: “It’s amazing. This year has been so up and down so to even get here was a feat in itself. Athene is just a young horse. I didn’t know how she would react, but she felt so relaxed with me today I knew we could do it.”

The third successful defence belonged to grade II rider Natasha Baker (GBR). She took her third gold of the Games on Cabral with a score of 77.850%.

“I can’t believe it,” she said. “I actually can’t believe it. It is just a dream come true. For our last test together, I just think it was magical. It’s amazing. He deserves to go out with a bang.”

The Netherlands Rixt Van der Horst was second while a clearly delighted Steffen Zeibig (GER) took the bronze medal, the first individual Paralympic medal of his career.

A new champion was crowned in the morning when The Netherlands’ Sanne Voets produced a brilliant ride to win the grade III title on Demantur. Riding to music by top dance DJ Armin van Buuren she scored 73.850 to finish just 0.05 of a point ahead of Norway’s grade III individual Championship test winner, Ann Cathrin Lübbe. Sweden’s Louise Etzner Jakobbson was third.

“This is what it feels like,” she said, quoting the title of one of van Buuren’s biggest hits. “This is a feeling I can’t describe. There are no words for this.

“It felt really good and I believed when we got here that if I do everything right there is no one that can beat me. And everything went right.”

And finally, Lee Pearson (GBR) regained his grade Ib freestyle title, the 11th Paralympic gold medal of his career, which stretches back to Sydney 2000. Riding his world championship horse Zion, Pearson scored 77.400% ahead of Austria’s grade Ib champion Pepo Puch. Denmark’s Stinna Tange Kaastrup came third, collecting her second bronze of these Games.

“It’s a dream come true, honestly,” said an emotional Pearson after his ride. “I love that horse.

“I’m riding for me today and my horse. He wants to show his power and expression and he did that. I’m just grateful to him and grateful to everybody who has helped me since 1998 when I chose this path. I wanted to go in there powerful. I wanted to go down that centre line like we own it. I wanted to say to the judges, ‘we are here’.”

The end of a brilliant six days’ Para dressage saw Great Britain top the medal table with seven golds and four silvers. The Netherlands were second with one gold, two silvers and four bronzes, followed by Austria, Belgium, and Norway, each with one gold and one silver.

Full results available here.

By Rob Howell

FEI Media Contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Press Relations
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 787 506 142

Leanne Williams
Manager Press Relations
leanne.williams@fei.org
+41 79 314 24 38

Great Day for Great Britain as Three Golds Pour In

Natasha Baker (GBR) takes the gold, grade II individual test (Liz Gregg/FEI)

Rio de Janeiro (BRA), 15 September 2016 – Following superb wins by British riders in the grades II and Ia individual tests at the Olympic equestrian Centre in Deodoro on Thursday (15 September), Great Britain have won the overall team championships of the Rio 2016 para dressage competition.

The team have won every Paralympic team competition since the sport was introduced to the Games in Atlanta 1996 and remain undefeated in European and World championships too – a total of 18 team titles.

“I’m absolutely thrilled,” said Great Britain’s Chef d’Equipe Sarah Armstrong. “I couldn’t have wished for a better result and the guys have been great.

“When I took on the role in November I took a massive personal risk. They were coming off the back of a home Games and it was a big ask to return this and improve on it but I just knew that the athletes, the horses and the amazing support team that we have, I just knew that we could do it.”

The team, made up of Sophie Christiansen and Anne Dunham (both grade Ia), Natasha Baker (II) and Sophie Wells (IV) had a combined score of 453.306 to finish 20 points ahead of Germany in silver (433.321) with The Netherlands in bronze (430.353).

“It’s very exciting,” said Dunham, who has now won five team titles with the team since starting her Paralympic games career in Atlanta 1996. “The one horror that all of us have at the moment is being on the team that doesn’t actually win the team gold medal. But we won it, and we won it in style.”

The team result rounded off a good day for Great Britain, starting with Baker’s win in the grade II individual test. Riding Cabral she scored 73.400% to finish just short of two points clear of The Netherlands’ silver and bronze medallists – Demi Vermeulen, and Rixt Van der Horst.

The win was all the sweeter for Baker as it follows her defeat to Van der Horst at the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games™ (known as WEG) and the 2015 FEI European championships. In 2014 she was the strong favourite for gold but Cabral was spooked by the TV cameras as he entered the arena.

“I’m so happy. I’m still shaking. I’m still crying,” said Baker. “I was so worried he was going to come in here and do a repeat of WEG. I’m just so proud.

“I just love him so much; he means the absolute world to me. I said to him as we were trotting round in the 10-minute box: ‘Just trust me JP, just trust me,’ and he did. He just worked with me and felt so relaxed. It wasn’t the best test we’ve ever done but I’m just over the moon with him.”

Christiansen won the grade Ia individual title on Athene Lindebjerg with the top score of the week so far, 78.217%. Team mate Anne Dunham, competing in her fifth Games was second, and there was a hugely popular bronze for Brazil’s Sergio Oliva, his country’s second Para dressage medallist after team mate Marcos Alves took two bronzes in Beijing 2008.

“This is surreal at the moment,” said Christiansen. “I’ve had a change of coach and just injury after injury and up until last week, I didn’t even know which horse I would be bringing.

“I’ve always wanted to do my best at everything I put my hand to – academics, sport. It’s going to sound big-headed but I think you have to have more than talent to stay at the top.”

“For me it is a dream come true,” added Oliva. “I have worked for more than 12 years to get this bronze medal so for me it means gold. I’ve worked hard to find the good combination – the Two Hearts – which to me means one heart, and to get a medal in my home country is amazing. I don’t have any words. I love this. I love this moment. This is a dream.”

Full results and live scoring available here.

By Rob Howell

FEI Media Contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Press Relations
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 787 506 142

Leanne Williams
Manager Press Relations
leanne.williams@fei.org
+41 79 314 24 38

Hart Qualifies for Freestyle as Team Competition Concludes at Rio Paralympic Games

Rebecca Hart and Romani (Alexandre Loureiro/Stringer)

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Following five days of Team and Individual tests, Paralympic equestrian team competition concluded Thursday afternoon at the Deodoro Equestrian Center. Rebecca Hart was first down centerline for the U.S. Team in the Grade II Individual test, scoring 67.714%. In the Grade Ia Individual test, individual competitor Roxanne Trunnell produced a score of 69.565%, while team representative, Margaret McIntosh, scored 66.217%. The U.S. finished 12th in team standings. Great Britain secured their 10th consecutive Team Gold medal, having topped the team competition since para-dressage’s inception at the Paralympic Games in 1996. Germany won Silver, while The Netherlands took Bronze.

The Grade II Individual tests kicked off Thursday morning at the Deodoro Equestrian Center. Hart (Wellington, Fla.) and Romani, her own 2002 Danish Warmblood mare, executed a respectable test and qualified for Friday’s Freestyle. Though the pair never quite found their rhythm, it was a clean test that placed them ninth in the class.

“It was not the test that I wanted so I am disappointed. Everything is a learning process though and you go with what you have at the moment; we did the best we could with it. I couldn’t have done anything differently, it was just not our moment,” Hart explained.

Speaking to her experience at her third Paralympic Games, Hart said, “It has been wonderful. It’s been a pleasure to be here in Rio where everyone has been so hospitable, welcoming, and very gracious.”

Riding as an Individual for the U.S. in the Grade Ia Individual test, Trunnell delivered a solid test aboard Royal Dancer, Julia Handt’s 2005 Westphalian gelding. The pair overcame a bobble during the first centerline to perform a harmonious test that placed them 10th in a very competitive field.

“I thought the test was good,” said Trunnell. “Royal was a good boy, especially in the free walk. We have been working on relaxing and he just flowed with it. Compared to the Team test, he felt more relaxed in the arena.”

This was Trunnell’s first Paralympic Games and she commented on the event, saying, “It is also Royal’s first Paralympics so it’s nice that we are going through it together. It’s not something I could have ever imagined, there are so many more people here than I expected. The crowds have been really respectful of the lower grades which we don’t always get, so that has been really nice.”

Riding as the final member of Team USA, McIntosh and her own Rio Rio, a 2006 Rheinland mare, placed 20th in the Grade Ia Individual test.

“The weather was so beautiful today in comparison to how hot it has been, so my horse was very happy out there,” said McIntosh.

Competing in her first major championship of any kind, McIntosh stated that while the actual competition experience was similar to a normal horse show, the exciting part of the Games for her has been staying in the Athlete Village. “I am in awe of the courage, determination, and effort that these athletes put into their daily lives, let alone what it takes to compete at this level and excel at their own sports. It’s been overwhelming to walk around the village and to see so many vibrant people at the top of their game.”

Live and detailed scores

From the USEF Communications Department

Emotional Scenes as Wells and Puch Reign in Rio

Rio 2016 Paralympics Grade IV podium – gold Sophie Wells (GBR), silver Michèle George (GER), bronze Frank Hosmar (NED) (Liz Gregg/FEI)

Rio de Janeiro (BRA), 14 September 2016 – There were emotional scenes at the Olympic Equestrian Centre in Deodoro on Wednesday as Austria’s Pepo Puch and Great Britain’s Sophie Wells were crowned the latest winners of the Rio 2016 Para dressage competition.

Puch won the grade Ib individual medal, while Wells took the grade IV individual title.

Wells, riding Valerius, scored 74.857% to finish just ahead of Belgium’s London 2012 winner Michèle George, with The Netherlands’ Frank Hosmar taking the bronze. The win comes after Wells has lost out to George at both the London 2012 Games and the FEI World Equestrian Games™ in 2014.

“I’m crying a lot,” she said after collecting her medal. “It was pretty good. We couldn’t have given any more. I’m just so proud of him. We’ve worked really hard to get there.

“There are no words that can describe how I’m feeling right now. Definitely a sense of pride (in) my horse, my support team, and that we actually went and did it in the arena when it mattered. I can’t believe it. It brings back a little bit of what we didn’t get on Pinocchio in London and this is for him as well.”

George was clearly pleased with her silver but admitted to thinking she had won. “I’m not disappointed,” she said, “but I really don’t understand that I am second. I really had a great feeling. When I finished the test I felt, ‘yes, this was it.’

“Unfortunately, the five judges weren’t thinking the same as me. I’m really happy and I will be back next time, I can assure you.”

In a week which has seen winners sometimes decided by fractions of a point, Puch’s one-point win over Great Britain’s Lee Pearson seems even more impressive. Riding Fontainenoir, Puch scored 75.103% to Pearson’s 74.103%. Denmark’s Stinna Tange Kaastrup took the bronze.

“Amazing, amazing, amazing,” said Puch. “The horse was really good, but with the wind and some babies crying, the horse was looking outside, but I could catch him. I had him on my side.

“He was really good and I was so happy. With the positive feeling comes the emotion and with the emotion it’s not easy to handle the movement in my body. He was helping me. We were working four years for this day. The first day of London was the first day of training for Rio.”

Fontainenoir is known at Puch’s home as Fondy Blondy. “He’s the blackest blond horse ever,” said Puch. “His ex-owner says he’s in the wrong body. He wants to be a dog and wants to be with you all the time.”

Pearson was also happy with his silver, his 13th Paralympic medal in a career that started back in Sydney 2000. “I think the best man won on the day,” he said.

“The standard is tough. It has been up to London and since then. My aim was to go home with a medal so I’m over the moon.”

There was a dramatic moment half way through the grade Ib competition when Canada’s Ashley Gowanlock fell from her horse after it bolted as they were leaving the arena. Gowanlock was assessed by the Rio 2016 medical staff and found to have no serious injuries before being transported to hospital for further testing as a precaution.

The individual Championship tests conclude on Thursday (15 September) with the grades II and Ia competitions. The overall team champions will be announced at the end of the day as well. Denmark currently leads that competition ahead of France and Australia, but with more riders from more teams due to ride, that could all change.

Full results and live scoring available here.

By Rob Howell

FEI Media Contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Press Relations
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 787 506 142

Leanne Williams
Manager Press Relations
leanne.williams@fei.org
+41 79 314 24 38

Sydney Collier and Western Rose Place 7th in Grade 1B Individual at Rio Paralympics

Sydney Collier and Western Rose – photo by Lindsay Y. McCall.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – September 14, 2016 – The 2016 Rio Paralympic Equestrian competition continued Wednesday at the Deodoro Olympic Equestrian Center with the Grade 1B division riding their Individual Championship Test for a chance at a medal. The youngest rider in the Rio Equestrian Paralympics, Sydney Collier of Ann Arbor, MI, and Wesley Dunham’s Western Rose improved on their Team Test placing ending up 7th with a 67.665%. Collier commented, “I am so happy and proud of my ride today. I can’t stop smiling. My mare Rosie was a superstar and we had a top 7 finish. Seeing my name up on the jumbotron made me so emotional and I can’t wait to see what amazing things I have coming up in my future. Overall it’s just an honor to be here in Rio competing with the best of the best and representing our country.”

Winning the Gold Medal in Grade Ib was Austria’s Pepo Puch riding Fontainenoir to a score of 75.103%. In Silver Medal position was Great Britain’s individual rider Lee Pearson riding Zion for a score of 74.103%. In the Bronze Medal position was Denmark’s Stinna Kaastrup riding Smarties to a score of 73.897%.

Thursday we have three riders riding for the individual championship – Rebecca Hart up first riding the Grade II test at 9:54 AM. In the Grade IA division we have at Margaret McIntosh at 3:23 PM and Roxanne Trunnell at 4:22 PM.

The 2016 Paralympic Equestrian Games continue at the Deodoro Olympic Equestrian Center.

The Equestrian competition runs through September 16, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

For more information about the U.S. Paralympic Equestrian Team, please visit United States Equestrian Federation at www.USEF.org, the United States Equestrian Team Foundation at www.USET.org, or Team USA at www.teamusa.org/US-Paralympics/Sports/Equestrian.

For more information about the 2016 Paralympic Equestrian competition, please visit www.rio2016.com/en/paralympics/equestrian.

By: Eleanor R. Brimmer

For more information about the USPEA, please visit www.USPEA.org or contact USPEA President Hope Hand by e-mail: hope@uspea.org or by phone: (610)356-6481.

Gold for Norway as Lübbe Back on Top

Ann Cathrin Lübbe (Liz Gregg/FEI)

Rio de Janeiro (BRA), 13 September 2016 – The first gold of the Rio 216 Para dressage competition was won by Norway’s Ann Cathrin Lübbe at the Olympic equestrian Centre on Tuesday (13 September).

In a thrilling and closely contended grade III individual test Lübbe, riding Donatello, scored 72.878%, just over point seven of a percentage point ahead of Denmark’s Susanne Sunesen on Que Faire. And keeping it a neighbourly affair, Sweden’s Louise Etzner Jakobsson took the bronze at this, her first Paralympic Games, riding Zernard.

Lübbe is a former gold medalist having won both the individual and freestyle grade IV titles in Athens 2004, with silvers in those two events in Beijing 2008. She was clearly delighted to be back on top. “Oh, it’s good to be back,” she said. “I think it suits me. It’s heavy. I am happy. It’s nice and it makes a nice sound.

“It was very nice. I worked so hard for it. I’m so pleased that today I was the best and the horse did so well.”

Lübbe’s win was tinged with a level of sadness, however, as her horse had previously belonged to a student of hers, who was killed in a road accident. “Her parents are here,” she said. “It means everything. It’s so important to me.”

Denmark’s Sunesen was equally delighted with her silver. “I am very happy and relieved,” she said. “Everything was good. It means a lot. The medal is what it is all about. The coach for the Danish team, my family: it’s what we’re here for to win the medals.”

The day started with Great Britain’s Natasha Baker wining the grade II team test in one of the closest results of the competition so far. Riding her London 2012 double gold medal winning horse, Cabral, Baker scored 71.882 for the win, less than point zero six of a point ahead of second placed Demi Vermeulen (NED). Germany’s Steffen Zeibig was third. The competition was so close that the top four riders all scored 71 per cent plus.

“I had to work hard, really hard,” said Baker after her test. “He walked around OK and then he noticed the audience was here and he got a bit nervous and I had to really work with him. But I’m so proud of him. He came back to me so quickly.

“I never expected to get 71 per cent and I don’t really care what I got. I’m just so proud that we recovered. He coped with it all in London but he’s turned into a diva since then – it’s all gone to his head!”

While the individual test medals start to be given out, the team competition continues, as team members’ individual scores also count towards the overall team score. At the end of Tuesday Denmark had taken the lead, with France and Australia close behind. But that could all change on Wednesday (14 September).

Full results and live scoring available here.

By Rob Howell

FEI Media Contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Press Relations
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 787 506 142

Leanne Williams
Manager Press Relations
leanne.williams@fei.org
+41 79 314 24 38

US Equestrian Team Continues Competition with Team and Individual Tests at Paralympic Games

Angela Peavy and Lancelot Warrior (Loren Worthington)

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Tuesday at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games marked the final day of Team tests and first day of Individual tests for para-equestrian dressage. Competing in the Grade II Team test for the U.S. was Rebecca Hart, who scored 69.941%. The afternoon session featured the first of the Individual tests. Angela Peavy was the first American to perform her Individual test in the Grade III, scoring 68.585%. Placings for the team competition are determined by combining the top three scores of each team from both the Team and Individual tests. The Individual tests will continue Wednesday and Thursday before medals are awarded at the conclusion of competition on Friday.

Riding in her third Paralympic Games, Hart (Wellington, Fla.) performed a solid test aboard Romani, a 2002 Danish Warmblood mare. The pair showed good connection throughout the test, scoring consistently well on its collective marks and executing beautifully at the working trot and in the serpentine to place fifth in the class. The Grade II Team test featured 14 athletes from 11 nations with less than one percentage point separating the top four placing combinations.

“I was happy with how I rode and the feel that Romani gave me,” said Hart. “She is the best horse I have ever sat on and it is a privilege to ride her and represent our country. I was slightly disappointed in the score, but in saying that, this is the highest I have ever scored at a Paralympic Games. I want to thank my amazing support system for getting me to this point. Having Todd Flettrich, Margaret Duprey, and Fernando Ortega here with me is amazing. It takes a village to get here and I am thankful for everyone here and everyone at home. I am thrilled to be in the top five heading into our Individual test on Thursday.”

Peavy (Avon, Conn. and Wellington, Fla.) was one of 16 athletes representing 13 nations in the Grade III Individual test. Aboard Heather Blitz and Rebecca Reno’s Lancelot Warrior, a 2002 Hanoverian gelding, Peavy delivered another consistent and fluid performance for the U.S. Team. Exhibiting powerful working trot, the pair secured an overall eighth-place finish.

“I was very happy with Lance; it was another great ride,” said Peavy. “He came in and did everything I asked. I could not be happier with him and what he has given me. I was happy with the results; it is our first Games and I am very excited to be where we are at.”

Ann Cathrin Lubbe of Norway secured Individual Gold aboard Donatello. Denmark’s Susanne Sunesen and Que Faire took Silver, while Sweden’s Louise Etzner Jakobsson and Zernard won Bronze.

Competing Wednesday for Team USA will be Sydney Collier in the Grade Ib Individual test.

Live and detailed scores

From the USEF Communications Department

US Equestrian Athletes Give Solid Performances on Day Two of Paralympic Games

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Para-equestrian dressage competition continued on Monday at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games with day two of Team tests. Riding as an Individual in the Grade Ia Team test, Roxanne Trunnell gave a strong performance to score 69.348%. Competing in Grade Ia for the U.S. Team was Margaret McIntosh, who scored 68.087%. Currently ranked 11th in the team standings, the U.S. Team will see its final representative, Rebecca Hart, Tuesday in the Grade II Team test, while Angela Peavy will perform the Grade III Individual test. The Individual test is the final test in team competition, in which placings are determined by combining the top three scores of each team from both the Team and Individual tests. Individual medals are awarded to the highest placing combinations in the Individual test. Great Britain currently leads the team standings, while Belgium sits in second place.

The afternoon session at the Deodoro Equestrian Center saw 26 athletes representing 19 nations in the Grade Ia Team test. Riding for the U.S. as an Individual, first-time Paralympian Trunnell (Rowlett, Texas) and Royal Dancer, Julia Handt’s 2005 Westphalian gelding, showcased poise and determination. Trunnell rode an accurate test that earned high marks for the transitions and final medium walk, placing her and Royal Dancer 14th in the class.

“Royal felt amazing during the test,” said Trunnell. “I couldn’t help but smile during it because he was so forward and marching in his walk! I was thrilled with his free walk. I’ve been working on letting the reins go more which is a bit of a weird feeling for me since with Nice Touch [Trunnell’s partner at the 2014 World Equestrian Games] I always had to keep a hold of her a little, but I’m getting better about it. Overall it was a fantastic first Paralympic showing. I couldn’t bring cookies with me [for Royal], but I snagged him some apples and I was sure to give him one after that lovely test.”

Representing the U.S. in team competition, McIntosh (Reading, Pa.) rode down centerline in her Paralympic debut with confidence aboard her longtime partner, Rio Rio, a 2006 Rheinland mare. The pair was rewarded for an expressive free walk and the overall feel and skill exhibited throughout the test to place 19th.

Live and detailed scores

From the USEF Communications Department