Category Archives: Symposiums

Hanneke Gerritsen Para Dressage/Dressage Symposium and Schooling Show June 2-4

Lyman, Maine – May 22, 2017 – Carlisle Academy Integrative Equine Therapy & Sports, recognized as a USEF/USPEA National Para-Equestrian Dressage Center of Excellence, will host a Para Dressage/Dressage Symposium and Evaluation Ride Schooling Show June 2-4, with Hanneke Gerritsen. Hanneke Gerritsen is a FEI 5* Paralympic Dressage Judge and Deputy Chair of the FEI Technical Committee. Gerritsen will offer an educational and interactive symposium packed with information and training for riders and coaches. The symposium will be held at the Carlisle Academy located in Lyman, Maine. Friday & Saturday, June 2-3, 2017, includes the Dressage & Para-Dressage Symposium, followed by Sunday, June 4, Dressage & Para-Dressage Schooling Show. Para-dressage athletes, dressage riders, and interested veterans are encouraged to attend. For more information about dates, activities, or biographies, please visit http://carlisleacademymaine.com/programs/sports-education/para-dressage-education-training/ or contact Sarah Armentrout, Head of School, at sarmentrout@carlisleacademymaine.com or 207-985-0374.

This will be Hanneke Gerritsen’s fifth visit to Carlisle Academy. During the symposium riders will have 45-minute private mounted sessions each day along with lecture-based education. Trained program horses are available. PATH Instructors and Dressage Coaches are encouraged to audit lessons and participate in coach development sessions. A USEF National Classifier will be available for classification. A Sports Medicine Veterinarian will lecture and utilize horses for demonstrations. Veterans may participate free of charge and are encouraged to audit to learn more about the sport, in collaboration with to an Adaptive Sports Grant provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Participants will receive a bound manual on a variety of topics with accompanying lectures on Para-Dressage Classification Process, Introduction to Para-Dressage Competition, A Judge’s Perspective on Winning Rides/Video Analysis, Musical Freestyle Tips, Adaptive Equipment & Compensation Aids, Paralympic Military Program, and Common Equine Athlete Soft Tissue Injuries. Sunday’s schooling show is open to symposium participants, but is managed under a separate registration.

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.

Riders Have Successful Symposium with Para-Dressage Coach Michel Assouline

Assouline speaks to symposium attendees.

Wellington, FL – March 22, 2017 – Team Great Britain Para Equestrian Dressage Coach Michel Assouline flew to Wellington, FL to conduct a Para-Dressage Symposium March 12-14, 2017. The symposium followed the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival CPEDI3*. For United States Para-Dressage riders this was a unique opportunity to work on the new FEI Para-Equestrian Dressage Tests following an international competition. Both Assouline and U.S Para-Dressage Technical Advisor and Chef d’Equipe Kai Handt worked with each athlete and their home coaches in the Van Kampen Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. The focus of the symposium was finding the appropriate competitive horse for each athlete’s Grade and working on what the judges are looking for in the new Tests.

Michel Assouline noted, “I had the pleasure to work with riders and coaches at the Wellington International Equestrian Center, during the USEF Para-Equestrian Symposium. Horses had quality and true potential to progress with the aim to gain consistent marks in competition. It was a question of seeing what they can be rather than what they were, repeating good habits in their training routine which will be more easily replicated in competition. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing. Training sessions were fragmented in building blocks to identify blockers in detail, which were then shared with coaches, as attention to detail is everything in any winning culture. A really exciting pool of good rider-horse combinations.”

Para-Dressage rider Katie Jackson took part in the symposium with Assouline. She expressed, “I really enjoyed having the opportunity to learn from Michel Assouline.  The symposium was a fantastic opportunity for all of us to learn from one of the best in our sport.  On the first day Michel shared valuable insight about developing the para-dressage athlete, giving us his perspective on how to grow as individual riders and as a team.  He also spoke on the key areas that have created the success of Team Great Britain, including having a strong foundation for riders, coaches, and their support teams to grow and develop from.  During my rides I appreciated Michel’s attention to detail. I especially liked his patience and focus on correct basics such as straightness and connection to improve the horses’ gaits.  He gave helpful suggestions on how Royal and I can improve as a team and I felt that we made some big improvements over the two days of riding.  A big thank you to USEF/USPEA and our sponsors for making this symposium possible.”

For more information about future U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Symposiums, please contact Laureen Johnson, High Performance Director, Para Equestrian & Vaulting, United States Equestrian Federation, Inc. Email: lkjohnson@usef.org.

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.

Kristi Wysocki Conducts International Para-Dressage Symposium

Para Dressage Judge Kristi Wysocki talks about shoulder in.

Wellington, FL – January 28, 2017 – Following a successful Adequan® Global Dressage Festival CPEDI3* in Wellington, Florida, FEI 3* Dressage and FEI 4* Para Dressage Judge Kristi Wysocki conducted an international Para-Dressage Symposium in Collaboration with U.S. Technical Advisor Kai Handt. The symposium ran over three days January 22-24, 2017, and it included demonstration rides of the new tests given by top level Dressage riders. The focus of the symposium was to talk about and work on technical aspects of the FEI tests that were recently released.  Kristi Wysocki was able to give her recent experience judging the new tests at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival CPEDI3* and explain to the riders what they should aim for in each Para-Dressage Grade. Kai Handt worked with the riders and spoke to them about horse preparation and expectations in the ring. The format of the symposium included both riding intensive and sit down discussions.

Each FEI Para-Dressage Grade Test was demonstrated by top Dressage athletes those included Shelly Francis, Noel Williams, Rebecca Waite, Roz Kinstler, and Jessica Rhinelandar. During the Grade V test demonstration by Grand Prix rider Noel Williams with horse Caprice, owned by Hampton Meadows Farm, Wysocki spoke about the importance of geometry.

“It’s important to make sure your geometry is perfect,” stated Wysocki. “If you don’t get the geometry correct you get in trouble with balance and gait. If you know a particular movement is difficult for your horse, you can use certain preparations or movements on the geometry to get the best score.”

She also spoke about transitions. “Don’t throw your transition score away. Even if you have trouble in the lengthening, for example, make sure the transition is done well.”

Hope Hand, President of the United States Para-Equestrian Association, was happy with both the CPEDI3* and the participation at the symposium. Hand acknowledged, “I want to thank all those involved with both the CPEDI3* and the symposium. That includes the riders and support staff; Judges President Kristi Wysocki (USA), Carlos Lopes (POR), and Anne Prain (FRA); Show management, Thomas Baur, Monica Fitzgerald; Sponsors Mission Control and Mane Stream, Rowan O’Reilly; Chef d’Equipe Kai Handt; USEF Discipline Director Laureen Johnson; USEF; and USPEA.”

She continued, “Even with low entries, this event jump started the season off with great enthusiasm and hope for a fantastic year heading into The World Equestrian Games. The January show is a good way for our Developing Riders to get their feet wet and they did just that with promising scores that met the first step of WEG qualifications. I am excited to see new horse rider combinations coming up the ranks. I look forward to seeing our riders return in March.”

The Adequan® Global Dressage Festival CPEDI3* in Wellington, Florida is scheduled for March 9-12, 2017 at The Stadium at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

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.

USEF High Performance Para-Equestrian Dressage Symposium Develop the Coach Program

Kai Handt at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games with Roxanne Trunnell (USA).

Wellington, FL – January 4, 2016 – Para-Equestrian Dressage riders from the United States are encouraged to participate in the USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage High Performance Symposium Develop the Coach Program held in Wellington, FL. The Symposium will include FEI International 4* Dressage Judge Carlos Lopes of Portugal and U.S. Chef d’Equipe Kai Handt. The symposium is scheduled for January 10-12, 2016, following the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival CPEDI3* January 7-10, 2016. The symposium will be held in the Van Kampen Arena at the Global Dressage Festival Show Grounds. Auditors are welcome.

The two and a half day Symposium begins at 2 PM on Sunday, January 10, with a welcome from Kai Handt.

Carlos Lopes will proceed with a lecture session on Para-Dressage theory, scales of training, quality of test movements, and much more. Monday, January 11, 2016, begins the practical sessions where each participant will ride for 45 minutes in a collaborative coaching model. This model includes each athlete’s coach in the session. Equestrians will enjoy learning alongside their own coach while preparing for international level Para-Dressage competition. The final day of the clinic includes an informative lecture, a practical session on freestyles and individual riding sessions.

USEF High Performance Director of Para Equestrian & Vaulting Laureen Johnson commented, “This symposium is an integral part of preparation for the 2016 Paralympic Team. All athletes who are vying for a Paralympic slot should participate. Mr. Lopes and Mr. Handt make a wonderful team and I’ve witnessed immediate improvement in the athletes after completing the previous Para Dressage Symposium in California.”

For more information on the details of this symposium, please contact Laureen Johnson, High Performance Director, Para Equestrian & Vaulting, United States Equestrian Federation, Inc. Phone: (908) 326-1155 Email: lkjohnson@usef.org or via cell after January 6 at (908) 229-1858.

About Carlos Lopes:

Carlos Manuel Lucas Lopes was born in Lisbon, on November 10th 1968, is married and father of two. He has been a rider since the age of ten and breeder of “Puro Sangue Lusitano” since 1998. Was one of the Escola Portuguesa de Arte Equestre (Portuguese Riding School) riders.

National Team manager and head of Dressage teams (Grand Prix, junior and young riders) since 2005. He has, in this period, participated in 4 European Championships, 3 World Championships, 2 Olympic Games, and 1 World Cup. He is a member of the Portuguese Equestrian Federation Technical Committee since 2005.

Has had several invitations to speak and take part in expert commissions and also in public forums organizes to promote the different equestrian disciplines and all kinds of subjects related to organizing equestrian shows and Lusitano breed. Carlos has tutored, on invitation, equestrian skills perfecting practical courses, worldwide, especially in Germany, EUA and Brazil.

Certificated as Riding Teacher, FEI International Dressage 4* Judge, and FEI International Para Equestrian 5* Judge. Also certified as Trainer/Coach Dressage and Para dressage athletes.

Has managed 5 equestrian centers, of which the Academia de Dressage Daniel Pinto is the most remarkable, for being one of the best equestrian centers in the world. Presently, and for the last 18 years, he manages the Centro Equestre da Quinta do Senhor da Serra, with a team of 4 monitors, teaching over 200 lessons a week.

He has trained athletes of several age categories and has achieved remarkable results both in European, as well as in and World Championships. Never won an international event, but that is one of major aspirations.

He has established a solid career as Judge, for which he has been granted effective recognition by all of the most important international institutions, resulting in invitations to judge in the most important Dressage and Para Equestrian events all over the world.

Organized several Dressage, Para Dressage and Show Jumping events. Amongst such events, the 1st European Para Equestrian Championship, in 2001, and the European Dressage Championship for junior e and young riders, in 2008, 7 Iberian dressage cups finals (CDIs3*), CDI5* Al Shaqab, Doha, in 2013, Dressage discipline manager for the Madrid Horse Week, in 2014, selected in partnership with Dr. António Chaves de Almeida, among other companies in the world for the computerization of Dressage competitions at Sea Games, Thailand, are the most remarkable. He has also been responsible for the organization of over two dozens of National Championships and Portuguese Cup Finals.

Lusitano breeder since 1998, has been dedicated to the development and improvement of this race towards sporting excellence in order to get horses with the potential to participate and compete for prizes in the highest international competitions. This is a work of care and time, but you have already obtained the best results above expectations.

Consulting and breeding manager for several breeding facilities, Coudelaria Alegria dos Pinhais (Brazil), Haras Ilha Verde (Brazil) and Coudelaria Ortigão Costa (Portugal) are the most remarkable.

About Kai Handt:

Kai Handt is the USEF Para Equestrian Dressage Chef d’Equipe, and most recently served in this capacity at the 2014 World Equestrian Games. As a rider, trainer, and clinician, Kai’s illustrious equestrian background includes coaching and sponsoring para-dressage riders at the international level for the past several years. Among his accolades are

*           Individual coach and sponsor at 2012 Paralympics to the highest placing U.S. equestrian overall at the Paralympics and Olympics, as well as individual coach and sponsor at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Lexington, KY.

*           Individual coach for one or more riders at the 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2014 USEF National Para-Equestrian Dressage Championships earning 2011 USEF National Para-Equestrian Dressage Champion, 2012 USEF National Para-Equestrian Dressage Reserve Champion.

*           Individual coach at numerous CPEDI3* from 2009-2014 for multiple riders earning multiple grade championships, overall championships, and as part of the U.S. Team, several Team Championships.

*           Chef d’Equipe at 2012 CEPDI3* in Wellington for the Japanese Team, coaching their rider to their first Paralympic Equestrian qualifying score.

*           Chef d’Equipe at 2011 CPEDI3* in Mexico City, resulting in a U.S. Team Nation’s Cup win, overall individual reserve champion, and individual Grade 1a and Grade Ib champions.

*           Individual coach for Derrick Perkins; the first Para-Dressage rider from the United States Veteran’s Assistance Program in 2013.

*           Also in 2013, Handt was the individual coach for Para-Dressage riders Benjamin Harper, Roxanne Trunnell, and Derrick Perkins; as well as selector of appropriate horses for each individual at each show. All individuals achieved top scores ranging from 63.478%-73.478% during that show season.

By: Lindsay Y. McCall

To view an online version of this press release, please visit: http://uspea.org/category/recent-uspea-press-news/.

About United States Para-Equestrian Association:

The USPEA is a network of riders, judges, national federation board members, and equestrian enthusiasts. The association gives athletes the ability to get involved and expand their knowledge and experience in the Para-Equestrian sport. The USPEA encourages para-athletes to participate in all disciplines under the para-equestrian umbrella.

The USPEA is a recognized affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) which serves as the National Governing Body for the equestrian sport. This relationship between the USPEA and USEF is to encourage para-equestrian competitors, leisure riders, coaches, fans and enthusiasts to network and get involved with the entire equestrian sport.

Ultimately the goal of the USPEA is to foster growth in the para-equestrian discipline. From growth in the number of participants to growth as a team, and growth in the experience and knowledge of all involved. From local horse shows to international Olympic Games, the USPEA will provide para-equestrians the knowledge of what they need to succeed. The USPEA connects with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), the United States Dressage Federation (USDF), and USEF which provides Para-Equestrians the top equestrian resources.

In June 2010, the USPEA earned its 501 (c)(3) status which has encouraged supporters to help supply funding to the Para-Equestrian Team as a recognized affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF).

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.

USEF High Performance Southeast Para Equestrian Dressage Symposium January 12-13, 2015

Kai Handt and Wes Dunham showcase collaborative coaching at the Northeast Symposium in 2013. Rider Sydney Collier aboard her own Wentworth works on gaits. Photo (C) Lindsay Y. McCall.

Wellington, FL – January 7, 2015 – The United States Equestrian Federation, Inc. (USEF) is excited to announce a two-day Para Equestrian Dressage Symposium to be held at Global Dressage, Wellington, Florida, January 12 & 13, 2015, 8 AM-4 PM. Select U.S. High Performance and developing Para- Equestrian Dressage riders and coaches will be attending the symposium. Auditors are welcome to attend for $75. Pre-registering as an auditor is not required. Please contact Laureen Johnson at USEF at lkjohnson@usef.org if you are interested in auditing.

Over two days U.S. High Performance and developing Para-Dressage coaches and riders will be immersed in the international equestrian discipline of Para-Dressage. Topics include Para-Dressage theory, scales of training, para-dressage test riding, quality of horse, freestyles, preparation for international competition, and much more. Demonstrations will be given from international athletes in each of the five para-dressage grades. Attendees will be given a deeper understanding of requirements and challenges that occur in international competitions such as the Paralympics and World Equestrian Games. Riders and coaches will be given lectures and demonstrations from top Para-Dressage experts including a seminar from international Para-Equestrian Dressage judge and trainer Kjell Myhre. Coaches will participate in collaborative coaching working together to bring out the best in their Para-Dressage athlete. Day One of the Symposium will be formatted as private sessions with Kjell helping riders to improve challenging movements of each grade level FEI test. U.S. Chef d’Equipe Kai Handt will simultaneously offer training feedback to Para-Dressage coaches in order to help prepare high performance athletes for International Level Para-Dressage Competition. Day Two of the symposium will include demonstration rides, test review and more collaborative coaching opportunities.

About Kjell Myhre: Kjell has a BA Hons Degree in Business Studies from University of Stirling, Scotland, UK. He started his career working for the City Council of Oslo, Department of Education. In 1998 he was offered a position as consultant for training and education at the Norwegian Equestrian Federation, and from 2000 to 2010 he had the position as Secretary General at the Federation. In 2011 he stepped down as Secretary General, and left the federation.

After three years working for a small NGO called Hest og Helse (Horses and Health), Kjell Is now back in the equestrian federation working as development consultant, mainly dealing with the riding clubs and their ability to contribute to the main objectives of the federation – equestrian sport for everyone!

Kjell started riding at the age of 12 and has competed nationally up to Intermediate I. He has been a dressage judge since 1990, and became a 4 * FEI judge in 2007. In addition to being a FEI dressage judge, Kjell is a 5* FEI Para-dressage judge, and has judged the last 4 Paralympics. Some of his highlights as a 4* FEI judge have been to judge two World Cup qualifiers, as well as the US Championships for junior and young riders in 2011, and the European Championships for junior and young riders in 2013.

About U.S. Chef d’Equipe Kai Handt

Kai Handt was the individual coach for one or more riders at the 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2014 USEF National Para-Equestrian Dressage Championships earning 2011 USEF National Para-Equestrian Dressage Champion, 2012 USEF National Para-Equestrian Dressage Reserve Champion.

He was an individual coach at numerous CPEDI3* from 2009-2014 for multiple riders earning multiple grade championships, overall championships, and as part of the U.S. Team, several Team Championships.

Handt was also an individual coach and sponsor at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Lexington, KY.

Served as Chef d’Equipe at 2012 CEPDI3* in Wellington for the Japanese Team, coaching their rider to their first Paralympic Equestrian qualifying score.

Served as Chef d’Equipe at 2011 CPEDI3* in Mexico City, flying to the location prior to the competition to select horses for the U.S. Team. Held daily strategy meetings with riders and their coaches, and offered coaching assistance as needed resulting in a U.S. Team Nation’s Cup win, overall individual reserve champion, and individual Grade 1a and Grade Ib champions.

Individual coach and sponsor at 2012 Paralympics to the highest placing U.S. equestrian overall at the Paralympics and Olympics. Handt also assisted riders and their coaches with equipment and horse training as requested by the rider and coach at the 2012 Paralympic training camp in Gladstone and in London at the Paralympics.

In 2013, Handt became the individual coach for Derrick Perkins, the first Para-Dressage rider from the United States Veteran’s Assistance Program.

Handt provided individual training sessions in 2013 with new Para Dressage riders Benjamin Harper, Roxanne Trunnell, and Ashleigh Flores-Simmons at North Texas Equestrian Center.

Also in 2013, Handt was the individual coach for Para-Dressage riders Benjamin Harper, Roxanne Trunnell, and Derrick Perkins, as well as selector of appropriate horses for each individual at each show. All individuals achieved top scores ranging from 63.478%-73.478% during that show season.

Most Recently, Handt served as USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage Chef d’Equipe at the 2014 World Equestrian Games held in Normandy, France.

For more information about the symposium, please contact Laureen Johnson, High Performance Director, Para Equestrian & Vaulting, United States Equestrian Federation, Inc. – Phone: (908) 326-1155 Email: lkjohnson@usef.org.

About United States Para-Equestrian Association:

The USPEA is a network of riders, judges, national federation board members, and equestrian enthusiasts. The association gives athletes the ability to get involved and expand their knowledge and experience in the Para-Equestrian sport. The USPEA encourages para-athletes to participate in all disciplines under the para-equestrian umbrella.

The USPEA is a recognized affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) which serves as the National Governing Body for the equestrian sport. This relationship between the USPEA and USEF is to encourage para-equestrian competitors, leisure riders, coaches, fans and enthusiasts to network and get involved with the entire equestrian sport.

Ultimately the goal of the USPEA is to foster growth in the para-equestrian discipline. From growth in the number of participants to growth as a team, and growth in the experience and knowledge of all involved. From local horse shows to international Olympic Games, the USPEA will provide para-equestrians the knowledge of what they need to succeed. The USPEA connects with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), the United States Dressage Federation (USDF), and USEF which provides Para-Equestrians the top equestrian resources.

In June 2010, the USPEA earned its 501 (c)(3) status which has encouraged supporters to help supply funding to the Para-Equestrian Team as a recognized affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF).

For more information about the USPEA, please visit www.USPEA.org or contact USPEA President Hope Hand by e-mail: Wheeler966@aol.com or by phone: (610)356-6481.

Equestrians Impressed with Coaches Milkins and Callin at US Para-Dressage Symposium West Coast

Susan Treabess and Kamiakin. Photos by Lindsay McCall.

Winters, CA – November 27, 2013 – The terms camaraderie, team, collaboration, and community were continuously noted throughout the 2013 U.S. National Para-Dressage Training Symposium West Coast. Scheduled November 20-23, 2013, trainers, riders, and auditors had an opportunity to dive into the world of para-equestrian dressage, build upon fundamentals, develop themselves and their horses, and move to the next level. Between the “Train the Trainer” session and the “Rider Symposium” attendees were educated within the classroom and interactive demonstrations. Equestrians rode their own or borrowed first-class horses in individual and collaborative coaching sessions with gold medal para-dressage coach from Great Britain, Clive Milkins, and high-performance U.S. Grand Prix rider Dennis Callin, who is currently competing in Europe. Educational instructors besides Milkins and Callin included David Schmutz, FEI 4* Para-Equestrian Judge and USEF ‘S’ Dressage Judge; Gil Merrick, Former High-Performance Dressage Director; Hope Hand, Paralympian and United States Para-Equestrian Association (USPEA) President; Mike Tomlinson, DVM, MBA, FEI 5* Veterinarian; Tina Wentz, Physical Therapist and Para-Equestrian Classifier; Joann Benjamin, Physical Therapist and Para-Equestrian Classifier; and Lindsay McCall, who is the Public Relations Manager for the USPEA and other equestrian clientele. The 2013 Para-Dressage Symposium took place at Somerset Farm in Winters, CA. The four-day event was organized by Carlisle Academy Integrative Equine Therapy & Sports (the education partner of the USPEA) and sponsored by the USPEA and United States Equestrian Federation.

FEI Para-Dressage equestrian Susan Treabess, who was also a 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games rider, took part in the rider symposium with her own Kamiakin. He is a 2005 PRE Stallion, owned by Susan Treabess in partnership with Katie and Scott Hill of the Netherlands. Treabess commented, “This event was inspirational. As a rider I really felt the camaraderie, the sense of community and the feeling that we are all in this together. All of the trainers that accompanied their riders felt welcome and there was a lot of back and forth between clinician and trainer. It was truly about the riders. In addition, the coach collaboration sessions were exactly what we needed for our U.S. athletes. It was great to have a top-shelf grand prix rider who is competing in Europe (Dennis Callin) and a top-shelf British para-dressage coach (Clive Milkins) training gold medal riders, working together with all of the different grades. There were riders that want to be Paralympians in 10 years and there were riders trying for the World Equestrian Games in 2014. The collaboration between the two was a balance that I could not have imagined. It’s really inspiring! Some of the borrowed horse owners were watching their horses during the symposium and they were blown away with what was being done. If something like this was available when I started six years ago, I would have had a very different impression about para-dressage. When I began this sport, I had to learn all of the information provided over the week on my own. This was like law school in four days for para-dressage riders. We are fast tracking people but providing them the tools they need to succeed in the correct environment.”

For 22-year-old Ashleigh Flores-Simmons of Elk Grove, CA the symposium was beneficial for her and her mount Verite, owned by Dana Williams. Flores-Simmons explained, “Clive and Dennis were great to ride with. Each sees things that the other one may or may not have seen. This was beneficial because I got great feedback on my riding. With Clive we worked on getting the quality to come out of our gaits. We even worked on simple things like my breathing while I was riding. It was really cool because it doesn’t occur to you as a rider to use your breath as a tool but it works. Clive is very knowledgeable and it was nice to have someone like that around to pick his brain. I really enjoyed working with him.”

Clive Milkins instructs Ashley Flores-Simmons aboard Verite
Clive Milkins instructs Ashley Flores-Simmons aboard Verite

She continued, “Dennis was good because he pushes me and my horse to see how much we can do. Each coach had really valuable things to take away. I am excited for the future and thankful to Dennis, Verite’s owner Dana Williams and Susan (Treabess). I couldn’t have done this clinic without each person. Having someone like Susan there to support and help me is phenomenal. Dana is also supportive and so wiling to give up her horse for me to ride. She is there with me one-hundred percent.”

Flores-Simmons is aiming to qualify for the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France. Her long-term goal is to represent the U.S.A. at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio.

A new para-dressage equestrian that is on a fast track to a hopeful qualification for the 2014 World Equestrian Games is 26-year-old Cambry Kaylor of Lehi, Utah. Kaylor rode Martinelli, owned by Julie Young, during the symposium due to her horse being unavailable that same week. Kaylor noted, “I was hesitant and nervous coming out, especially since my own horse couldn’t come out. After meeting everyone and being at the clinic I felt completely different; I am really happy I attended and I have learned so much. Everyone was welcoming and the symposium felt like it built camaraderie between athletes. That camaraderie will make the competitive edge within the U.S. better, elevating the U.S. Para-Dressage Team.”

Paralyzed 8 years ago, Kaylor, a past top vaulter, is enjoying the high-performance para-dressage journey. Kaylor came to the symposium wanting to attain tools to take back to her trainer David MacMillan. Kaylor explained, “When you are paralyzed, you have to have trust in your partner. Just by spending that time with Clive, learning the horse’s buttons and what to do to gain the control and trust quickly is crucial.”

Kaylor headed back to Utah after the symposium where she is studying to be an Occupational Therapist at the University of Utah, while working with her brand new international para-dressage horse.

“Thank you to Julie Young, my parents, my trainer, and everybody that put the symposium on,” said Kaylor. “I was not able to attend the one in Maine and I was fortunate to attend this one on the west coast with Dennis and Clive.”

U.S. Grand Prix equestrian Dennis Callin was impressed with the symposium he explained, “I thought this event was a very good idea and a well-executed format. I was not sure about working with Clive and it worked out better than I ever thought it could have. We complement each other really well. I learned from him and hopefully he learned from me. It was easy and fun and we produced a lot of successful moments. The horses were brilliant, the riders learned so much, and we did a lot of hard work without stressing anyone out. It raised the bar for everyone, was educational, and humbling for me. If the able-bodied U.S. Dressage Team does this with Robert Dover, then they will win gold medals.”

Clive Milkins, Great Britain para-dressage gold medal coach, agreed. “I hadn’t realized Dennis was as apprehensive as I was working with a stranger. I am surprised how easily we dovetailed into each other. It could have very easily gone horrible wrong. This was phenomenal and interesting as an auditor, coach, and rider.”

Milkins continued, “With two coaches the riders learned so much and the audience did not get left out. There were times where I could do some work with the rider and Dennis could talk to the audience about his philosophy. We would then swap over and everybody from the outside learned far more than just a lesson. That worked really great.”

Milkins, coach of multiple gold medal para-dressage rider Sophie Christansen, has seen the United States Para-Dressage Team over the past years. He believes, “All though there have been some challenges in the past for the U.S. Team I think they are on the right track. The riders must be the center of what we are doing. The rest of us need to push and help the riders in their achievements.”

Susan Treabess agreed. “We have new riders that are going to be future stars. I am really motivated by what we did at this symposium. It makes me happy to have hosted this event and I feel proud to have given the environment to produce this amazing experience. I think a symposium like this is critical to all riders as long as we can reproduce it again and again.”

During the four-day event riders enjoyed the collaborative coaching sessions between Dennis and Clive. Clive Milkins also gave the riders and auditors important educational lectures. Those sessions included talking about three main riding techniques: rhythm, straightness, and shoulders. Those three points were emphasized throughout the week. Milkins also discussed his five stages of training which takes a rider from a beginning para-dressage rider to a high-performance international athlete.

For Nathan Asby of Portland, Oregon, the symposium was his chance to learn about the discipline of para-dressage and showcase his skills in front of both coaches. Asby rode Luke Skywalker, owned by Gundi Younger, during the experience. “I had a great time riding,” exclaimed Asby. “At first I was a little nervous but as I became more relaxed I could concentrate on my riding. I enjoyed working with Clive on my seat and establishing control. I wish he was my regular trainer at home. I want to thank everyone for putting on this symposium. I really enjoyed it.”

This was Lara Oles’ third para-dressage symposium. “The connections and education you make at these symposiums are amazing,” stated Oles. “You get to talk to other people and find out how they have done things in the past, you learn about compensatory aids, you hear how other people found their horses, and you make new friends. We are a community and when you attend a symposium you know it is about the team. I attend these to improve myself but it is also fun to get validated by people that know the sport.”

Lara Oles received rave reviews about her partner American Quarter Horse Slater (AQHA registered name CD Request). Oles is looking forward to continuing her training with Annie Sweet at home in Utah. She is also hoping to qualify for the 2014 World Equestrian Games.

For beginning para-equestrian Emily Sheffield of Utah, the symposium was a chance to jump-start herself as an amateur rider. “I have enjoyed the experience and I have learned a lot about how my riding,” noted Sheffield. “I have learned how to move forward in my riding and the next stepping stone on that path. I enjoyed riding with both coaches and liked their various styles. I thought each had different personalities and unique ways of training, and I loved that. I also enjoyed riding Seth, owned by Jan Oakes. I wanted to thank her for allowing me to ride her adorable yet experienced horse.”

“I also want to thank the owner of George, who is Debbie Ross,” added rider Pam Hardin of Evans, Georgia. “George was an excellent ride and I could not have done this clinic without Debbie. I was overwhelmed when I first arrived at this symposium and I didn’t know what to expect. I was so blown away by the sport and coaches Clive and Dennis. I look forward to my future within the discipline.”

The 2013 U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Symposium West Coast was hosted by Somerset Farm in Winters, CA. Attributions to “Train the Trainer” included Hanneke Gerritsen 5* ‘O’ Judge 5 * PE technical delegate 3* PE steward.

The event was organized by Carlisle Academy Integrative Equine Therapy & Sports and Sponsored by USPEA & USEF. For more information about Para-Dressage, please visit www.USPEA.org. Select riders attended the clinic on behalf of the USPEA and the Carlisle Charitable Foundation.

About Carlisle Charitable Foundation:

The mission of the Carlisle Charitable Foundation is to raise scholarships for students with disabilities who participate at Carlisle Academy Integrative Equine Therapy & Sports. Additionally, the Foundation supports ongoing research, promotion of medical reimbursement, and professional education in the field of equine-assisted therapy.

The Foundation is able to fulfill this mission through donations from individuals, foundations, corporations and the building of its endowment fund. Carlisle Charitable Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization incorporated in Maine. All gifts are tax deductible to the full extent of the law. For more information, please visit www.carlislecharitablefoundation.org.

About Carlisle Academy Integrative Equine Therapy & Sports:

Carlisle Academy Integrative Equine Therapy & Sports is a comprehensive organization offering our hallmark equestrian hippotherapy and adaptive programs, new offerings of Para-Equestrian sport, and traditional equestrian training opportunities for educators, practitioners and riders alike. The mission of Carlisle Academy Integrative Equine Therapy and Sports is to transform lives through horses through its distinctive services – rehabilitative through recreational – within an inclusive environment that fosters learning, growth and overall well-being. For more information, please visit www.carlisleacademymaine.com, call 207-985-0374, email info@carlisleacademymaine.com, or check us out on Facebook.

Carlisle Academy’s charitable partner, the Carlisle Charitable Foundation, is enabling athlete participation via scholarships. For more information on scholarships, contact Deb Whitney at 207.467.3242, info@carlislecharitablefoundation.org, or visit their website at: http://www.carlislecharitablefoundation.org.

Written by: Lindsay Y McCall

To view an online version of this press release with more photos, please visit: http://uspea.org/category/recent-uspea-press-news/.

About United States Para-Equestrian Association:

The USPEA is a network of riders, judges, national federation board members, and equestrian enthusiasts.  The association gives athletes the ability to get involved and expand their knowledge and experience in the Para-Equestrian sport. The USPEA encourages para-athletes to participate in all disciplines under the para-equestrian umbrella.

The USPEA is a recognized affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) which serves as the National Governing Body for the equestrian sport.  This relationship between the USPEA and USEF is to encourage para-equestrian competitors, leisure riders, coaches, fans and enthusiasts to network and get involved with the entire equestrian sport.

Ultimately the goal of the USPEA is to foster growth in the para-equestrian discipline.  From growth in the number of participants to growth as a team, and growth in the experience and knowledge of all involved.  From local horse shows to international Olympic Games, the USPEA will provide para-equestrians the knowledge of what they need to succeed.  The USPEA connects with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), the United States Dressage Federation (USDF), and USEF which provides Para-Equestrians the top equestrian resources.

In June 2010, the USPEA earned its 501 (c)(3) status which has encouraged supporters to help supply funding to the Para-Equestrian Team as a recognized affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF).

For more information about the USPEA, please visit www.USPEA.org or contact USPEA President Hope Hand by e-mail: Wheeler966@aol.com or by phone: (610)356-6481.

Chester Weber to Present at the USEF Young Horse Championship Symposium

Ten time US National Four-in-Hand driving champion Chester Weber will present at the 2013 USEF Young Horse Championship Symposium. (Photo courtesy of Scheytt Photography)

Ocala, FL (November 7, 2013) – On November 8th-10th, ten-time US National Four-in-Hand Driving Champion Chester Weber will present at the USEF Young Horse Championship Symposium at the Kentucky Horse Park’s Alltech Arena. As a seasoned four-in-hand combined driver, Chester Weber has spent a lifetime developing horses from youngsters to FEI stars, including his famed horse, Jamaica, who was rescued from a slaughter house before going on to become part of Weber’s international team.

“I have been fortunate enough to develop numerous young horses to the FEI level through our regional events in the southeast; however we saw a need to introduce a structured path for breeders and people interested in developing young sport horses,” commented Weber when asked about his involvement in the Young Horse Championship Symposium.

Beginning his international career at just 18 years of age, Weber remains the youngest driver to be named to the United States Equestrian Team and to qualify for the World Pairs Driving Championship. During his career, Weber has brought along many young horses through to the Championship level.

“I feel that a venue to compete, showcase and develop young horses is needed in the USA. Other successful driving nations have similar programs which has created a windfall for them in developing tomorrow’s stars,” stated Weber.

After making four-in-hand driving history by winning his 10th National Championship title, Weber has become the ultimate resource for the development of equine driving in America.

At the upcoming 2013 USEF Young Horse Championship Symposium, Weber will speak specifically about the structured development of the young driving horse, the qualification requirements for the 2014 Young Horse Championships, and answer questions for breeders and those interested in developing driving horses.

During the November 8th-10th 2013 USEF Young Horse Championship Symposium at the Kentucky Horse Park’s Alltech Arena, USA team coaches and representatives from dressage, eventing, hunter, and jumper disciplines will convene to share their experiences, offer advice, and explain the details of each disciplines’ competition criteria for the 2014 USEF Young Horse Championships.

The USEF Young Horse Championship Symposium will offer a panel discussion, in-depth information on the qualifications and requirements for the championshps, and hope to inspire attendees with the updated and innovative competition format.

To register for the Symposium and reserve your space, please send an e-mail requesting a seat to: YHSymposiumRegistration@usef.org.

View the 2014 USEF Young Horse Championships and Festival Executive Summary here: www.usef.org/images/eblasts/archive/YHC_Summary.html.

For the 2013 USEF Young Horse Symposium Preliminary Overview, click here: www.usef.org/images/eblasts/archive/YHC_Overview.html.

Follow Team Weber and the official Cosequin Marathon Carriage at www.chesterweber.com and via their link to Facebook.

For more information contact:
Chester Weber
chester@chesterweber.com
www.chesterweber.com
1-352-895-1139

Schedule Available for USEF Young Horse Championship Symposium

Lexington, Ky. – The USEF Young Horse Championship Symposium is now just days away and anticipation is steadily building for the informative sessions to be held November 8-10, 2013, at the Kentucky Horse Park’s Alltech Arena. U.S. team coaches and their representatives from dressage, driving, eventing, hunter, and jumping will gather to share their excitement about this new program and explain the details of each discipline’s competition criteria for the 2014 USEF Young Horse Championships and Festival.

The Symposium will kick off with a reception on Friday evening on the main concourse of the Alltech Arena. Participants and presenters will return Saturday for a panel discussion of the program overview and objectives followed by presentations from each discipline. On Sunday, the Symposium will come to a close with presentations regarding concepts, scoring, and judging.

To view the schedule, visit: https://www.usef.org/documents/YoungHorseSymposium/Schedule.pdf.

The USEF Young Horse Championship Symposium will inspire attendees as the details surrounding this innovative competition format are revealed. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to witness history in the making and be a part of this exciting initiative designed to specifically identify, showcase, and promote talented young equine athletes.

To register for the Symposium and reserve your space, please send an e-mail requesting a seat to: YHSymposiumRegistration@usef.org.

Announcing the USEF Young Horse Championship and Festival and USEF Young Horse Championship Symposium

Lexington, Kentucky – The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) is pleased to announce an exciting new program designed to identify and develop talented young horses in the United States.  Plans for a USEF Young Horse Championship and Festival at the Kentucky Horse Park in the Fall of 2014 are well underway. “We are very excited about this new initiative which has been created to connect breeders, owners and trainers of young horses,” remarks USEF Chief Executive Officer John Long, “and promises to be a unique event providing a multi-discipline showcase for the equine stars of the future.”

The USEF Young Horse Championship and Festival is intended to showcase and identify the best young horses in the United States in the dressage, driving, eventing, hunter and jumping disciplines. The event is also intended to promote American-bred horses while creating an incentive to buy, own, and show young horses. The Championship and Festival will talent-spot horses in two ways: a competition hosting horses ages four through seven years old, and an in-hand evaluation by a panel of experts for yearlings to three-year-olds. Both will help to provide educational opportunities regarding breeding and development of young horses.

Coming soon, on November 8-10, 2013, the Federation will host a USEF Young Horse Championship Symposium at the Kentucky Horse Park’s Alltech Arena. U.S. team coaches and their representatives from dressage, driving, eventing, hunter, and jumping will gather to share their excitement about this new program and explain the details of each discipline’s competition criteria the 2014 USEF Young Horse Championships and Festival.

The USEF Young Horse Championship Symposium will inspire attendees as the details surrounding this innovative competition format are revealed. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to witness history in the making and be a part of this exciting initiative designed to specifically identify, showcase, and promote talented young equine athletes.

View the 2014 USEF Young Horse Championships and Festival Executive Summary here: https://www.usef.org/images/eblasts/archive/YHC_Summary.html.

For the 2013 USEF Young Horse Symposium Preliminary Overview, click here: https://www.usef.org/images/eblasts/archive/YHC_Overview.html.

Para-Equestrian Dressage Symposium Energizes U.S. Riders and Trainers

Coaches Kai Handt and Wes Dunham demonstrate working together with rider Sydney Collier and horse Wentworth. Photos by Lindsay McCall.

Lyman, Maine – June 2, 2013 – One term often used in reference to future medal winning U.S. high-performance equestrians is the word ‘development’. By further educating and integrating the athletes, judges, trainers, and supporters from all levels will help develop and evolve each discipline. The 2013 U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Symposium created the platform to accomplish this task. At the Carlisle Academy Integrative Equine Therapy & Sports in Lyman, Maine, internationally acclaimed trainers and judges stepped forward to conduct a weekend of Para-Dressage education. From May 29 – June 1, equestrians from Grade Ia – Grade IV received classroom training, lectures, video training, and live riding lessons. In addition to equestrian training there was the “Train the Trainer” program and “SmartPak Coaches Forum”. Subjects addressed at the symposium included training the coaches, teamwork, and building upon each athlete’s current skills. Expert leaders at the symposium were FEI “O” Judge and Olympic Technical Delegate Hanneke Gerritsen of Holland, Gold medal Great Britain Paralympic coach Clive Milkins, international Dressage rider Catherine Haddad Staller, and former USEF High Performance Dressage Director Gil Merrick. Carlisle has partnered with the United States Equestrian Federation, United States Para-Equestrian Association, and SmartPak for the first in a series of educational events across the United States.

For the past three years Hanneke Gerritsen has traveled to Lyman, Maine, as the original education leader.  In 2013, Gerritsen was impressed with how far the event had come. She noted, “I think it was a great event, very well organized, and a pleasure for everyone involved. I was delighted to see how the athletes improved in only three to four days. In a short amount of time they understood what we like to see as judges and trainers. Riders’ skills ranged from beginners to advanced and the up and coming ones I saw were really doing well. Equestrians I saw in the past have come back and each one has improved. The discipline – it’s growing slowly. It’s so important to be together, ride together, and see each other in one venue and informational atmosphere. I am seeing things that we hoped for years ago and now find on an everyday basis.”

Gerritsen continued, “The Symposium is a very good concept especially for the future. It was nice to see beginners react to this event in a positive way. It’s important for riders see more and hear more whether they are new to the sport or veteran athletes.”

Derrick Perkins and Mabel
Derrick Perkins and Mabel

Derrick Perkins of Texas, who rides with U.S. Paralympic trainer Kai Handt, was one of the newer Para-Dressage athletes. He joked, “I have been getting flashbacks of boot camp. On a serious note, the weekend has been wonderful. A lot of little details can make a world of difference in my riding. I am excited to get home and back to work with Kai.”

Model, actress, and brand new Para-Dressage athlete Elle Wooley agreed: “I couldn’t have imagined the symposium being as beneficial as it was. It really helped my confidence. When I watch upper level able-bodied riders I get a little jealous, so being around Para-Equestrians who are incredible riders and other people with ailments almost evens the playing field. Everyone cheered for each other and was really encouraging over the weekend.”

When Wooley approached the ring for her session with Hanneke Gerritsen, Hanneke said Wooley looked elegant on the horse Clever, owned by Mary Jordan, and she noted that it was rare to see a match well suited for a rider so quickly. Wooley commented, “Hanneke was wonderful. She was really helpful with accuracy, working on advanced movements, and creating the total package.”

Wooley continued, “Catherine was also very helpful with teaching me a new way to hold the reins. I have trouble turning to the right because I don’t have enough motion in my body, so that was something Catherine gave me pointers to work with. Before the symposium, I did not let myself dream I could earn a spot on the team for the World Equestrian Games or Rio. Now with my confidence and competitive drive, I am aiming for it. I would love to thank Carlisle for putting on the symposium. It was an incredible opportunity and I couldn’t have imagined it going so well.”

Para-Dressage rider Holly Jacobson brought her new horse George to the 2013 Symposium. “This was a great opportunity to bring my new horse, test out what I have been feeling, and receive feedback from Para-Dressage professionals,” articulated Jacobson. “This was our first road trip together and I couldn’t be happier with how mellow and well-behaved George was. I want to commend Carlisle for bringing in all different angles of Para-Dressage and working to gather this collection of riders new and old across the country. The energy a rider feels from this symposium makes you believe you can do things you didn’t realize you could.”

Catherine Haddad Staller agreed: “It was very helpful to the riders that they had a variety of clinicians that could help them. They also got to watch each other which was important as a learning experience. It’s always great when you can get a group of people together with similar goals. Good riding is good riding whether you are doing it as a Para-Equestrian or an able-bodied rider. What’s really fascinating to me is that there are a lot of riders that attended the clinic that have to ride one handed. I have done a lot of one handed riding in my life and I see how beneficial it is to the horse and how much it teaches people about correct contact. Overall, it was a really good experience and eye opening to see all of these people with their determination and drive. It is most moving for me to see how much horses really affect our lives at every level and how people, who have lost a lot of their motor skills, can still communicate on an extremely fine and high level with the horse. It’s fascinating for me.”

Athlete and Grade IV rider, Mary Jordan, said, “The symposium was a really wonderful experience. Riding Sebastian at the symposium took nothing away from the training that I have had at Blue Hill Farm with my coach Jessica Ransehousen. It was a great experience to go to a new environment. I really got a lot out of it and learned some new techniques for my horse. I never thought I would get a chance to ride with Clive and that was a thrill. Trying to become supple is a ‘chicken before the egg’ thing. It was the first item both Clive and Catherine focused on with me. Catherine was amazing with the tools she gave me to improve Sebastian’s walk. He has a correct walk but not always the biggest walk. To go from over tracking to really over tracking felt amazing.”

Gil Merrick enjoyed working with each rider and learning more about the Para-Dressage sport. He explained, “I have learned so much about this sport and I recognize it is so different from able-bodied. I also felt the symposium allowed for all of the participants, friends, family, owners, auditors and the clinicians to be able to spend four days as a community all committed to education. I was pleased to see the camaraderie among the riders. I know the quest to make it as a high-performance rider is shared by all. Nowhere did I hear the attitude that there was a long way to go. What I heard was, ‘Here is where we are and here’s the plan on how we are going to get to our next point.’ There is so much room for growth within the U.S. in this country and through the Para-Equestrian movement.”

Coach Kai Handt from the North Texas Equestrian Center addressed the need for growth: “I think it’s great that we had Clive Milkins here in the United States. He’s the number one coach in the world for Grades Ia and Ib. We learned a lot from him, he had good ideas, and he knows what he is doing; Clive is awesome. I think we have a lot of very good riders in the US but they need to be in a planned environment for competition. I feel riders need to have a two-staged system including national riders with a national championship and international riders. This would get more people involved and create a broader base to choose from. In Europe the Para-Equestrians begin from their first riding lesson at a young age. They know straightness and precision first before they are allowed to move beyond that. We really need to grow the Para-Dressage discipline domestically and from the young potential equestrians.”

The United States Para-Equestrian Association would like to thank all of the trainers, judges, athletes, auditors, sponsors, horse owners, and equestrian enthusiasts for being involved in the 2013 Para-Equestrian Dressage Symposium. President of the USPEA Hope Hand expressed, “On behalf of our organization we would like to thank USEF and SmartPak for partnering on this educational event. We would also like to express our gratitude to Carlisle Academy Integrative Equine Therapy & Sports. Extreme thanks go to Sarah Armentrout, the staff at Carlisle Academy, and everyone else involved within the symposium. We look forward to future collaborations.”

For more information on the symposium contact Carlisle’s Training & Leadership Program Director Joyce Brown at jbrown@carlisleacademymaine.com at 207.985.0374. Questions can also be directed to USPEA President Hope Hand at Hope@uspea.org.

WCSH News Channel 6 Portland, Maine Video about the 2013 Para-Equestrian Dressage Symposium: http://www.wcsh6.com/video/2426303275001/1/Maine-hosts-first-sponsored-Paradressage-event.

SmartPak Blog Update Day 1 of the 2013 Para-Equestrian Dressage Symposium: http://blog.smartpakequine.com/2013/05/para-dressage-training-symposium-day-1/.

SmartPak Blog Update Day 2 of the 2013 Para-Equestrian Dressage Symposium: http://blog.smartpakequine.com/2013/05/para-dressage-training-symposium-day-2/.

Written by: Lindsay Y McCall

To view an online version of this press release with more photos, please visit: http://uspea.org/category/recent-uspea-press-news/.

About United States Para-Equestrian Association:

The USPEA is a network of riders, judges, national federation board members, and equestrian enthusiasts.  The association gives athletes the ability to get involved and expand their knowledge and experience in the Para-Equestrian sport. The USPEA encourages para-athletes to participate in all disciplines under the para-equestrian umbrella.

The USPEA is a recognized affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) which serves as the National Governing Body for the equestrian sport.  This relationship between the USPEA and USEF is to encourage para-equestrian competitors, leisure riders, coaches, fans and enthusiasts to network and get involved with the entire equestrian sport.

Ultimately the goal of the USPEA is to foster growth in the para-equestrian discipline.  From growth in the number of participants to growth as a team, and growth in the experience and knowledge of all involved.  From local horse shows to international Olympic Games, the USPEA will provide para-equestrians the knowledge of what they need to succeed.  The USPEA connects with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), the United States Dressage Federation (USDF), and USEF which provides Para-Equestrians the top equestrian resources.

In June 2010, the USPEA earned its 501 (c)(3) status which has encouraged supporters to help supply funding to the Para-Equestrian Team as a recognized affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF).

For more information about the USPEA, please visit www.USPEA.org or contact USPEA President Hope Hand by e-mail: Wheeler966@aol.com or by phone: (610)356-6481.