Katy, TX – April 28, 2012 – Once again the Houston Dressage Society (HDS) hosted an exceptional CPEDI3* Saturday. For United States individuals, it was the last international competition to qualify for the 2012 USEF Paralympics Selection Trials. Under Ring One at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center Para-Equestrians from the United States and Canada competed under the watchful eye of judges Kathy Amos-Jacob (FRA), Kristi Wysocki (USA), and Carlos Lopes (POR). The HDS Spring Classic CPEDI3* will continue through Sunday, April 29 and is sponsored by The COR Group. With the Team Test on Friday and the Individual Test completed on Saturday, Para-Dressage riders will be able to relax and enjoy their Freestyle Tests on Sunday. In addition to the CPEDI3*, the HDS Spring Classic I & II CDI3* and CDI1*, sponsored by North Texas Equestrian Center, continues through the weekend in addition to the $10,000 HDS Dressage Derby. Earning the top score of the day and sweeping the Grade Ia division was Donna Ponessa (New Windsor, NY) and Dr. Michele Miles’ horse Silvano. In Grade Ib, Jonathan Wentz (Wylie, TX) showed two horses to consistent results. Canadian Lauren Barwick (Reddick, FL) once again grabbed the Grade II high score, while Wendy Fryke (Parker, CO) and Lateran claimed Grade III. In Grade IV Jennifer Baker (Loveland, OH) and Rondo Del Rey, owned by Kathy Jones, claimed the top position.
On Friday United States rider Donna Ponessa earned a 69.706% for her Team Test performance. Although she was happy with her ride Donna wanted more. Saturday morning became all about business and earning a 70%. She noted, “I knew after Friday’s test there were items I needed to work on including making his tempo more even and letting him carry himself without interfering.” Donna’s perseverance paid off when she earned a 74.585% on her Individual Test with Silvano. “Silvano is a very sensitive and obedient horse,” smiled Donna. “So if I change my balance or place too much weight on one seat bone Silvano feels that. So Saturday was all about being as a light as possible and it worked.”
Donna’s trainer Wes Dunham agreed: “I was ecstatic to see Donna knock down those scores like that. We took a look at Friday’s scores and comments and built on the positive comments and we took the items we didn’t like and focused on correcting those in the warm-up ring, it was amazing! I am really amazed at the competitive and tough side of Donna’s personality and it has been a great experience seeing her rewarded for her dedication to this sport.”
Wes continued, “This partnership is astounding. I had an inkling when we tried the horse a month ago and we realized we were right on with that impression that this horse and Donna would work well together. I am grateful for the guidance of Kai Handt in helping us to make that choice, Jonathan Wentz for allowing us to share this spectacular horse, and for Dr. Michele Miles who has generously let us borrow Silvano. In addition, we would not be here if it wasn’t for Sue and Kevin Niblo and Donna’s sponsors and support.”
On Sunday Donna will perform her first Freestyle with Silvano. “The Freestyle Test is my absolute favorite,” disclosed Ponessa. I look forward to the freestyle because I think it will showcase Silvano’s athleticism and elegance in the walk. I am also looking forward to getting to know Silvano more and enjoy riding him when the pressure is off.”
2012 has been a banner year for the United States Para-Equestrians. It has been a year of growth not only from the number of riders but the number of horses, spectators, sponsors, and support. Donna explained, “We are knocking on the door for earning a Team medal. In many disabled sports the Europeans seem to lead the pack. I think that people are now taking notice of the United States Team and we are definitely a force to be reckoned with. What is most important is receiving support even if it is just showing up to watch our discipline.”
Prior to the 2008 Beijing Paralympics Chef d’Equipe Missy Ransehousen was looking for an Assistant Coach for the United States Paralympics Team. Sharon Schneidman accepted the opportunity to “pay it forward” and support and coach the Para-Equestrian Team. She noted, “My husband Grant and I have had some of the most wonderful years competing in Dressage and Eventing. Over the years, so many people stepped forward to support Eventing and to be able to give back as a coach for the Para-Equestrian discipline has been rewarding.”
After Hong Kong Sharon was selected for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games and will continue accompany the team to the 2012 London Paralympics. Sharon is also an accomplished rider competing through FEI Grand Prix Level. Her husband, Grant was part of the USET Three-Day team for 18 years and is both a USDF Gold and Silver Medal. When not traveling around the United States with the Para-Equestrian Team, Sharon heads home to Elizabeth, CO where she and Grant run their dressage training service, Westmanton Stables LLC. With her location not far from Wendy Fryke, Sharon has helped Wendy develop as a high-level dressage rider and Para-Equestrian Team member.
Wendy Fryke (Parker, CO) and Lateran enhanced their scores from Friday’s Team Test finishing with a 65.833%.”Since the Saugerties CPEDI3* Lateran and I took a little time off and then started back in to work focusing on consistent connection, explained Fryke. “Under tutelage of Sharon Schneidman, Nicole Glusenkamp, and lessons with Grant Schneidman I have been using as many assets as possible. Currently I have been switching Lateran from a double bridle to a snaffle. I decided to ride in the snaffle for Saturday’s Individual Test because on Friday I was having a problem getting him to go forward on my aids. The snaffle made Lateran more forward, more consistent in his rhythm, but a little less consistent with his contact. The Para-Equestrian tests can be challenging for us because there are a lot of built-in walk transitions. In the able-bodied tests it’s more about going forward so I had to work on really finding those slower gaits and making them consistent. However, Lateran’s best gaits are his medium and extended gaits. While working at home I like to include technical requirements that keep him excited to work. The most important thing for me is to have a horse that keeps his enthusiasm, is a happy horse, and is a healthy horse.”
After the Houston CPEDI3* Wendy will work on additional lateral work to genuinely connect Lateran through the shoulder. She will also continue to work her way to her USDF Silver Medal showing through 4th Level this year.
Following Donna Ponessa’s win in Grade Ia was the talented Canadian rider Jody Schloss and Inspector Rebus. In preparation for London Schloss has traveled from New York, to Florida, and on to Texas with her trusty horse Inspector Rebus. As a top Para-Equestrian, Schloss is looking forward to the chance of being selected to represent her country. Olympian Courtney King-Dye improved from Friday’s Team Test. With Andrea Hart’s Mecklenburger, Nicolai, Courtney earned her qualifying scores for the 2012 Paralympics Selection Trials.
Grade Ib Para-Equestrian Jonathan Wentz (Wylie, TX) is also looking forward to competing at the 2012 Selection Trials. Over the past few years Jonathan has accomplished many goals. As a 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games U.S. Team member, the 2011 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Champion, and ranked among the 10th in the world, Jonathan continues to achieve the highest accolades in his sport. Wentz noted, “Without the support I have received from my family, Kai Handt, Rachel Zent, North Texas Equestrian Center, and generous owners like Dr. Michele Miles, I would not have been able to accomplish these dreams. I look forward to Gladstone and I am excited for the United States.”
Grade II Canadian Lauren Barwick and Four-Star Parelli Professional continued to top her division. Following for second was Kim Jones (Georgetown, SC) and Madoc Dylan, owned by Nancy Hinz of Yellow Rose Dressage. Behind Jones followed Sydney Collier and Nicolai, owned by Andrea Hart, and Barbara Adside aboard NTEC Manchada, owned by Kai Handt. Kim Jones remarked, “I want to thank Nancy Hinz for letting me borrow her Welsh Palomino. I also want to thank my coaches Missy Ransehousen, Sharon Schneideman, and Walter Zettle. Lastly, I would like to thank Lori Northrup and Rob and Kathy Marshall who made contributions to me for my journey.
In Grade IV, Jennifer Baker (Loveland, OH) and Rondo Del Rey, owned by Kathy Jones, increased their scores and solidified their relationship. Baker commented, “I was really happy with my partnership with him during the Individual Test. It has been 10 days and today I figured out how to make our partnership more solid. Part of the change includes not being so nervous and trusting him. Rondo is a great horse that has excellent high-level technical movements, and a wonderful attitude. I want to thank Kathleen Jones for loaning me Rondo, Susan Shiba who is the trainer of Rondo, and the entire horse show. I also would like to thank Hope Hand for getting me to come back to the show ring and to my boyfriend who sold multiple items so I could travel to Texas.”
When Baker is not showing she works at an equine facility that specializes in equine rehab. Baker enjoys bringing back sport horses in dressage, show jumping, and hunters from injuries such as suspensory problems. Finishing the Grade IV division was Iana Gonzalez. This was Iana’s first horse show as a Para-Equestrian. “I am so grateful for my supporter Raul Armendariz who has provided both of these horses. He believed in me as a rider and I cannot thank him enough for his generosity.
Sunday, April 28 will be the final day and Freestyle Test competition for the Houston Dressage Society Spring Classic I & II CPEDI3* sponsored by The COR Group. United States Para-Equestrians that have earned their qualifying score for the 2012 USEF Paralympics Selection Trials will head to Gladstone, New Jersey for the Selection Trials and USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championship scheduled for June 10-13, 2012.
About the Para-Equestrian Discipline:
Each of the Para-Equestrian athletes have amazing stories to tell and have achieved much success despite the many physical challenges they incur in everyday life. The range of disabilities and diagnoses include Multiple Sclerosis, limb loss, Lupus, Cerebral Palsy, brain and spinal cord injuries, and many other diagnoses. Due to the range of disabilities, Para-Equestrians are divided into five grade levels including Grade Ia, Ib, II, III, and IV. Grade Ia is the most severely impaired while Grade IV is the least impaired. Each grade competes alongside riders that have comparable inabilities. The Grades are not determined on skill level but are determined by an international classification process. Classifications are performed at each international competition by trained physical therapists or physicians who perform strength, range of motion and/or coordination tests on the athletes to assess their functional ability and approve them for adaptive equipment. Adaptive equipment is allowed as needed such as modified saddles, additional whips, rubber bands, looped reins and other aids to help compensate for a rider’s disability.
To compare each Para-Equestrian Test to able-bodied Dressage levels Grade 1a is equivalent to Introductory Level, Grade 1b is equivalent to Training Level, Grade II is equivalent to First Level, Grade III is equivalent to Second Level and Grade IV is equivalent to Third Level. Competitions continue to be made possible for riders in each of the Grades through sponsorship and large financial dedication.
Results Team Test Competition Saturday April 28, 2012
H: Lopes-POR C: Amos Jacob-FRA B: Wysocki-USA
Name, Horse, Owner, Country, Score%
1. Donna Ponessa, Silvano, owned by Dr. Michele Miles, USA 74.585%
2. Jody Schloss, Inspector Rebus, owned by Jody Schloss, CAN, 67.665%
3. Courtney King-Dye, Nicolai, owned by Andrea Hart, USA, 65.665%
4. Laura Goldman, NTEC Manchada, owned by Kai Handt, USA, 64.915%
5 Laura Goldman, VPRH Pegasus Vom Niehaus-HOF, owned by Patrick Truxillo, USA, 61.75%
1. Jonathan Wentz, Silvano, owned by Dr. Michele Miles, USA, 69.639%
2. Jonathan Wentz, NTEC Jabriel, owned by Rachel Zent, USA, 61.013%
1. Lauren Barwick, Off To Paris, owned by Equine Canada, CAN, 71.586%
2. Kim Jones, Madoc Dylan, owned by Nancy Hinz, USA, 62.7%
3. Sydney Collier, Nicolai, owned by Andrea Hart, USA, 60.714%
4. Barbara Adside, NTEC Manchada, owned by Kai Handt, USA, 59.681%
1. Wendy Fryke, Lateran, owned by Wendy Fryke, USA, 65.833%
1. Jennifer Baker, Rondo Del Ray, owned by Kathy Jones, USA, 61.559%
2. Iana Gonzalez, Farol, owned by Raul Armendariz, USA, 56.398%
3. Iana Gonzalez, Isleno Arm, owned by Raul Armendariz, USA, 50.914%
Results Team Test Competition Friday April 27, 2012
H: Amos Jacob-FRA C: Schmutz-USA M: – B: Lopes-POR
Name, Horse, Owner, Country, Score%
1. Donna Ponessa, Silvano, owned by Dr. Michele Miles, USA 69.706%
2. Laura Goldman, VPRH Pegasus Vom Niehaus-HOF, owned by Patrick Truxillo, USA,68.235%
3. Jody Schloss, Inspector Rebus, owned by Jody Schloss, CAN, 67.941%
4. Courtney King-Dye, Nicolai, owned by Andrea Hart, USA, 62.747%,
5. Laura Goldman, NTEC Manchada, owned by Kai Handt, USA, 62.159%
1. Jonathan Wentz, Silvano, owned by Dr. Michele Miles, USA, 69.241%
2. Jonathan Wentz, NTEC Jabriel, owned by Rachel Zent, USA, 68.409%
1. Lauren Barwick, Off To Paris, owned by Equine Canada, CAN, 72.776%
2. Kim Jones, Madoc Dylan, owned by Nancy Hinz, USA, 65.319%
3. Sydney Collier, Nicolai, owned by Andrea Hart, USA, 63.81%
4. Barbara Adside, NTEC Manchada, owned by Kai Handt, USA, 61.033%
1. Wendy Fryke, Lateran, owned by Wendy Fryke, USA, 64.259%
1. Jennifer Baker, Rondo Del Ray, owned by Kathy Jones, USA, 59.791%
2. Iana Gonzalez, Farol, owned by Raul Armendariz, USA, 59.375%
3. Iana Gonzalez, Isleno Arm, owned by Raul Armendariz, USA, 57.397%
For more information about the Spring Classic I and II CPEDI3* Hosted by Houston Dressage Society please visit www.HoustonDressageSociety.org. To view the prize list or show results please visit www.ShowSecretary.com or contact the Show Secretary Susan Peacock phone (405) 749-9777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fast Facts: Spring Classic I CPEDI3* Hosted by Houston Dressage Society
What: Spring Classic I and II CPEDI3* Hosted by Houston Dressage Society
CPEDI3* Name Sponsor: The COR Group – Leslie Rohrer
Where: Great Southwest Equestrian Center
2501 South Mason Rd.
Katy, TX 77450
Thursday, April 26, 2012 – 4:00 p.m. F.E.I CPEDI3* Jog
Friday, April 27, 2012 – 8:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. Para-Equestrian Team Competition
Saturday, April 28, 2012 – 8:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. Para-Equestrian Individual Test
Sunday, April 29, 2012 – -9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Para-Equestrian Freestyle Test
Awards Ceremony will occur after Sunday’s Freestyle Competition
Contacts at Show:
Show Secretary: Susan Peacock, 837 Glenlake Drive, Edmond, OK 73013, Phone: (405) 749-9777, email@example.com, Fax: 866-487-6624
Assistant Secretary: Chris Federer, (513) 833-5081, firstname.lastname@example.org
Show Manager: Ed Lavallee, 300 Cedar Ridge St., Wylie, TX 75098, (214) 336-7125, email@example.com
Licensee Contact: Kathleen Jones, Houston Dressage Society, firstname.lastname@example.org
About the FEI:
International level competition is governed by the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland. Both able-bodied and Para-Equestrian riders compete under special FEI rules. Judges are licensed by the FEI to officiate at international competitions around the world. Equestrian sports are the only Olympic sport where men and women compete directly against each other.
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).