Heather Blitz. Photo courtesy of HeatherBlitz.info.
Wellington, FL – March 29, 2014 – Horse Radio Network’s once-a-month Para-Equestrian Show featured dressage and para-dressage trainer Heather Blitz and Jim Koford. Each trainer talked about their experience working with an international high-performance para-dressage athlete. They spoke of the parallel comparison between able-bodied dressage and para-dressage. Both had their athletes on the show including Angela Peavy (USA), a grade III, rider who trains with Blitz and 2010 World Equestrian Games athlete Mary Jordan (USA), Grade IV, who trains with Jim Koford. Episode #252 was hosted by Paralympian Hope Hand and dressage rider Regina Cristo.
To view and listen to episode #252, please visit: http://dressageradio.horseradionetwork.com/2014/03/27/dressage-radio-episode-252-para-dressage-coaches-and-students-with-heather-blitz-and-jim-koford/.
About Heather Blitz:
Heather Blitz of Wellington, FL is the 2012 U.S. Olympic Dressage Team reserve rider and 2011 Pan American Games Team Gold Medalist and Individual Silver Medalist. Blitz’s love for horses started in Kansas where she grew up on her parents’ farm. Blitz began competing in dressage competitions in 1994 and has won numerous regional and national titles on an array of horses. Her career-changing horse came in the form of Danish Warmblood stallion Rambo DVE 373, whom she began training as a 12-year-old. The pair showed at the CDI Grand Prix level throughout Florida and at the prestigious Dressage at Devon where they placed third. Blitz is currently working with Paragon, an 18-hand Danish Warmblood bred by Oak Hill Ranch.
–Blitz and Paragon claimed the Reserve Championship in the USEF National Intermediaire I Dressage Championships at the 2011 Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Festival of Champions.
–Represented the U.S. at the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico winning Team Gold and Individual Silver medals.
–Blitz and Paragon finished second in both the Grand Prix CDI3* and the Grand Prix Special at the World Dressage Masters Palm Beach CDI4* presented by International Polo Club Palm Beach.
–WEF Dressage Classic: Blitz and Paragon won the Grand Prix Freestyle and finished third in the Grand Prix Test.
–The 2012 year also saw Blitz and Paragon in Gladstone, New Jersey for the 2012 USEF Dressage Festival of Champions and Selection Trials for the U.S. Dressage Team in June. After four rounds of competition over two weekends, Blitz finished sixth overall with a combined total of 70.384%.
About Jim Koford: (excerpt from KofordDressage.com)
James has been immersed in the dressage community for the last 35 years. He was catapulted into the FEI dressage ring aboard the Pinto Dutch Warmblood stallion, Art Deco. James started showing Art Deco as a 4-year-old and advanced him to Grand Prix. This popular duo became one of the most recognizable FEI combinations on the East Coast.
As a competitor, James enjoys tremendous success on a wide variety of horses. He has competed in the Grand Prix on six different mounts and has guided over twenty horses to the FEI levels. James’s horses have won numerous regional and national awards from Training Level to Grand Prix. Some of his most successful horses include the stallions Donatelli II winning at Grand Prix with scores to 72% (2007) and Don Principe winning thirteen straight PSG and I1 classes in 2008.
James distinguishes himself as one of the very few riders in the world to compete at both Four Star eventing and Grand Prix dressage. James trained and competed the horses Bank On It and Max Motoring at Essex**, Bromont**, Fair Hill*** and Rolex****. James continues his commitment to the eventing community as a highly sought after dressage coach, for eventing riders at the national and international levels.
In 2009, Koford had success with a number of horses. Aboard Don Principe, Koford took home top honors in the Grand Prix Freestyle at the WEF Dressage Classic, the Grand Prix Test at the KDA Spring Warm-Up Show, and the Grand Prix Test and Freestyle at the KDA 23rd Annual Dressage Show. Koford, aboard Rhett, was awarded the Anne Barlow Ramsay grant from The Dressage Foundation to travel to Germany to train and compete. Koford and Rhett trained with Michael Klimke in Germany and competed in the small tour at national shows in Germany.
2010 led Rhett and Koford back to Germany where they successfully competed in Open Grand Prix classes at national shows. The pair also competed in the Medien Cup classes for young Grand Prix horses. The same year they secured two wins at the USDF Region 1 Dressage Championships.
Koford and Rhett made their debut at the CDI Grand Prix level in 2011. In Wellington, they capped off a great season with a win in the International Horse Sport Champions Cup Grand Prix. They had another win that year in the Grand Prix Test at Dressage at Devon. In addition, they finished out the year with two more Grand Prix wins at the USDF Region 1 Dressage Championships. Also in 2011, Koford also won two Grand Prix classes at Dressage at Lexington aboard Pharaoh.
2012 began with a win aboard Pharaoh in the Grand Prix Freestyle at the Wellington Dressage show. Koford finished second with Rhett in the Grand Prix Special at the Wellington Dressage show as well. Koford and Pharaoh finished second at the Florida Dressage Classic with an exceptional freestyle performance. In June of 2012, Koford and Rhett were selected to compete in the 2012 USEF Dressage Festival of Champions and Selection Trials for the U.S. Dressage Team. They finished 12th with an overall score of 67.858%. Rhett and Koford continued their success in 2013 with a second place finish the Grand Prix Special at the World Dressage Masters.
Susan is on the Board of Trustees of the US Driving for the Disabled and is on the PATH Driving subcommittee.
Once a month, the Dressage Radio Show becomes the Para-Equestrian Show Hosted by Lindsay McCall, of the United States Para-Equestrian Association, focusing on international FEI discipline Para-Dressage. Although Para-Dressage is the main event, listeners have the opportunity to learn more about the skillful U.S. Para-Driving Team, the Para-Reining discipline, Para-Vaulting, and the future of Para-Jumping. The para-equestrian dressage show will feature a line-up of guests including Olympians, Paralympians, trainers, coaches, professionals, amateur riders, young riders, and equine enthusiasts. The intention of the radio show is to educate, inform, and entertain listeners on the para-equestrian Dressage discipline.
To learn more about the USPEA, please visit www.USPEA.org or e-mail President Hope Hand at email@example.com. You may also e-mail the host of the para-equestrian segment Lindsay McCall at Lindsay@uspea.org.
About the Horse Radio Network:
The Horse Radio Network is the voice of the horse world with listeners in over 40 countries. Eight different entertaining shows cover all aspects of the horse world and you can listen any time on your computer, MP3 player or smart phone.
We believe that people own horses for fun and entertainment. Why else would you put up with the early morning feedings, stall cleaning, vet bills, long trips to shows, empty bank accounts and everything else that goes with being a horse owner?
Our goal with these shows is to help your chores go a little faster and to put a smile on your face! Learn more at www.horseradionetwork.com.
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Fantastic weekly shows:
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Horse Tip Daily at www.horsetipdaily.com
Western Radio Show at www.westernradioshow.com
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).