Left to Right – Rider Deborah Stanitski with ribbon and trainer Lauren Palmer; Rebecca Hart (sitting) with Todd Flettrich; and Annie Peavy with Heather Blitz. Photo By: Rebecca Reno.
Mulhouse, France – June 23, 2015 – Consistency is key for two-time Paralympian Rebecca Hart (Grade II) and Schroeter’s Romani who kicked off her European tour this past weekend at the Mulhouse CPEDI3*, representing the United States well with no less than a trio of top finishes.
“Basically what we’ve been working on is getting the consistently and the strength, which is what we’ve always been working on,” Hart described. “Because she is so dynamic of the horse we want to show off that brilliance, but keep it consistent at the same time, which is always challenging for every rider. I’m very excited to say we’ve finally got the program and everything straightened out, and figured out what really works for her. It’s so important for my own body and for her to figure out what we need in the warm-up, and what we need to shine in the ring. I think we’ve got the system down that works for both of us, and it’s nice because the timing is working out for us.”
The Mulhouse CPEDI3* began with the Team Test on Friday, June 19, where Hart and Romani earned a 69% to capture the third place finish. She duplicated her efforts during the Individual Test on June 21, where they once again finished in the third place with the score of 68.371%. Although Hart was disappointed with the score, she admitted that she felt more confident when riding the test, and that they showed more expression.
The Mulhouse CPEDI3* Ground Jury included Kathy Amos-Jacob (FRA) 4*, Jan Holger Holtschmit (GER) 4*, Sarah Leitch (GBR) 5*, Eva Maria Bachinger (AUT) 5*, Sarah Rodger (GBR) 5*, Jose Baud (FRA) 4*, Marco Orsini (GER) 5*, and Genevieve Pfister (SUI) 3*.
Hart returned Sunday afternoon to put in an impressive 71.9% Freestyle-score, earning the high percentage from Pfister on “E” who scored Hart the highest during the Freestyle with a score of 76.750. Hart is excited to use the feedback from their first show to grow as an international contingent as they prepare for Rio 2016. Hart was joined by trainer Todd Flettrich, and Margaret Duprey of Cherry Knoll Farm, Inc. will join the team at the Iberherrn, Germany CPEDI3*, scheduled July 2-5, 2015.
Hart said, “These are both the 3-star events as well as Olympic qualifiers. They help give you ‘street cred,’ which I think is important in getting you seen by the international judges while also giving you confidence with your horse. I think it’s really important to experience those things before you get to a major championship such as Rio.”
Hart’s name is a familiar one in the dressage sphere, earning the title of National U.S. Paralympic Champion in 2006, 2008, 2009, and 2010. She competed last year at the World Equestrian Games for the United States Equestrian Team, and has also shown in two Paralympics for the USA. She now has her sights set on the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.