Rebecca Hart Earns 7th USEF High Performance Para-Dressage National Championship

Rebecca Hart and Schroeter’s Romani. Photo (c)SusanJStickle.com.

Annie Peavy garners reserve, Kate Shoemaker takes home the 2015 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championship and competitors top the ranks in the Katy, Texas CPEDI3* and CPEDI1*

Katy, Texas – November 3, 2015 – Accomplished Grade III athlete Rebecca Hart once again took home the USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage High Performance National Championship. Hart maintained the lead over a large field of competitors at the 2015 Championship earning the Leading Athlete award. She also topped the ranks of Grade II in the Katy, Texas CPEDI3* event. Hart is a two-time Paralympian (2008, 2012) and two-time World Equestrian Games athlete (2010, 2014). Annie Peavy earned the 2015 USEF Para-Equestrian High Performance Dressage Reserve Championship with Ozzy Cooper, owned by Rebecca Reno. Winning the 2015 National Para-Equestrian Dressage Championship was Kate Shoemaker and her own Solitaer 40. Kelly Boccia and her own Donauwalzer CSF won the Reserve National Championship. Running concurrently with the National Championship was the Katy, Texas CPEDI3* and CPEDI1*, October 30 – November 1, at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center. Para-Dressage athletes in Grade Ia, Ib, II, III, and IV competed in front of CPEDI ground jury President David Schmutz 4* USA, Eva Maria Bachinger 5* AUS, Gudrun Hofinga 5* GER, Sarah Leitch 5* GBR, and Kristi Wysocki 4* USA, with national judges David Schmutz, “S”, Kristi Wysocki, “S”, and Susan Mandas, “S”. Following a successful Championship, riders will next head to Wellington, Florida for the 2016 Para-Dressage shows at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival.

The weekend went well for Rebecca Hart and her partner, Danish Warmblood Schroeter’s Romani, owned by Rebecca Hart in conjunction with Margaret Duprey, Cherry Knoll Farm, Sycamore Station Equine Division, Barbara Summer, The Ruffolos, and Bill and Sandy Kimmel. In addition to winning the High Performance Championship and earning the Leading Athlete Award, the duo topped the Grade II CPEDI3*.The pair has been campaigning around the world perfecting their tests and earning valuable feedback from judges across Europe. This championship showed Hart that even after a top score she felt Schroeter’s Romani could give even more. She noted, “Having a 74 and finding there is more to get out of her is a great feeling.” They completed the weekend with a Freestyle score of 77.650%.

Hart noted, “I am ecstatic with the National Championships in Houston. It was my lucky number seven. It was a fantastic feeling to retain my title with Romani and win this event for the seventh time. Para-Dressage has grown so much and it has been a pleasure to watch it develop over the years. One of the exciting things has been watching the depth of the field increase as many more talented horses and riders join the sport and raise the bar every year for this competition. I am excited for the future of U.S. Para Dressage. I am incredibly grateful for the support from the awesome team around me. It is a privilege to represent them and share in this victory. A huge thank you to Margaret Duprey, Bill and Sandy Kimmel, and Barbara Summer for partnering with me and seeing the potential in Romani and me. Without their support, I wouldn’t have this amazing horse.”

Hart added, “I just recently moved to Florida full- time and I am honored to ride for Margaret Duprey and Cherry Knoll Farm under the tutelage of Todd Flettrich. Todd has been paramount in helping me build my relationship with Romani over the last year and Margaret has been a longtime friend and supporter of me and the whole sport of Para-Dressage.   It is because of their guidance and support that I am able to ride at the level I do. It’s exciting to see the progress Romani and I have made and I look forward to training intensively in Florida as we continue to ride toward Rio.”

Annie Peavy and Ozzy Cooper. Photo (C) Lindsay Y. McCall
Annie Peavy and Ozzy Cooper. Photo (C) Lindsay Y. McCall

World Equestrian Games athlete Annie Peavy and Rebeca Reno’s nine-year-old Trakehner Ozzy Cooper took home the 2015 USEF High Performance Para-Equestrian Dressage Reserve National Championship.

Peavy noted, “I am very pleased with Ozzy’s performance. We are getting a stronger connection each show and I know there is a bright future for us. I couldn’t have done this without the help from my parents and wonderful groom, Alexia. Thank you to my trainer Heather Blitz for getting us prepared for this championship.”

For the USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championship Kate Shoemaker and her own eight-year-old Hanoverian, Solitaer 40 earned the Championship while Kelly Boccia and her own Rheinlander Stallion Donauwalzer CSF garnered the Reserve Championship.

Kate Shoemaker noted, “Solitaer really impressed me this weekend. We’ve been partnered for 6 weeks and every day we made improvements. This weekend we continued that trend as our half halts came through better each day while we developed better communication and improved the self-carriage. I’m excited as both of my horses have not experienced the big and fantastic atmosphere that the facility, Houston Dressage Society and the countless individuals behinds the scenes provided. Dachstein and Solitaer flourished with the experience and I’m looking forward to getting back to work in preparation for their first CPEDI three star in Wellington. The five judges provided great feedback on each ride. I’d like to extend a special thank you to USEF, the volunteers, show staff, and officials for the fantastic event.”

Kelly Boccia commented, “I am very happy with the outcome for my first CPEDI show. My horse Donauwalzer CSF is a new horse for me and this is our second show so we are still learning how to be a cohesive team. He (Donauwalzer CSF) has an impressive show record thru 4th level. Now I need to improve on my technical accuracy so I can show him to his ability. I want to thank Kai Handt for his support and coaching during this show. In addition, a special thank you to Susanne Hamilton for her encouragement and support in allowing me to own this exceptional horse.”

Riders also competed as a team in the CPEDI3* and CPEDI1*. The USA teams were led by Chef d’Equipe Kai Handt. The CPEDI3* USA Team included Grade Ia athlete Roxanne Trunnell and Royal Dancer; Margaret McIntosh and Rio Rio in Grade Ia; Sydney Collier and Wentworth for Grade Ib, Rebecca Hart and Schroeter’s Romani in Grade II*, and reserve position Grade III rider Angela Peavy and Ozzy Cooper. The CPEDI 1 * USA Team included Grade III riders: Eleanor Brimmer and London Swing; Lara Oles and Bella; Kate Shoemaker and Dachstein; Kelly Boccia and Donauwalzer CSF in Grade II; and reserve rider Pamela Hardin and Quaterjack in Grade III. The CPEDI3* Team scored a 424.764 while the CPEDI1* scored a 402.240.

USPEA President Hope Hand noted, “I am so proud and honored that our U.S. Para-Dressage riders represented their country by showing such high standards of quality horses and riding. This was the best National Championship, bringing together all the high performance riders from both the East and West Coast to meet at the Great South Western Equestrian Center in Houston, Texas. Thank you show management for the Texas warm welcome and for making our stay a wonderful experience.”

USA Team rider and Grade III athlete Ellie Brimmer competed over the week not only in the 2015 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championship but the CPEDI1*. Brimmer noted, “As we continue to grow the sport of Para-Dressage, having these l star opportunities create a great stepping stone between our national shows. Rather than having to immediately jump into the deep end of the three star level, horse and rider combinations have an opportunity to gain experience before presenting themselves as a team candidate at the three star level.”

Riders from Grade Ia, Ib, II, III, and IV competed for multiple accolades including the supreme title of National Champion, Leading Athlete, Grade Champion, and the Lloyd Landkamer Memorial Sportsmanship Award. Earning the Lloyd Landkamer Memorial Sportsmanship Award was National Championship winner Kate Shoemaker.

The Lloyd Landkamer Memorial Sportsmanship is awarded at the USEF Para Equestrian National Championship each year. The Lloyd Landkamer Memorial Sportsmanship Trophy is to be awarded annually to the Para-Dressage Athlete competing at the USEF Para Dressage National Championship who best personifies the high standards and virtues of integrity, sportsmanship, honor, courage, team spirit, good temper and unselfishness. This award is selected through the organizing committee and officials of the competition. They may nominate up to three competitors exemplifying the award definition the day before the final awards ceremony. The athletes participating in the event vote for the winner (one vote per athlete) once the slate has been announced. The winner shall be presented the award during the final awards ceremony. The Perpetual Trophy will be engraved with the annual winner’s plate and maintained by the USEF. A take-home trophy will be given to the recipient of this coveted award. This award was first given in 2014 to Marsha Cullen.

Following a successful 2015 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championship, international Para-Dressage athletes will next compete at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida, in January 2016.

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.

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