Lexington, KY – The United States Equestrian Federation has named the team for the 2012 Paralympic Games. The four athletes representing the U.S. in London turned heads at the Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championship and Selection Trial held in Gladstone, NJ in June.
The following two U.S. team veterans and two rising stars will compose the team:
Rebecca Hart (Unionville, PA) and Jessica Ransehousen’s Lord Ludger
Jonathan Wentz (Richardson, TX) and Kai Handt’s NTEC Richter Scale
Donna Ponessa (New Windsor, NY) and Wesley Dunham’s Western Rose
Dale Dedrick (Ann Arbor , MI) and her own Bonifatius
Reigning USEF National Champion Hart makes her second trip to the Paralympic Games after having represented her country at the 2008 Games. The Grade II rider will utilize the experience that earned her national titles in 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012 when she competes in Greenwich Park.
Mexico City, Mexico – November 15, 2011 – Sitting aboard a horse with unbelievable mountain views from all angles in a brand new facility was what eighteen para-equestrians experienced at the most recent CPEDI3* event. The red carpet was rolled out for United States Para-Equestrian Team at the 2011 CPEDI3* in Mexico City, Mexico at Rancho San Juan. Eighteen Para-Equestrians competed under five stringent judges for their respective country November 10-12, 2011. The five countries represented were Mexico, United States, Venezuela, Norway, and Argentina. The United States Team included Chef d’Equipe Kai Handt, Para-Equestrian Donna Ponessa (Grade Ia), Jonathan Wentz (Grade Ib), and Dale Dedrick (Grade III) who gave flawless interpretations of their tests to take home the Team Gold for the United States.
This competition was unique because they did not ride their own mounts, each of the para-equestrians rode a horse that was graciously donated by The Mexico Para-Equestrian Team. The United States Para-Equestrian Team rode horses donated by The Baitenmanns (Erica Baitenmann is a Mexico Para-Equestrian rider). Besides earning the Team Gold the United States Para-Equestrians excelled individually as well. Donna Ponessa of New Windsor, NY captured gold medals in Grade Ia Freestyle, Individual, and Team competition while riding Gecko, USEF 2011 Para-Equestrian Dressage National Champion Jonathan Wentz from Tyler, TX also earned three gold medals in each Grade Ib test aboard Ariello, Grade II rider, Dale Dedrick from Ann Arbor, MI earned the Silver Medal on Bruno in Mexico City rounding out a spectacular weekend for the United States.