Roxanne Trunnell and Dolton. Photo by Lindsay Y. McCall for the USPEA.
Wellington, Florida – January 21, 2021 – Paralympian and Para-Dressage World Equestrian Games Athlete Roxanne Trunnell had a fantastic finish to the 2020 calendar year. United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation awarded Roxanne Trunnell the 2021 Whitney Stone Cup and US Equestrian Federation awarded Dolton, owned by Flintwoode Farms LLC and Karin Flint, the 2020 International Horse of Honor Award.
The duo of Roxanne Trunnell and Dolton started the 2020 year as the first para-dressage pair to break the 80th percentile in the team or individual test since Sophie Christansen (GBR) in the 2012 London Paralympics. Trunnell and Dolton accomplished this at the 2020 Adequan Global Dressage Festival CPEDI3* with a Grade I team test score of 81.131%, an individual score of 81.964%, and a freestyle of 83.167%. The pair would go on to earn top scores in the following Global Dressage Festival CPEDI3* and further national shows. With the duo’s outstanding scores in 2019 and 2020, Dolton and Trunnell helped lead Team USA to #1 in the world in Para-Dressage. Dolton was also individually ranked #1 in the World in all grades of Para-Dressage. This was the first time in history a U.S. athlete or Team held a world #1 position in Para-Dressage. The pair remained undefeated in 2020.
The 2012 Hanoverian Dolton (by Danone I x Lady, Londonderry) was purchased by international para-dressage athlete Kate Shoemaker as a two-year-old in Germany and later licensed as a Stallion by the German Oldenburg Verband. As a 3-year-old, Shoemaker elected to pursue his sport career, gelded him, and imported him to the United States. His first dressage show as a 4 year-old he won open high point with Shoemaker riding. By the end of his fourth year, he began being groomed as a Grade One Para-Dressage horse. At the beginning of his sixth year, Shoemaker brought him to Wellington to be evaluated by Michel Assouline, USEF Head of Coach Development & Para Dressage Technical Advisor. Roxanne Trunnell was invited to ride him the following day where the perfect combination was made. Flintwoode Farms LLC and Karin Flint then joined as a sponsor to give Roxanne and Dolton an opportunity towards the World Equestrian Games team. Two months later, in April, Roxanne and Dolton entered their first CPEDI3* and FEI World Equestrian Games test event where they finished with the overall high score. After scoring the high score at the final mandatory outing in July they secured an individual spot on the team for the 2018 FEI Longines World Equestrian Games (WEG) Tryon. At the WEG, after helping the team reach their highest placing in history, 5th, Dolton then brought home a medal for the USA in the Freestyle Test putting him among the first U.S. horses to medal in the Para-Dressage freestyle at a championship. He was the youngest para-dressage horse to win a medal at a major international championship. Following his medal win at the 2018 WEG, Flintwoode Farms LLC and Karin Flint purchased Dolton.
With very successful 2018, 2019, and 2020 years Trunnell and Dolton aimed at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. In March 2020, the IOC and the Tokyo Organizing Committee officially announced that the 2020 Summer Olympics and 2020 Summer Paralympics would be postponed to 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, marking the first time that the Paralympics has been postponed. The pair will have the next six months before the June 17-20, 2021 Tryon CPEDI and final Paralympic Observation Event which takes place before the Tokyo Paralympic Games August 24 – September 5, 2021.
Roxanne Trunnell was honored to receive the Whitney Stone Cup. “It was such a surprise to win the Whitney Stone Cup; I hadn’t even expected it. I am always cheering on my teammates because I know how hard all of this is especially as a para-dressage athlete. It is an honor to be recognized among so many great equestrians.”
Trunnell also was thankful for the 2020 International Horse of Honor Award. “I was very proud of Dolton. It takes a special horse to become an outstanding Para-Dressage horse and Dolton at only eight years old has proved to be a very special horse. I would like to thank my parents Sid and Josette Trunnell for moving from Washington to Texas (where Trunnell trained with former Chef d’Equipe Kai Handt) and finally to Florida for me to be able to pursue this horse adventure. Thank you to the owner of Dolton, Karin Flint, for trusting me to pilot her special boy to become a superstar in the Para-Dressage world. Thank you to Anna Forbes, Dolton’s groom, for taking the best care of him and my trainer Andrea Woodard for helping me and Dolton to become great partners. I also want to give a big thank you to the USDF, USEF, USET Foundation, and USPEA for working together to help get USA Para-Dressage into the spotlight. Let’s show the world what the USA Para Dressage Team is made of.”
Hope Hand added, “Both awards were quite an honor to a well deserving pair. We also want to thank US Equestrian President Murray Kessler and his wife Sarah Kessler for their continued support of Para Dressage. This support helped us secure Gold medal coach Michel Assouline and provide competition opportunities for elite riders. These factors made USA Para-Dressage successful at the 2018 World Equestrian Games.”
Hand continued, “I also want to thank Laureen Johnson USEF Director of Para Dressage and Vaulting for her efforts in nominating Roxanne Trunnell for this award.”
Trunnell is the first para dressage rider and only the eighth dressage rider to receive the Whitney Stone Cup in its 40-year history.
The Whitney Stone Cup is awarded annually by the USET Foundation Executive Committee to an active competitor whose consistent excellence in international competition and whose standard for sportsmanlike conduct and contributions as an ambassador for the sport and for the USET Foundation exemplify the Team’s highest ideals and traditions. Roxanne Trunnell joins a long list of outstanding competitors who were previously recognized with this honor.
The Whitney Stone Cup, which was presented to the Team by the Officers and Directors of the USET Foundation, is given in honor of the late Whitney Stone who served as President and Chairman of the Board of the USET, and who was instrumental in the creation of a civilian team when the Army retired from competitive horse sports after 1948.
For more information about the USPEA, please visit www.USPEA.org.