Ginny Leal, Groom Howard Leal, Navigator Leslie Berndl, Photo: Pics Of You.
Southern Pines, NC – July 1, 2018 – Para-Equestrian drivers Ginny Leal (Grass Valley, CA) and Stefanie Putnam (now based in Louisville, KY) recently participated in the Southern Pines CDE in North Carolina. Leal had the opportunity to drive the advanced level pony “Zoobie” owned by Teressa Kandianis in the April 12-15, 2018 event in one of the first Para-Driving Intermediate classes held in the United States modeled after the FEI Para-Driving World Championship. A previous para-driving event was held in California at Sargent’s CDE in May to prepare para-equestrian drivers for the “World’s” to be held at Kronenberg, The Netherlands, August 28 – September 2, 2018. Team USA finalists will be announced in the near future.
Stefanie Putnam drove her own “Shadow” at the event taking the Preliminary Single Horse Championship. Putnam has moved to Louisville, Kentucky permanently where she is working with the Frazier Institute and Research Center as the eleventh human, the first woman, in the ground-breaking Spinal Cord Injury “Victory over Paralysis” epidural stimulation implant research study. Putnam will not be applying to be considered for Team USA in 2018. Putnam explained, “My part in the Frazier study is funded for another year, and they have invested enormous time, energy, and resources in me. We are beginning to make history that will benefit not only the Spinal Cord Injury community, but also other disabling conditions such as Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, cardio vascular issues, and more. Where there was no hope, there now is hope. To be a part of such a gift to humanity is more than I could possibly ask for.”