Rebecca Hart at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Photos (C) SusanJStickle.com.
U.S. Team Earns Fifth Place in Nations Cup
Mulhouse, France – June 30, 2015 – Mulhouse CPEDI3* concluded on Sunday, June 21, 2015, with the Para-Equestrian Dressage Freestyle Tests. All three U.S. Para-Dressage athletes qualified for the exciting Freestyle Tests including Annie Peavy, Rebecca Hart, and Deborah Stanitski. The Mulhouse, France CPEDI3* was scheduled June 18-21, 2015 with the Team Test on Friday, June 19, followed by the Individual Test on June 20, and the Freestyle Test on June 21. The Mulhouse CPEDI3* Ground Jury includes 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*. These riders will stay in Europe where they will compete at the Iberherrn, Germany CPEDI3*, scheduled July 2-5, 2015. Rebecca Hart of Unionville, Penn. and Schroeter’s Romani was consistent in her tests in Mulhouse maintaining the 3rd place position in Grade II. The duo scored a 71.9% in their Freestyle Test on Sunday. Hart owns Schroeter’s Romani in conjunction with Margaret Duprey, Cherry Knoll Farm, Sycamore Station Equine Division, Barbara Summer, The Ruffolos, and Will and Sandy Kimmel. Lauren Barwick of Canada and Off to Paris took the blue ribbon with a 72.5%.
U.S. rider Deborah Stanitski of Charleston, South Carolina and her horse Biara G earned a 67.7% in Grade II. Annie Peavy of Avon, Conn. scored a 68.45% with Ozzy Cooper in Grade III earning a 4th place ribbon. First place in Grade III went to Roberta Sheffield and Double Agent from Canada with a 70.805. The United States earned a fifth place finish in the Nations Cup behind Belgium, France, Canada, and Russia. The United States Team was led by stand-in Chef d’Equipe Heather Blitz. She noted, “Our Nation’s Cup team at Mulhouse showed class, sportsmanship and talent that would make anyone proud. All three of our athletes were competing on horses who are relatively new to them so although they’re already successful, they can all look forward to more strength and development ahead of them. They support each other and encourage other teams as well. It was an honor to be their Chef d’Equipe in France.”
Heather Blitz was not only the appointed Chef d’Equipe for Mulhouse CPEDI3* but she is also the coach of Grade III athlete and 2014 World Equestrian Games individual Annie Peavy. Peavy had three great days with both her horses, Trakehner gelding Ozzy Cooper the Hanoverian horse Lancelot Warrior. Peavy is also a Young Rider eligible for the inaugural 2015 North American Junior Young Rider Para-Dressage Championships but will stay in Europe to compete in Germany this summer. Over the past three days Peavy, Lancelot Warrior and Ozzy Cooper have maintained strong scores in Grade III. Peavy finished the show with a smooth Grade III Freestyle Test.
Peavy noted, “I was excited to come in fourth in such an experienced and competitive class. I loved the way Ozzy felt throughout my test. He keeps improving at the shows and I love how hard he works for me. I couldn’t do this without my trainer Heather Blitz and I am so happy she is with me in Europe.”
Two-time Paralympian (2008, 2012), two-time World Equestrian Games athlete (2010, 2014), and six -time USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Champion Rebecca Hart is used to traveling overseas for international competition and her coach Todd Flettrich has made this journey even easier for her. Hart had three consecutive days of a third place finish in Mulhouse. Hart commented, “I was quite happy with how Romani felt in the arena on Sunday. We had harmony and were right on our music. I was excited to see two judges placed us first, one with a huge 76%. It gives me confidence to have had these results happen on the European stage. My trainer Todd Flettrich was there with super coaching and encouragement to go in and give it my all. I am so thankful for my sponsor Margaret Duprey of Cherry Knoll Farm for making this European tour possible and to Mr. and Mrs. Kimmel, Mr. and Mrs. Ruffolo and Barbara Summer for helping me become partners with my wonderful Romani.”
Hart has been a great mentor for newer Para-Dressage rider Deborah Stanitski who is riding her horse Biara G and has coach Lauren Palmer by her side. The Freestyle Test was Stanitski’s first time showcasing the test with Biara G.
Stanitski responded, “I was so happy to make it to the freestyle round in my international debut. After reading the judges’ feedback I now know where Biara and I can pick up more points and I’m excited to try again at our next competition in Germany in two weeks.”
U.S. Riders will head to Iberherrn, Germany CPEDI3* next to compete from July 2-5, 2015. On June 2, is the FEI jog, followed by the Team Test on June 3, the Individual Test on June 4, and the Freestyle competition on June 5, 2015.
For more information about the Mulhouse CPEDI3*, please visit: http://www.shm-waldeck.fr.
By: Lindsay Y. McCall
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).