Tag Archives: Rebecca Hart

US Olympic Committee Announces Best of September Finalists for Team USA Awards

Laura Graves and Verdades (Shannon Brinkman Photo)

Colorado Springs, Colo. – The United States Olympic Committee announced finalists for the Team USA Awards presented by Dow, Best of September, which recognize the outstanding achievements of Team USA athletes from last month. Fans are invited to vote for their favorite athletes and teams at Awards.TeamUSA.org through midnight Monday, Oct. 8.

A total of eight sports – including basketball, equestrian, Para-equestrian, paratriathlon, shooting, triathlon, volleyball, and wrestling – are represented among the 13 finalists across men’s, women’s and team categories. The finalists’ collective accomplishments tell the inspiring story of U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes year-round.

In addition to Dow, the presenting sponsor, the Team USA Awards are supported by Dick’s Sporting Goods and USG.

SEPTEMBER FINALISTS

Male Athlete of the Month

Matt Anderson (West Seneca, New York), Indoor Volleyball
Named best opposite at the FIVB World Championship, finishing as the second-leading scorer and second-leading attacker and helping lead Team USA to its first world championship medal – a bronze – in 24 years.

Mark Barr (Davis, California), Paratriathlon
Capped his undefeated season with a gold medal in the men’s PTS2 at the ITU Paratriathlon World Championships.

G’Angelo Hancock (Colorado Springs, Colorado), Wrestling
Earned the gold medal in the 97 kg. division of the Pytlasinski Memorial International after pinning 2016 Olympic champion and three-time world champion Artur Aleksanyan in the semifinal in 27 seconds.

Vincent Hancock (Eatonton, Georgia), Shooting
Won his fourth world championship title in skeet shooting at the ISSF World Championships, tying the world record in qualification by shooting a perfect 125-125 targets, and tying the finals world record by missing only one target.

McLain Ward (Brewster, New York), Equestrian
Aboard Clinta, anchored the U.S. Jumping Team at the FEI World Equestrian Games, helping Team USA win the gold medal in a jump-off to qualify for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

Female Athlete of the Month

Caitlin Connor (Winnfield, Louisiana), Shooting
Won her first career international gold medal in skeet shooting at the ISSF World Championships, edging six-time Olympic medalist and U.S. teammate Kim Rhode in the final, 57-56.

Laura Graves (Geneva, Florida), Equestrian
Aboard Verdades, claimed the grand prix special individual silver medal and the team silver medal at the FEI World Equestrian Games, becoming the first U.S. dressage combination to lead the FEI Dressage World Rankings.

Rebecca Hart (Wellington, Florida), Para-equestrian
Earned the bronze medal in the individual test and silver in freestyle at the FEI World Equestrian Games, marking the first-ever WEG medals won by a Team USA para-equestrian individual rider.

Allysa Seely (Glendale, Arizona), Paratriathlon
Earned the gold medal in the women’s PTS2 division at the ITU Paratriathlon World Championships, completing her season sweep of the ITU World Paratriathlon Series.

Katie Zaferes (Hampstead, Maryland), Triathlon
Finished third at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final, capturing the ITU World Triathlon Series overall silver medal.

Team of the Month

USA Women’s World Cup Team, Basketball
With just two practices with its complete, 12-member team, won its third straight world cup title – and 10th overall – at the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup, becoming the second women’s basketball team to qualify for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

U.S. Jumping Team, Equestrian
Won a historic gold medal at the FEI World Equestrian Games in a thrilling jump-off against Sweden – marking the first world title for the U.S. since 1986 – and secured a national team quota spot for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

U.S. Men’s World Championship Team, Indoor Volleyball
Earned a historic bronze medal at the FIVB World Championship, marking the first world championship medal for the U.S. in 24 years.

SELECTION PROCESS
Each National Governing Body may nominate one female, one male, and one team per sport discipline. An internal nominating committee selects finalists to advance to the voting round. Votes received from NGB representatives and select members of the media account for 50 percent of the final tally, with the other half determined by online fan voting via Awards.TeamUSA.org.

From the United States Olympic Committee Communications Department

US Equestrian Announces Para-Dressage Team for World Equestrian Games 2018

Lexington, KY – US Equestrian has named four athlete-and-horse combinations to the U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team presented by Deloitte for the FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) Tryon 2018, which will take place September 11-23, 2018. Following the 2017-2018 selection period, the US Equestrian Board of Directors approved the following combinations for the FEI Nominated Entry List.

Rebecca Hart (Wellington, Fla.), Grade III, with El Corona Texel, Rowan O’Reilly’s nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding

Angela Peavy (Wellington, Fla.), Grade IV, with Royal Dark Chocolate, Rebecca Reno’s 10-year-old Oldenburg mare

Kate Shoemaker (Peoria, Ariz.), Grade IV, with Solitaer 40, the 11-year-old Hanoverian stallion she owns with Craig and Deena Shoemaker

Roxanne Trunnell (Rowlett, Texas), Grade I, and Kate Shoemaker’s Dolton, a six-year-old Hanoverian gelding

For more information about FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018, visit Tryon2018.com.

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.

Hart Qualifies for Freestyle as Team Competition Concludes at Rio Paralympic Games

Rebecca Hart and Romani (Alexandre Loureiro/Stringer)

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Following five days of Team and Individual tests, Paralympic equestrian team competition concluded Thursday afternoon at the Deodoro Equestrian Center. Rebecca Hart was first down centerline for the U.S. Team in the Grade II Individual test, scoring 67.714%. In the Grade Ia Individual test, individual competitor Roxanne Trunnell produced a score of 69.565%, while team representative, Margaret McIntosh, scored 66.217%. The U.S. finished 12th in team standings. Great Britain secured their 10th consecutive Team Gold medal, having topped the team competition since para-dressage’s inception at the Paralympic Games in 1996. Germany won Silver, while The Netherlands took Bronze.

The Grade II Individual tests kicked off Thursday morning at the Deodoro Equestrian Center. Hart (Wellington, Fla.) and Romani, her own 2002 Danish Warmblood mare, executed a respectable test and qualified for Friday’s Freestyle. Though the pair never quite found their rhythm, it was a clean test that placed them ninth in the class.

“It was not the test that I wanted so I am disappointed. Everything is a learning process though and you go with what you have at the moment; we did the best we could with it. I couldn’t have done anything differently, it was just not our moment,” Hart explained.

Speaking to her experience at her third Paralympic Games, Hart said, “It has been wonderful. It’s been a pleasure to be here in Rio where everyone has been so hospitable, welcoming, and very gracious.”

Riding as an Individual for the U.S. in the Grade Ia Individual test, Trunnell delivered a solid test aboard Royal Dancer, Julia Handt’s 2005 Westphalian gelding. The pair overcame a bobble during the first centerline to perform a harmonious test that placed them 10th in a very competitive field.

“I thought the test was good,” said Trunnell. “Royal was a good boy, especially in the free walk. We have been working on relaxing and he just flowed with it. Compared to the Team test, he felt more relaxed in the arena.”

This was Trunnell’s first Paralympic Games and she commented on the event, saying, “It is also Royal’s first Paralympics so it’s nice that we are going through it together. It’s not something I could have ever imagined, there are so many more people here than I expected. The crowds have been really respectful of the lower grades which we don’t always get, so that has been really nice.”

Riding as the final member of Team USA, McIntosh and her own Rio Rio, a 2006 Rheinland mare, placed 20th in the Grade Ia Individual test.

“The weather was so beautiful today in comparison to how hot it has been, so my horse was very happy out there,” said McIntosh.

Competing in her first major championship of any kind, McIntosh stated that while the actual competition experience was similar to a normal horse show, the exciting part of the Games for her has been staying in the Athlete Village. “I am in awe of the courage, determination, and effort that these athletes put into their daily lives, let alone what it takes to compete at this level and excel at their own sports. It’s been overwhelming to walk around the village and to see so many vibrant people at the top of their game.”

Live and detailed scores

From the USEF Communications Department

US Paralympic Equestrian Team Fit and Ready for Competition in Rio

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Equestrian competition at the Rio Paralympic Games got underway at the Deodoro Equestrian Center Saturday with the horse inspection. A total of 76 athlete-and-horse combinations representing 29 countries, including 14 in the team competition, are set to compete over the course of the week for Paralympic medals and national pride. The U.S. will be represented by the team of Sydney Collier, Rebecca Hart, Margaret McIntosh, and Angela Peavy. Roxanne Trunnell will represent the U.S. in Individual competition. The U.S. squad is led by U.S. Para-Dressage Chef d’Equipe Kai Handt.

The U.S. athletes will compete as follows:

Sunday, September 11

Pathfinding for the U.S. will be Grade III athlete and first-time Paralympian Peavy (Avon, Conn. and Wellington, Fla.) riding Heather Blitz and Rebecca Reno’s Lancelot Warrior, a 2002 Hanoverian gelding. Peavy was the 2016 and 2015 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage High Performance Division Reserve National Champion. She and Lancelot Warrior were Team Gold medalists and Grade III Individual Champions at the Wellington CPEDI3* in January.

Grade Ib athletes will perform their Team tests Sunday afternoon. Representing the U.S. will be the youngest athlete in the field, Collier (Ann Arbor, Mich.), competing in her first Paralympics with Wesley Dunham’s 2003 Oldenburg mare, Western Rose. The pair began the year with strong placings at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival and went on to become the 2016 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage High Performance Division National Champions in June.

Monday, September 12

In Grade Ia, the U.S. team will see Margaret “Gigi” McIntosh (Reading, Pa.) and her longtime partner, Rio Rio, a 2006 Rheinland mare. Though Rio will mark the pair’s first team appearance in a Paralympic Games or World Championships, they have had consistent top results over the past three years. During this year’s winter season in Wellington, Fla., they posted five wins in Grade Ia CPEDI3* competition, including as members of the Gold medal-winning U.S. Team.

Also riding in the Grade Ia will be individual Trunnell (Rowlett, Texas) in her Paralympic debut, aboard Royal Dancer, Julia Handt’s 2005 Westphalian gelding. The pair has been competing at the international level together since early 2015 and have always placed within the top four. They were a part of the U.S. Team that clinched the Team Gold medal at the Wellington CPEDI3* in January.

Tuesday, September 13

Anchoring the U.S. Team will be two-time Paralympian Hart (Wellington, Fla,) with her own Schroeters Romani, a 2002 Danish Warmblood mare. Competing as a Grade II athlete, Hart won in all of her outings with Schroeters Romani during the winter season, also contributing to the Gold medal-win for the U.S. Team at the Wellington CPEDI3*.

Team medals will be awarded on Friday based on the top three scores from each team in both the Team and Individual tests. Individual tests begin on Tuesday with Grade III on Tuesday and continue Wednesday with Grades IV and Ib, and Thursday with Grades II and Ia. Medals will be awarded for the Individual tests. Freestyle tests take place on Friday with another set of medals being awarded to each grade.

From the USEF Communications Department

USA Para-Dressage Riders Successful at Deauville CPEDI3* in France

Rebecca Hart and Schroeter’s Romani. Photo provided by Rebecca Hart.

Rebecca Hart and Schroeter’s Romani Top Grade II and Annie Peavy and Lancelot Warrior Score Well in Grade III

Deauville, France – April 12, 2016 – USA Para-Equestrian Dressage athletes Rebecca Hart and Annie Peavy had a successful weekend at the Deauville, France, CPEDI3*. The Deauville CPEDI*** (Concours Para-équestre de Dressage International) took place April 7-10, 2016 at the Pôle International du Cheval. Hart with Schroeter’s Romani, owned in conjunction with Margaret Duprey, Cherry Knoll Farm, Barbara Summer, and Bill and Sandy Kimmel, earned a second place in the Grade II FEI Team Test, a first place in the Individual Test on Saturday with a 71.371%, and a third place in the Freestyle on Sunday. Annie Peavy and Lancelot Warrior, owned by Rebecca Reno, competed in Grade III against 25 Para-Dressage athletes from around the world. The duo garnered a fifth place in the Team Test, a tenth in the Individual, and a fourth place ribbon in the Freestyle. Both Hart and Peavy flew over to Europe at the beginning of April for the opportunity to compete on the world stage against their European counterparts before the U.S. Paralympic Selection Trials in June and the 2016 Rio Paralympics. Each rider also knew how important it was for them to be evaluated by the FEI 5* ground jury in Deauville since those judges will also be in Rio in September. The Deauville ground jury included President Anne Prain (FRA), Sarah Leitch GBR, Marc Urban BEL, Marco Orsini GER, Technical Delagate Carlos Lopes (POR), Hanneke Gerritsen (NED), and Kiel Myhre (NOR).

Hart, a seven time USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Champion, two-time Paralympian (2008, 2012) and two-time World Equestrian Games athlete (2010, 2014), was excited to travel back to Europe for another opportunity to showcase Schroeter’s Romani’s talent and gain valuable feedback from the judging panel.

Hart noted, “It has been a wonderful experience getting to travel and compete with Annie. It’s been a great way to do the European circuit.  We are able to keep it light and fun, even when the pressure is on at a major CPEDI.  It makes the whole experience so much more enjoyable.  It’s the true meaning of work hard/play hard.  I am so happy to see the results that we have been achieving. Annie rocked it in an incredibly large and competitive Grade three class with top finishes, and I couldn’t have asked for a better result with Romani. She came in strong for this competition. She was super in the all three tests.  Winning the individual, which is the first time I have ever won an individual championship in Europe.  It was a great way to start the season and I hope to get to hear the national anthem again this year.”

Hart continued, “The freestyle was a great learning moment.  She felt fabulous throughout the performance.  We were in the mid-70s; we did our new freestyle with a full walk pirouette, which is an unusual element.  We had to add some variety and make it different.  We have used the choreography before, but it was discussed between the judges here and was deemed disallowed, which is a mandatory hit to the choreography score.  It dropped our score to a 71.3% for third, but I am still thrilled with the result.  We are re-working the choreography and it was great to learn this now, rather than at our nationals or if we make the team, in Rio.  It was a lovely event and I can’t thank the organizers enough for hosting us.”

Hart acknowledged, “I also have to thank my incredible team at Cherry Knoll Farm.  Margaret Duprey enabled me to come on this European trip and I think it was an invaluable experience.   Without her amazing support of not only me, but the whole sport of US Para-Dressage, I would not be able to do this.  I also want to thank Todd Flettrich for his wonderful tutelage and guidance through this entire year.  We have truly stepped up our game and he has helped me to build the confidence and partnership with Romani and it’s showing in the results.  I also have to thank my amazing grooms Hannah Hassinger and Fernando Ortega.  They keep Romani at her best at home and on the road. They put in long hard days and enable us to do our best when the pressure is on.  Also to my amazing owners and supporters who believed in Romani and me from the start and put us on the Road to Rio: Margaret Duprey, Bill and Sandy Kimmel, Barbara Summer, Brigitte Byrialsen, and Sycamore Station.  This is truly a team effort; without these amazing people we wouldn’t be here and sharing in these results.”

Annie Peavy and Lancelot Warrior. Photo (C) Lindsay Y. McCall
Annie Peavy and Lancelot Warrior. Photo (C) Lindsay Y. McCall

Annie Peavy, a 2014 World Equestrian Games individual, added, “Competing at this CPEDI gave me lots of confidence going into the selection trials. It was tough competition with 17 nations. Lance is a partner and I mean that in the truest sense, he brings out the best in me and I strive to bring out the best in him and not let him down.”

Peavy continued, “Becca Hart never ceases to impress me with her riding and approach to competition. She is focused and continues to up the game in America. I consider myself fortunate to call her a friend.

Peavy concluded, “I can’t thank Heather Blitz enough for coaching me through a wonderful weekend. I also have to thank my parents; I could not have done this without their endless support.”

Peavy along with her team and coach Heather Blitz will be staying in Europe to attend Waregem CPEDI3* April 21-24, before heading home for the Selection Trials.

Hart and coach Todd Flettrich will head back to the United States to prepare for the 2016 United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Paralympic Equestrian Team Selection Trials, Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships, and Open Para-Dressage National Show scheduled June 3-5, 2016 at Waterloo Hunt Club in Grass Lake, Michigan. The 2016 Rio Paralympic Equestrian Games are scheduled for September 11-16, 2016 at the Olympic Equestrian Centre in Deodoro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. For more information about the The Deauville CPEDI*** (Concours Para-équestre de Dressage International) or for results, please visit http://www.handiequicompet.fr/en/index.html.

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.

USA Victorious at $10,000 CPEDI3* Para-Equestrian Dressage Tour

Rebecca Hart and Schroeter’s Romani. Photos by Lindsay Y. McCall.

Wellington, FL – January 26, 2016 – Para-Dressage riders from the USA and Canada concluded the 2016 Para-Equestrian Dressage Tour on Sunday, January 24, with the breathtaking Freestyle Test competition held in the Stadium at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. Beautiful Florida, known for its temperate climate during the winter, threw all it had at the Para-Dressage riders. Over three days riders were drenched with rain, blown by gusts of up to 50 miles per hour, shaken by 39 degree mornings, and had the pleasure of a helicopter landing beside the ring. When the equestrian competitions were cancelled around Wellington, the Para-Dressage riders kept going thanks to the quick and thought out process of show management and volunteers at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival. These athletes never complained, they never whimpered – they are used to giving it their all no matter the set-backs. These riders showed how professional they were not only by their response to inclement weather but by their consistent outstanding scores over the weekend. The FEI ground jury this weekend included Sarah Leitch (GBR), Marc Urban (BEL), and Dr Jan Holger Holtschmit (GER). The $10,000 CPEDI3* was presented by Mission Control, Mane Stream, courtesy of Rowan O’Riley, Adequan®, and Nutrena. The two week Para-Equestrian Dressage Tour (January 8-10 and January 22-24) was the final opportunity in the United States to qualify for the 2016 Paralympics in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Earning the High Point Overall championship for a second week was Rebecca Hart (USA) and Schroeter’s Romani, owned by Hart in conjunction with Margaret Duprey, Cherry Knoll Farm, Barbara Summer, and Bill and Sandy Kimmel. Roxanne Trunnell (USA) and NTEC Royal Dancer, owned by Julia Handt, garnered Reserve Champion High Point Rider. The overall grade winners were: Roxanne Trunnell and NTEC Royal Dancer (USA) in Grade Ia; Ashley Gowanlock and Ferdonia 2 (CAN), owned by Lauren Massey in Grade Ib; Rebecca Hart and Schroeter’s Romani (USA) in Grade II; Angela Peavy and Lancelot Warrior (USA), owned by Rebecca Reno, in Grade III; and Mary Jordan and Rubicon 75, owned by Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center, in Grade IV.

From the results of the $10,000 CPEDI3* in Wellington, the 2016 U.S. Paralympic Equestrian Team Selection Trials in just 6 months will feature superb horse and rider combinations.

U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Chef d’Equipe Kai Handt commented, “Our team really showed us that they can compete on their horses under any circumstances. Our top six horses that we have right now competed really well. They were unfazed by everything including helicopters, winds, and tents flopping. We would like to see some scores a point or two higher but under the circumstances these athletes rode every bit of what they could get out of their horses. They rode their best scores and performed well. The horses were consistent, the athletes were consistent, and I think the team has come together very well. I think we have the consistency down now. Before we would have a good ride one day or one show and I think now we have consistent rides and the scores are showing that. The only thing they can improve at this point are little. From a 7 to an 8 or an 8 to a 9 are very minor adjustments. It’s always precision with Para-Dressage. You can improve precision with better preparation. Fine tune, look at the videos, look at tests. They are all capable of pulling up 4 or 5 more points out of their scores. They ride exceptional horses. Now they just have to ride the daylight out of the test.”

Handt continued, “Not only were the riders great but this whole venue was fantastic. It was really good prep for Rio. We have a very young team, new horses, lots of changes, and it all worked out really well this weekend. The plan is there, there is a support team, we have excellent sponsors, the grooms are there, and there is no drama. They all help each other out and everyone supports each other. Everything runs as a well-oiled machine. Which it should be at this point in time and I couldn’t be any happier than the results we have right now. By the time they get to selection trials they will all perform really well.”

As the High Point Champion, Grade II Overall winner over both weeks Rebecca Hart has showcased her amazing talent in the ring. “I was very happy with my tests this weekend including my freestyle,” said Hart. “That was the second time we went through the freestyle and we hit all the music points the way I wanted it. Over the entire weekend I was thrilled with how Romani’s and my relationship and trust has grown from where we were two years ago to where we are now. It’s been a remarkable improvement. The relationship with Todd Flettrich, Margaret Duprey, and Fernando Ortega at Cherry Knoll Farm has been wonderful with helping us to create that. To be able to handle a helicopter landing next to us made me have more confidence and trust with Romani to know she trusts me that much.”

Hart continued, “As the selection trials approach we are going to keep working on the same things with Todd, Margaret, and Fernando. We will build form that same plan since it seems to be working. We need to work on a little more power, a little more harmony, more flow but really just keep doing the same things we are doing. It’s the same job different sandbox.”

Roxanne Trunnell and NTEC Royal Dancer
Roxanne Trunnell and NTEC Royal Dancer

Roxanne Trunnell (USA) and NTEC Royal Dancer took home the High Point Reserve Championship and the Grade Ia overall accolade. Trunnell commented, “Everything went better this week especially since we fixed the freestyle from the last show. The movements went better with the music and I was happy about that. My plan over the next few months is to keep on riding and solidifying our relationship.”

Margaret McIntosh (USA) and Rio Rio had top performances in Grade Ia and were part of the U.S. Team over the weekend. Macintosh enjoyed the positive influence the fluctuating weather provided. Macintosh expressed, “The wild weather this weekend was definitely to Rio’s advantage. She’s so relaxed that sometimes she needs a little bit of this atmosphere going on to put in a really good test. I think our final freestyle test was the culmination of that. She felt great in the ring; she was awake and paying attention. All that time that Missy (Ransehousen) spent out in the wind and the rain certainly paid off. When we bought Rio Rio she was a young horse and not trained to the FEI level. It’s been a lot of fun over the past two years to see her step up to the plate every time the ante has gotten higher and higher. It’s been so nice for me to have the experts of Jessica Ransehousen, Missy Ransehousen, and Clive Milkins and Kai Handt to develop this horse. I just hope it continues over the next six months to increase the connection, energy, and flow, and we will be ready.”

In Grade Ib Canadian Ashley Gowanlock and Ferdonia 2 earned the Grade Ib overall with a top Freestyle test on the final day of competition. “This was Fergie’s last international completion,” expressed Gowanlock. “I sang on the cake; it was our final hurrah and on Sunday she put her dancing shoes on for the last time and she knew it. She went in and did her best. She is the sweetest most willing partner. Whether she’s in the rain or a fly is biting her as we go down centerline, she still goes. She knows when I’m not feeling well and she picks up the slack.”

Equine Canada’s Para-Dressage Chef d’Equipe Elizabeth Robinson added, “Every time Ashley has needed a horse this one has been pulled out of the stable or the field. She has been retired multiple times. Ashley lives in Canada and Fergie lived in Florida with owner Lauren Barwick, so Ashley would get on a plane, give Fergie a few tries and takes her into the ring. It’s more than special to us that Ashley is able to do that with that horse. We are very grateful to the owners which was Lauren Barwick and now Lauren Massey. She is hoping to breed Fergie. It’s a nice ending to a horse that has done such a great international job for our team.”

Team Canada showed multiple new horses with their veteran athletes over the two weeks of the Para-Dressage Tour in Wellington. Chef d’equipe Elizabeth Robinson commented, “Having two shows back to back made this very worthwhile to our team to come down. We put all of our resources into the month of January, which we wouldn’t have otherwise. We are looking forward to the future. We have an incredible core, great people, and great riders. Our riders and support staff have all been working together for quite some time and have done a few games together. We hope to strengthen that and support our riders and put ourselves on a good path for Rio.”

Ashley Gowanlock of Canada had top scores in Grade Ib however USA Rider Sydney Collier took home a few blue ribbons of her own in Grade Ib. Sydney Collier rode two horses this weekend including Western Rose, owned by Wes Dunham and Wentworth, owned by Amy McIlwham.

Collier commented, “This was only my second show with Rosie. We haven’t had a whole lot of time to work together as a partnership. Every day that we get to work together I feel so lucky and I feel like she really enjoys being a para-dressage horse. I feel so lucky to be working with such a talented partner. I have three wonderful horses I am currently riding including Scampano 2, owned by KCR Dressage LLC. I have different goals for each one. Rosie I’ve been with for the least amount of time and I am really looking forward to building our partnership more and more. Even the difference we made from last show to this show, I am impressed how she has stepped up to the plate.”

Team rider and Grade III Overall Champion Annie Peavy and Lancelot Warrior (USA) dominated Grade III over both weeks. Peavy noted, “I was very happy with Lance. With all of the cold and wet weather conditions, we pulled through and he was great. My horse and I had a much better connection at these CPEDI3* events, even more so than in Europe or Texas. We just keep growing together. He gives me confidence when I need it and I give him confidence when he needs it. We work well together. I just have to keep going down the centerline and keep doing it.”

Grade IV overall rider was Mary Jordan and Rubicon 75. Jordan noted, “Our weekend at the Global Paralympic qualifier was an incredible growth experience and finished off on a real high note winning the freestyle and the overall Grade 4 championship. My coach George Williams and our team were outstanding and the positive feedback on Rubicon from the judges moving forward was encouraging and truly helpful. We are on a great upswing and look forward to the U.S. Selection Trials which will count for 50 percent of our score moving toward Rio.”

The two $10,000 CPEDI3* shows were presented by Mission Control, Mane Stream, courtesy of Rowan O’Riley, Adequan®, and Nutrena. Mane Stream, located in Oldwick, New Jersey, is designated as a Premier Accredited Center of Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, International, (PATH). Mane Stream provides education, accreditation and resources for the equine assisted activities industry.

Linda Dietz, President of the Board of Directors for Mane Stream, said, “It’s important to us to support this show because this is what we do. We offer equine-assisted physical, occupational and speech therapy. We’re one of the oldest PATH accredited centers in the country, and we’ve been around for nearly 42 years. We think that it is inspirational for our riders, and we would love to see some of our riders on this team as well. We couldn’t have done this without the help of Rowan O’Riley.”

Rebecca Reno, representative for Mission Control, added, “Being a sponsor at these shows was incredible. Our athletes are tough and don’t complain. They rode in the covered arena, in the wind, in the rain and there was no whining from a single rider. I know that everyone works so hard at home, and there have been things that they all have overcome, but wow.”

Reno concluded, “That is a mental attitude. These riders don’t complain they get on and ride. I think that’s why they’re so successful. We’ve been so pleased and even though the weather wasn’t the best, this solidified for us why this has been so amazing. It’s been an honor to help sponsor the show.”

By: Lindsay Y. McCall

To view an online version of this press release with more photos, 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.

Team USA Collects Second CPEDI 3* Team Win

Rebecca Hart and Schroeter’s Romani. Photos: ©SusanJStickle.

Rebecca Hart Reigns as Overall High Point Champion

Wellington, FL – January 24, 2016 – Competition at the second CPEDI 3* of the season at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) concluded with Team USA maintaining their control of the leaderboard, winning their second consecutive team CPEDI 3* victory at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). This week’s CPEDI 3*, presented by Mane Stream courtesy of Rowan O’Riley, Mission Control, Adequan®, and Nutrena, hosted competitors from the United States and Canada as they prepare for the 2016 Paralympic Games.

Team USA continued their dominance and earned their second team victory in CPEDI 3* competition at AGDF this week, as Roxanne Trunnell, Margaret McIntosh, Rebecca Hart and Annie Peavy each contributed to the superb overall performance by Team USA.

Roxanne Trunnell and NTEC Royal Dancer, owned by Julia Handt, led Team USA in the FEI Para Dressage Grade 1a competition, scoring a 71.449% in team competition, followed by a score of 69.27% in individual competition hosted on Saturday. Margaret McIntosh and her own Rio Rio also represented Team USA in FEI Para-Dressage Grade 1a competition, receiving a 69.275% in team competition and a 68.478% for the individual portion of the week. Angela Peavy, the youngest member of Team USA, earned a 68.816% and 69.106% aboard Lancelot Warrior, owned by Heather Blitz and Rebecca Reno. Team leader Rebecca Hart and Schroeter’s Romani, who have showcased their incredible consistency through the two weeks of competition, earned a 72.108% on Friday morning, followed by a 73.048% in individual competition the following day.

Rebecca Hart earned her high point rider accolades for the second week in a row, as she added a score of 75.250% in the FEI Para Freestyle Grade II test to her weekend tally, making her a strong candidate for selection in the coming months to represent Team USA in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

“I was very happy with my freestyle today. It’s the second time we’ve gone through it, and we have new music for her. We hit all of the music points the way that I wanted to and for the entire weekend I just am thrilled with our relationship and how the trust has built from where we were two years ago to where we are now,” commented Hart. “It’s been a remarkable improvement just in our relationship. Todd Flettrich, my trainer, has really helped us create that.

“We’re going to look to get a little bit more power, harmony, and flow over the next few months, but also just keep doing what we’re doing. The motto that we have is ‘Same job, different sandbox,'” she continued. “We’re going to keep the change of no stirrups. It’s been huge for us. I had a huge leg spasm coming down the centerline and I felt like I couldn’t use my body at all, but she took over and had my back.”

Kai Handt, U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Chef d’Equipe, noted the positive feedback from the panel of judges throughout the week of competition that recognized the improvements seen across the board from each of the team riders.

“I think this week has shown that our team can show their horses under all circumstances. I think our top six horses that we have competing right now we’re really not fazed by anything this weekend,” noted Handt. “I think typically we’d like some of the scores a point or two higher, but with the circumstances, they each really rode all of the horses. The horses and athletes were consistent and I think the team comes together really well. They all work together and support each other.”

The week was full of unpredictable weather, which ultimately proved to benefit the team, according to a number of the riders and Handt, as it provided an opportunity for the combinations to experience adversity in the ring, a quality each team ride will need to be comfortable with before looking towards the Paralympic Games.

Margaret McIntosh and Rio Rio
Margaret McIntosh and Rio Rio

“The wild weather this weekend was definitely to Rio’s advantage,” noted McIntosh, whose mare Rio Rio can be a bit too settled in the ring. “She’s just so relaxed that sometimes she needs that atmosphere going on to take it to the next level for a really good test. I felt like today was a culmination of all of that. She felt great in the ring and she was awake, paying attention. Thanks to Missy and Jessica Ransehousen for all of their hard work with her.”

This is the second team competition for Hart, Peavy, and Trunnell this season, as each of the three represented Team USA in the first CPEDI 3* hosted at AGDF two weeks ago. Peavy, who has made steady progress with her mount Lancelot Warrior, will focus on maintaining and enhancing the partnership between the two over the course of the next few months before the tedious selection process begins.

“The freestyle is something we fixed since the last show. The movements went better with the music, and I was really happy about that,” commented Trunnell. “Just being able to ride Royal has solidified our relationship, and we’re going to keep working on that.”

“My horse and I have a much better connection now than what we had last summer in Europe and even at the end of the year in Texas. We’re growing together and he gives me confidence when I need it and I can now give him confidence when he needs it,” said Peavy. “I think what we need is to keep going down the centerline and improving on what the judges are critiquing and growing together.”

Sydney Collier, a staple for Team USA, finished a superb weekend collecting personal bests aboard her new mount Western Rose. Collier, who is preparing to make a run at the U.S. Para-Equestrian team with one of her three mounts, feels the development of Western Rose, owned by Wesley Dunham, is truly exciting.

“We haven’t had a whole lot of time yet to work together on our partnership, but every day that I get to work with her, I feel so lucky. I think she really enjoys being a Para horse,” said Collier. “I feel very lucky to be working with such a talented partner.”

“I have three horses that I’m riding every day now and of course I have different goals with each of them. I have a lot of things that I’d like to work on with Rosie since we’ve been together for the shortest period of time and I’m looking forward to building our partnership more and more. The differences that we’ve made in the past two weeks, I’ve been continually impressed with how she steps up to the plate,” elaborated Collier.

What was once a struggle for Team USA is no more, as the scores for each of the team representatives as well as Collier were incredibly consistent throughout the weekend. Handt noted that unofficially the U.S. Para-Dressage team is currently ranked fourth in the world and that should be a major confidence boost looking into the next few months.

“I think we have the consistency piece down. I think we’re getting consistently to the scores they should ride. The only thing we can improve at this point are the little things and riding from a seven to an eight or an eight to a nine are just minor adjustments,” noted Handt. “They’re riding correctly, performing the movements correctly, and are understanding what is being asked of the test. The key with para-dressage is precision, especially with the lower grades. I think we’ll work on the preparations to fine tune the rides now before selection trials.”

During the awards ceremony, Mark Bellissimo, managing partner of the Wellington Equestrian Partners, announced that the organization would give $10,000 to both Team USA and Team Canada in an effort to help them on their journey towards Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Paralympic Games.

“It is truly inspiring to watch these athletes continue to do what they love every day and witness firsthand their ability to overcome adversity. We are hopeful that our donation can provide some additional support to these great athletes from both the U.S. and Canadian Para-Equestrian teams as they pursue their passion and look to represent their respective countries in Paralympic competition later this summer,” noted Bellissimo. “We are looking forward to continuing and expanding our relationship with the Para-Equestrian community here at PBIEC and AGDF for years to come.”

“It will help us a lot. Money is obviously a big struggle in this business, and this will be a huge help. It will offset some of the financial burden of actually traveling to the Games,” noted Handt.

“The donation that we received today was completely out of the blue, but absolutely incredible for this program,” said Canadian Chef d’Equipe, Elizabeth Robinson. “We appreciate the fact that it was for both teams, and it just makes it so special. That $10,000 will help us tremendously. We have a lot of issues right now because we have to find a horse for Ashley, we have to fly around everywhere all over the world to compete. There’s no competition in Canada, and we have to come here. We will be spending the money very wisely, but it will also give our riders a chance to have help from the federation.”

Ashley Gowanlock was the highest placing Canadian rider throughout the competition, and commented on her three final rides aboard Ferdonia 2, owned by Lauren Barwick, who will now officially be retired from competition.

“This was Fergie’s last international competition. It was icing on the cake for us and really the final hurrah. Today she really put her dancing shoes on for the last time. She knew it and went in and did her best. It was so fun, and we had a great time,” noted Gowanlock. “She’s the most willing and sweetest horse in the world. She just always picked up the slack and it was always a ‘I have you, and you have me’ mentality which got us so far.”

Gowanlock will look for a new mount as the selection season heats up, and it will be important to find the right mount that can handle the competition atmosphere of an electric international ring.

“It will be solidifying the relationship with that new partner and getting down the centerline as many times as possible,” she explained. “When you’re in the big atmosphere of Rio, hopefully if I’m selected, you know who’s with you, what’s underneath of you and what you can switch on down the centerline. That’s your five minutes of glory that you work so hard for.”

Linda Dietz, President of the Board of Directors for Mane Stream, said, “It’s important to us to support this show because this is what we do. We offer equine-assisted physical, occupational and speech therapy. We’re one of the oldest therapeutic riding centers in the country, and we’ve been around for nearly 42 years. We think that it is inspirational for our riders, and we would love to see some of our riders on this team as well. We couldn’t have done this without the help of Rowan O’Riley.”

Rebecca Reno, representative for Mission Control, walked away from the competition impressed with the determination and perseverance of the Para-Dressage riders this week.

“Our athletes are tough and don’t complain. They rode in the covered (arena), in the wind, in the rain and there was no complaining from a single rider. I know that everyone works so hard at home, but wow,” commented Reno. “That is a mental attitude. That is, ‘I’m going to get on and ride my horse and not let what’s going on impact the outcome,’ and I think that’s why they’re so successful. We’ve been so pleased and even though the weather wasn’t the best, this solidified for us why this has been so amazing.”

Sophie Ghedin (USA) concluded a banner week of competition in her first CPEDI 3* aboard her own Remy Martin G by winning the first two classes in the FEI Para-Dressage Grade IV division on Friday and Saturday. Ghedin, who has owned Remy for nearly 10 years, is looking forward to gaining more experience with the Para-Dressage tests and confirming the Intermediaire I movements, dispersed through the FEI Para Grade IV tests.

“I’m so thrilled with our performance today, and I couldn’t have been more impressed with the other riders. The weather and wind was a bit tricky as my horse already has nerves in the competition ring, but I thought we handled it beautifully and I couldn’t have asked for more from him,” said Ghedin. “I thought our extensions were great and were really a highlight for me today because we’ve been working on consistency. I felt like we are moving in the right direction.”

Competition at AGDF continues on Wednesday, January 27, with AGDF 3 CDI-W, presented by the U.S. PRE Association. To see a full list of results and complete seasonal schedule, please visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

About the Adequan Global Dressage Festival:

The Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) is one of the world’s largest international and national dressage circuits featuring 7 FEI Dressage events, including a 5* and the only FEI Nations’ Cup Series CDIO in the Western Hemisphere. The AGDF offers more than $650,000 in prize money for the seven international competitions, making it one of the richest circuits in the world. The Stadium at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center facility includes the Van Kampen covered arena (made possible by Kimberly and Frederic Boyer and family) and four outdoor arenas with world-class footing, 200 permanent stalls, and a VIP seating area.

Please visit
www.globaldressagefestival.com
www.pbiec.com
or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

Adequan Global Dressage Festival is located at
The Stadium at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center
13500 South Shore Blvd, Wellington, Florida 33414

Carly Weilminster
Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
info@jenniferwoodmedia.com

USA Para-Dressage Riders Dominate at Paralympic Qualifier

Rebecca Hart and Romani. Photos (C) Lindsay Y. McCall.

Rebecca Hart Earns High Point Rider with Margaret McIntosh in Reserve

Wellington, FL – January 11, 2016 – The final day of competition at the $10,000 CPEDI3* in Wellington, Florida, took place on Sunday with the Para-Equestrian Dressage Freestyle Tests. Equestrians in Grade Ia, Ib, II, III, and IV completed a spectacular weekend at the first CPEDI3* of The 2016 Para Equestrian Dressage Tour. Riders from the USA and Canada competed in The Stadium at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, home of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF), for the first time since being a part of the Global Dressage show. The $10,000 in prize money was also an exciting reward for top performing riders. The $10,000 CPEDI3* was presented by Mission Control, Mane Stream, courtesy of Rowan O’Riley, Adequan®, and Nutrena. After three days of intense competition Grade II Paralympian Rebecca Hart (USA) took home the High Point Rider Award with her mount Schroeter’s Romani. Following for Reserve Champion High Point Rider was Grade Ia equestrian Margaret McIntosh (USA) and her own Rio Rio. In Grade Ib Sydney Collier and Wes Dunham’s Western Rose took the overall percentage, while rider Annie Peavy and Lancelot Warrior dominated Grade III. Not only did the USA individuals have strong performances, but the USA Team riders achieved superior scores, aiming them for the 2016 Paralympics in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Led by Chef d’Equipe Kai Handt, the USA Team for the January 8-10 CPEDI3* included Grade II Paralympian Rebecca Hart from the United States and Schroeter’s Romani, owned by Rebecca Hart in conjunction with Margaret Duprey, Cherry Knoll Farm, Barbara Summer, and Bill and Sandy Kimmel; 2014 World Equestrian Games athlete Angela Peavy and Lancelot Warrior, owned by Rebecca Reno, in Grade III; Kate Shoemaker and Solitaer 40 in Grade III; and 2014 World Equestrian Games athlete Roxanne Trunnell and NTEC Royal Dancer. From the final day of freestyle scores and the leading percentages over the weekend, the FEI ground jury, including President Kristi Wysocki (USA), Carlos Lopes (POR), and Marco Orsini (GER), agreed that the USA riders are putting their best foot forward in the ring.

FEI President of the Ground Jury Kristi Wysocki agreed. “I got involved in this sport four years ago and it’s been really exciting for me to watch each of these riders grow up in age and in their riding. They earned their place in the ring this week. They proved themselves this weekend and that was exciting to see. It is a world class arena and a very daunting arena and they all came in and owned their eight minutes in there; that was exciting to see. With a couple weeks to work on precision, size, geometry, and lines of travel, some 7s could move up to 8s and some of those low 70s could be even higher.”

With the Rio Paralympics approaching it is important for the athletes to not only produce their best tests but to produce them in the same atmosphere that they will experience at a Games. U.S. Chef d’Equipe Kai Handt stated, “This was a great opportunity for the riders to finally show in the big arena because it preps the riders for future competitions at this type of venue. The only thing missing is the large number of spectators that we will experience when we walk into the arena at the Paralympics.”

In January 2014, Kai Handt became the U.S. Para-Dressage Chef d’Equipe. Prior to his new title Handt coached talented Para-Dressage athlete Jonathan Wentz from teenager to highest scoring U.S. Paralympic athlete. Handt has been a part of the Para-Dressage program for many years and has watched the program grow exponentially. He was proud of the Team and the individuals that showed at the $10,000 CPEDI3*. Handt commented, “The horses and riders did extremely well. They were a little bit nervous the first day but our scores improved each day and by freestyle time everyone did their very best. Now we just want to keep the momentum.”

Handt continued, “The USA changed a lot since spring of last year. We changed our qualifying procedures, our rules and much more to get where we are now – producing better and more competitive athletes. It’s really panning out now and we are hoping we kind of crest by the time we go to the Paralympics. If everyone does the same performance they did this week in two weeks, and work on the little details, I think we are on the right path to where we want to go. We currently moved up on the world ranking list and if we keep going I hope we are in the top three by the end. Everyone knows what their homework is and they are self-critical enough that they are going to push hard and get even better in two weeks.”

Grade II USA Team rider and High Point Rider Rebecca Hart will be doing just that this next week. Hart noted, “Romani has a great walk and that is one of her strong points. We are now riding without stirrups and that has been an adjustment but it’s going very well. For next week we are going to work on keeping the energy but not slipping in any canter work in our walk trot test. To have the progression from when I bought Romani from our very first show at Global to where we are now feels really good. We have come full circle. I couldn’t have done this without Todd Flettrich, Margaret Duprey of Cherry Knoll Farm, Barbara Summer, and Bill and Sandy Kimmel. I also want to thank Thomas Baur, Rebecca Reno of Mission Control, Rowan O’Riley of Mane Stream, and Global. Without these final two qualifying shows we would have been in a tight spot for the Paralympic Games. It was also a big honor to be able to ride in the limelight in the international ring. It’s a nice step forward for the whole sport of Para-Dressage.”

The support of sponsors like Mission Control and Mane Stream are helping to attract international Para-Dressage athletes to the United States. Rebecca Reno of Mission Control was happy to sponsor the CPEDI3* event. “If you asked me why I wanted to sponsor these events the easy answer would be to say that it’s because my daughter (Angela Peavy) rides, but that would not be the true reason,” laughed Reno. “Annie went as an individual to the World Equestrian Games in 2014 and while preparing for that I got to see the determination and desire from many other athletes that I see from my own daughter. When Equestrian Sport Productions allowed us to be a part of the Global Dressage Festival this year it was too good of an opportunity to pass up. We just want to provide the same experience you would have in Europe. Now riders can come to Florida and get that same experience here complete with prize money and additional shows in one place. You can come to Wellington and get more than one show and an international experience with world-class judges and a beautiful show facility. The athletes work hard, the horses work hard, and they all deserve to be rewarded for their efforts.”

Mane Stream’s representative, Rowan O’Riley of Mane Stream, a therapeutic and adaptive riding program in New Jersey for both children and adults, explained, “It’s important for Mane Stream to support Para-Dressage competitions because it’s an aspiration for all riders to see what hard work, skill, and quality training can produce in an international show arena.”

Margaret McIntosh and Rio Rio
Margaret McIntosh and Rio Rio

The top level competition venue provided Grade Ia, Margaret McIntosh and her horse Rio Rio, the framework for a paramount week. McIntosh was the Reserve High Point Rider overall. Macintosh noted, “Rio is typically a very relaxed horse both on the ground and in the show arena and I was really delighted today to have a little bit more zip going on. It’s a little unbelievable to be the high point rider this week. I had a really tough time at the National Championships a few months ago and my coach Missy Ransehousen, Jessica Ransehousen, with help from Clive Milkins created a powerhouse of knowledge and they picked us both up by the scruff of the neck and put us together and sent us out there.”

Teammates Roxanne Trunnell in Grade Ia, Kate Shoemaker in Grade III, and Annie Peavy also in Grade III agreed with the positive outcome from the unique venue over the weekend. Trunnell said, “I think it was good to be able to show like we were the big guys out there.” Shoemaker agreed, “I think it was a wonderful opportunity for our horses and significant in enabling us to get the experience we need so when we go to international competitions in Europe or the Paralympic Games, our horses are more prepared and as riders we are more prepared because we know better how our horses will react. I was really happy how my horses handled the trip and the environment here. They came 2700 miles from Idaho on Wednesday, got here, rode once, and went in the arena and showed. That’s how you go to big shows. That’s what you have to do and I was extraordinarily pleased with how he did.”

Annie Peavy concurred: “It’s always a great experience when you feel like you’re on a more even level with able-bodied riders. It felt like a European CPEDI. Competing in an environment like this always helps to conquer show nerves so you are ready when you go to competitions like this in Europe, WEG, or the Paralympic Games. It helps you to feel more confident.”

Although she wasn’t a team member during this CPEDI3*, Collier navigated two horses to superb scores in Grade Ib. Collier took home the overall in Grade Ib with Wes Dunham’s Western Rose. Collier was a member of the 2014 WEG team and is preparing three horses this year as her potential Paralympic partner.

Riders will have another chance to get the valuable feedback from FEI judges and their necessary qualification scores for Rio. The second Para-Dressage Tour $10,000 CPEDI3* is scheduled for January 21-24, 2016 in the Van Kampen Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

The Adequan® Global Dressage Festival is the world’s largest international and national dressage circuit featuring seven CDIs, including four CDI-Ws, one 4* and one 5*, the only non-championship CDIO Nations’ Cup in the Western Hemisphere, as well as weekly U.S. National events. The AGDF offers more than $650,000 in prize money for the seven international competitions, making it one of the richest circuits in the world. The Stadium at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center facility includes the Van Kampen covered arena (made possible by Kimberly and Frederic Boyer and family) and four outdoor arenas with world-class footing, 200 permanent stalls, and a VIP seating area. For more information, please visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

By: Lindsay Y. McCall

To view an online version of this press release with more photos, 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.

Hart and Peavy Push Team USA to the Lead in the CPEDI 3* as Competition Continues

Rebecca Hart and Schroeter’s Romani. Photos: ©SusanJStickle.

Wellington, FL – January 8, 2016 – The first CPEDI 3* of the 2016 season, presented by Mane Stream, courtesy of Rowan O’Riley, Mission Control, Adequan®, and Nutrena at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival commenced today as para-dressage athletes from around North America took to the International Ring at The Stadium at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) for the first time in facility history. Riders representing the United States had a banner day, sweeping each of the classes offered on the first day of competition. The FEI CPEDI 3* will conclude on Sunday, January 10.

Rebecca Hart (USA) and her own Schroeter’s Romani won the FEI Para Team Test – Grade II class and recorded the highest score of the day, receiving a 74.167%. Angela Peavy (USA) and Lancelot Warrior, owned by Heather Blitz and Rebecca Reno, took top honors in the FEI Para Team Test – Grade III class with a score of 71.360%. Margaret McIntosh (USA) piloted her own Rio Rio to the lead in the FEI Para Team Test – Grade 1a with a score of 72.754% while Sydney Collier (USA) and Western Rose, owned by Wesley Dunham, took the FEI Para Team Test – Grade 1b with a score of 67.533% to give Team USA the lead moving into the final portion of team competition tomorrow.

Rebecca Hart is a veteran competitor for Team USA, having competed at the World Equestrian Games in 2014, Para-Equestrian World Championships, as well as the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, England. Hart and Schroeter’s Romani continue to improve their scores with each outing, as the pair has their sights set on the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

“I loved our ride today. She has just been coming into her own in the past few months. We’ve tweaked a few things from what we did at Nationals this year, the main thing being that we’ve removed our stirrups, which can always be a little bit scary. It has really helped improve the connection and harmony that we’ve wanted and we’ll continue to get more comfortable with it,” explained Hart. “We’ve always had the power and expression that we’ve needed, but we wanted to make it smooth throughout the entire test.”

Hart explained that due to her physical condition, Familial Spastic Paraplegia (FSP), riding with stirrups would cause her lower legs to spasm, creating a slight hesitation from Romani. She continued, “I was talking to some of the European riders and they said take your stirrups off. We’ve been practicing for the past few months, but this is only our second competition trying it and I think it’s really smoothed out the whole picture.”

The duo earned the highest score of the day and Hart was pleased with the improvements the pair has made, hoping it will earn them a place on the selected team traveling to Rio later this year.

“I cannot thank the sponsors enough for supporting this show and helping us into the limelight, which is where we need to be, especially in a Paralympic year,” she noted. “The venue has been amazing accommodating and adapting our arenas with both the short and long ring. It has been a wonderful experience and is the perfect atmosphere to help us get prepped for Rio.”

Lauren Barwick (CAN) and Oynx followed in second place behind Hart, while Kelly Boccia (USA) aboard Donauwalzer CSF earned third place. Deborah Stanitski (USA) and Pilikua Koa finished in fourth.

Angela Peavy and Lancelot Warrior
Angela Peavy and Lancelot Warrior

Angela Peavy capped a phenomenal day aboard Lancelot Warrior, as the duo led the FEI Para Team Test – Grade III division on the first day of competition. Peavy, a rising star for the U.S. Paralympic team, rode an accurate test, which earned the high score for the division.

“I was very happy with Lance today. He really has stepped up in the past few months and I thought we had a great connection throughout the test. He was very forward and I was really pleased with our performance,” she commented. “He’s come a long way in two years and our experiences throughout that time have helped get us to this point.”

Competing in Wellington is especially exciting for Peavy, who will stay to compete at AGDF in the next CPEDI3* (Jan. 22-24), as well as test Fourth Level competition in the National Shows also hosted at the venue. She noted, “When you compete here it’s like being in your own backyard and you’re on your home turf. He’s used to this environment and I think that will help us as we look forward to qualifying for Rio.”

CPEDI 3* competition continues at AGDF tomorrow with the conclusion of team competition and will host individual competition through Sunday, January 10. For more information on the CPEDI 3*, please visit www.globaldressagefestival.com to find ride times and results.

About the Adequan Global Dressage Festival:

The Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) is one of the world’s largest international and national dressage circuits featuring 7 FEI Dressage events, including a 5* and the only FEI Nations’ Cup Series CDIO in the Western Hemisphere. The AGDF offers more than $650,000 in prize money for the seven international competitions, making it one of the richest circuits in the world. The Stadium at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center facility includes the Van Kampen covered arena (made possible by Kimberly and Frederic Boyer and family) and four outdoor arenas with world-class footing, 200 permanent stalls, and a VIP seating area.

Please visit
www.globaldressagefestival.com
www.pbiec.com
or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

Adequan Global Dressage Festival is located at
The Stadium at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center
13500 South Shore Blvd, Wellington, Florida 33414

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
info@jenniferwoodmedia.com

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.