Tag Archives: Roxanne Trunnell

Roxanne Trunnell Breaks Paralympic Record in Stunning Night of Freestyle Displays

L-R: Rihards Snikus (LAT) silver, Roxanne Trunnell (USA) gold, Sara Morganti (ITA) bronze (FEI/Liz Gregg)

Roxanne Trunnell (USA) broke the nine-year-old Grade I Paralympic Freestyle record in a stunning Freestyle competition which also saw Sir Lee Pearson (GBR) take his third gold of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

The highest scoring podium

Grade I was the only Grade to have three athletes with a score of over 80% on the podium. Roxanne Trunnell (USA) scored 86.927% on Dolton to break the previous record of 84.750% set by Sophie Christiansen (GBR) in London 2012.

“I just wanted a nice test. It felt good with the music the whole time,” Roxanne said. “It’s been really nice. Everyone is so happy and friendly it makes everyone in the barn happy. It’s just fun. Everyone will be excited when we get home.”

The ever-brilliant Rihards Snikus (LAT) took his second silver in Tokyo on King of the Dance with 82.087%, doubtless prompting more demands for his DJing skills when he gets back home. For Rihards, these two medals more than make up for his disappointment at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. And third place went to Sara Morganti (ITA) on Royal Delight, with 81.100%.

Sir Lee makes it a golden 14

Sir Lee Pearson (GBR) became the most successful athlete in the entire competition by taking his third gold medal of Tokyo 2020, the 14th of his Paralympic career, in the Grade II Freestyle.

His relatively inexperienced and home-bred partner, Breezer, took him to a massive 82.447% to take the title ahead of Pepo Puch (AUT) who rode Sailor’s Blue to a score of 81.007%. Meanwhile, Lee’s young teammate, Georgia Wilson (GBR), added another brilliant bronze to her collection on Sakura with 76.754%, which is not a bad result for the reserve rider who was called to Tokyo as a last-minute replacement for Sophie Christiansen.

“Number 14, not that we’re counting,” laughed Lee. “I’m twice over the moon. I actually didn’t care if I medalled. That horse gave me his heart in there. He was so much braver than the team and individual test a few days ago. He was still nervous, and we had a tiny little spook when we entered but I said, ‘come on, we can do this’.”

Lee came to Tokyo with Breezer having had to retire from their selection event. “I’ve not managed to ride this Freestyle in a competition, so I’ve been nervous for days. He’s brilliant. I’m taking the best horse home. I didn’t think I could love him any more than I did before but he’s beautiful, amazing.”

Sanne’s HAEVNly gold

Sanne Voets (NED) stormed to victory in the Grade IV Freestyle with a massive personal best score of 82.085% to win her class. Riding Demantur N.O.P. to the stirring music of Dutch artists HAEVN, she finished comfortably ahead of silver medallist Louise Etzner Jakobbson (SWE) who scored 75.935% on Goldstrike B.J. Manon Claeys (BEL) took bronze on San Dior 2 with 75.680%.

Louise’s silver was even more remarkable given that she broke her leg falling off her bike just a couple of months ago, and only got back on a horse to ride two weeks ago during the horses’ quarantine in Aachen (GER).

Speaking after her ride, Sanne said: “I’m not sure I can find the right words. I was really focussed and normally when I first enter a test, I try to make eye contact with the judge. I never did that here; it was just me and my horse and the music. It was a bit like hypnosis. It felt powerful and soft and relaxed and confident. Sometimes when you ride a test, you’re thinking, ‘what do I do now?’ but it was like it just happened to me. It felt like we found that true harmony and it was the two of us and no one else.”

Michele’s golden double

Michele George (BEL) was dominant again in the Grade V Freestyle, defending her London 2012 and Rio 2016 titles with aplomb. She scored 80.590% on Best of 8 to pip Frank Hosmar (NED) to the title by just 0.350 of a point. Frank, riding Alphaville N.O.P., scored 80.240 to take the silver, while Regine Mispelkamp (GER) took bronze with 76.820 on Highlander Delights.

“I’m really blown away. The mare is just fantastic. What can I say? I’m a bit speechless because coming over here with a young horse and showing the world what she’s capable of is just genius. I knew she could, but I thought maybe it was a bit early to show everyone because at home she can work like a queen but at home is at home.”

Michele went into the arena just after Frank had posted his great score. “Once you’re riding into the arena, you don’t look at that,” she said. “I know he had a high score, but I thought the mare feels good, so I came into the arena and tried to make something even better. That’s the spirit.”

Tobias’s double delight

In the second highest winning score of the night, Tobias Thorning Jorgensen (DEN) rode Jolene Hill to his second gold of the Paralympic Games in the Grade III Freestyle. Together they scored a massive 84.347% to take the title ahead of Natasha Baker (GBR), who scored 77.614% on Keystone Daw Chorus. Anne Katrin Lubbe (NOR) took the bronze on La Costa Majlund with 76.477%.

A clearly delighted Tobias said after his ride: “I feel great. I left my head out here this time because I wanted to show I can do this. I just rode to the edge of being too much and I was probably closer to some mistakes today than I was yesterday, but I took the chance.

“I always had the dream of double gold, but I knew it would be hard. I would be happy if it was a silver or bronze, just to get two medals at my first Paralympics, but two golds is amazing.”

At the end of five days of stunning Para Dressage competition, the horses and athletes of Tokyo 2020 will now start their journeys home. They will remember a record-breaking week of drama and fierce competition which saw new champions crowned and titles re-won or defended.

Great Britain tops the Para Dressage table, with three golds, three silvers, and two bronzes, ahead of The Netherlands’ two golds, two silvers, and two bronzes. Belgium takes the third spot with two golds and two bronzes, followed by the USA in fourth position with two golds and a bronze.

The world’s best Para Dressage athletes will gather again in August 2022 at the FEI World Championships in Herning (DEN). Until then, the memories of this competition in Tokyo will be slow to fade. It’s been a dazzling, brilliant Paralympic Games.

by Rob Howell

Media contact:

Vanessa Martin Randin
Senior Manager, Media Relations & Communications
vanessa.randin@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 73

And the Team Medal Chase Is On

Natasha Baker (GBR) with Keystone Dawn Chorus. (FEI/Liz Gregg)

With day one of the Para Dressage Team competition complete, the Tokyo 2020 medal winners remain impossible to call.

On current standings any combination of The Netherlands, Great Britain, USA, Belgium, and Denmark could take a place on the podium, and in any order.

All Team riders from Canada and Singapore have now competed, leaving Canada at the top of the leader board with a combined score of 211.699, ahead of Singapore with 200.792.

How it works

There are three athletes per team. Each Grade competes separately in its own Team Test, with each horse and athlete combination performing a series of pre-determined movements, which differ by Grade.  The combined results of each of the teams’ three athletes will determine the overall score and the team with the most points wins gold.

Great Britain’s best start

The day started well for Sir Lee Pearson (GBR) who won the Grade II Team Test on Breezer with 77.636%.

“I am over the moon with that lovely score. Breezer doesn’t like the Olympic arena and he was quite frightened in there. He’s a sensitive soul, but I’m so proud of him because I held his hand and he trusted me and I could be sitting here with a different story.

“He’s sensitive, but that sensitivity, when it’s on side, makes him fabulous.”

Pepo Puch (AUT) came second in the Test on Sailor’s Blue with 74.909%, while Katrine Kristensen (DEN) earned her team a valuable 72.515% on Welldone Dallas.

Roxanne throws down an 80 plus challenge

Roxanne Trunnell (USA) laid down the day’s only 80 plus score in the Grade I Team Test, riding Dolton to 80.321%. The noise of fire engines attending a nearby incident added pressure during her Test, but the pair rose above it to perform calmly and brilliantly.

Second place went to Sara Morganti (ITA) with an impressive 79.286% on Royal Delight, ahead of Michael Murphy (IRL) on Cleverboy, with 75.179%. That last result was especially pleasing for the young Irish rider, coming the day after he suffered an equipment failure in the Grade I Individual Test which left him in last place.

“He felt brilliant again,” Roxanne said after her Test. “He was a little tense, but we worked through it.”

Referring to the disturbance outside, she added, “That’s what made him tense up a little. I don’t think you can prepare. It just happens and you go with it.

“It means a lot to ride for the USA after such a weird year. Everyone is going to remember this Paralympics.”

Baker builds as Thorning Jorgensen leads

Tobias Thorning Jorgensen (DEN) gave his country a real shot at a medal with a stunning 79.559% in the Grade III Team Test, on Jolene Hill.

But also building her team’s score was Natasha Baker (GBR) who posted 76.618% on Keystone Dawn Chorus, just ahead of Rixt van der Horst (NED) on Findsley N.O.P. with 76.235%.

“It was intense today,” said Tobias. “I’ve done something today, so I have a little bit of pain, so that was just Jolene carrying me around. I’m very grateful to her, she went even better than yesterday.

“This is a great start and I hope we can be a medal contender or at least be there, so if anyone makes a mistake, we can take it. I just love the Team competition because we go down here as a family and be there for each other.”

How things stand, and what happens next

Based on the scores at this halfway point in the competition, the gold medal is still up for grabs between the USA, Great Britain, and The Netherlands. However, strong performances from the two Danish riders, and with Belgium’s two remaining riders still to go, mean those two countries could still snatch a medal.

It will all come down to the Grade IV and V Tests. As the Grade V athletes go first, all eyes will be on Kate Shoemaker (USA) who will determine her team’s final score, as well as on Frank Hosmar (NED), who will want to build on his teammate Rixt’s performance.

Individual Grade IV bronze medallist Manon Claeys (BEL) and Grade V Individual Test gold medallist Michele George (BEL) will complete Belgium’s competition, while Grade V Individual Test silver medallist Sophie Wells (GBR) could produce her country’s winning score.

But in a dramatic finish, Grade IV Individual Test gold medallist Sanne Voets (NED) could find herself riding to seal victory for her country. As the last of the likely winners to ride, she will have a good idea of the score needed to get the gold. Adding to the pressure is her chance of becoming only the third Para Dressage athlete to secure the triple, triple of consecutive European, World, and Paralympic gold medals.

Sanne insists that she doesn’t play the numbers game, but her fans and followers of Para Dressage will know that this will be one of the highest stakes ride she will ever perform.

Results here.

by Rob Howell

Media contact:

Vanessa Martin Randin
Senior Manager, Media Relations & Communications
vanessa.randin@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 73

Two New Paralympic Equestrian Champions Crowned in Tokyo

L to R: Rihards Snikus – King of the Dance (LAT) silver, Roxanne Trunnel – Dolton (USA) gold, and Sara Morganti – Royal Delight (ITA) bronze. (FEI/Liz Gregg)

The second day of Para Dressage competition at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games saw the remaining two Grades, I and III, battle for the Individual Test titles and the important qualification slots for the upcoming Freestyle to Music test.

A twist of fate would have it that both victors were new to the top spot of the Paralympic podium, a feat which is easier said than done, given the longevity of some Para Equestrian careers and the experienced athletes they faced in the impressive Baji Koen arena.

Roxanne rocks in Tokyo classic

An imperious performance from Roxanne Trunnell (USA) secured her first ever Para Dressage global title at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Currently World No.1 across all five Grades, Roxanne won the Grade I Individual Test with a massive score of 81.464% with her mount, Dolton.

The silver medal went to Rihards Snikus (LAT), a keen DJ known as DJ Richy Rich to his friends, who was first into the arena and laid down a challenging score of 80.179% on King of the Dance. Reigning FEI World Equestrian Games champion Sara Morganti (ITA), took bronze on Royal Delight with 76.964%. It is a medal that is especially sweet for her, as her horse failed the vet inspection at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

Speaking after her Test and medal ceremony, Roxanne said, “Dolton felt like he was really with me and was really a good boy. He surprised me with how calm he has been. It’s been wonderful at the Games. Everyone is so nice and helpful.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg for Dolton. He’s so young and he’ll be able to do so much more. It means a lot to me as well. It was very nice up there. We had our own little group of people that looked happy.”

As the World No. 1, Roxanne holds two World Records for the highest scores in a Freestyle Test (89.522%) and in Grade I Team Test (84.702%). Roxanne came to these Games with huge expectations placed on her shoulders. She remained, however, unfazed. “I don’t think about pressure – that’s all just noise to me,” she added. “It’s just me and Dolton doing our own thing. He is loving all the attention; it’s fun. He’s a goofy young horse; he’s temperamental but also easy to get along with.”

Tobias has golden debut

As debut Games go, it’s fair to say that Tobias Thorning Jorgensen (DEN) is having a good one. In his first ever ride in a Paralympic Games arena, he won the Grade III Individual Test with a score of 78.971%, on Jolene Hill.

In doing so, he dethroned two-time Grade III Paralympic Champion, Natasha Baker (GBR), who came second on Keystone Dawn Chorus, with 76.265%. Bronze went to current World Champion Rixt van der Horst (NED) on Findsley N.O.P. with 75.765%.

“It was amazing, it really was,” Tobias said, beaming after his test.

“I was so focussed all the ride but on the last turn I just had this feeling it was great. I was so happy I just smiled.

“I knew that Rixt and Natasha would be my biggest opponents and are always coming to take the medals, but I also knew that, if I find my best, I could take the medal. I knew I had to do that.

“Jolene is a mare. If I don’t ask her first, she just gives me the finger and says, ‘You can do something else.’ In my warm-up, I ask her, ‘Is this OK?’ and then in the arena she is there for me. If I ask her correctly, she will go through fire for me.”

Following the second day of competition and the completion of the Individual Test, Great Britain still tops the leaderboard, adding a silver to their tally today with one gold, two silver, and a bronze, followed by the Netherlands, Belgium, USA, and Denmark, who have picked up a gold medal over the past two days.

All results here.

by Rob Howell

Media contact:

Vanessa Martin Randin
Senior Manager, Media Relations & Communications
vanessa.randin@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 73

Double World Record Day for Trunnell and Dolton at Tryon Summer Dressage 1&2 CPEDI 3*

Roxie Trunnell and Dolton ©Lindsay McCall, USPEA.

Mill Spring, NC – June 20, 2021 – The final day of Perrigo Tryon Summer Dressage CPEDI 3* competition hosted Freestyle tests in Tryon Stadium, capping three days of international competition and the final U.S. Olympic Observation Event before the naming of the Adequan® U.S. Para Dressage Olympic Team. Most notably, Roxanne “Roxie” Trunnell produced a second consecutive personal best and new world record for Para Dressage, bringing home a score of 89.522%.

Trunnell and Dolton, the 2012 Hanoverian gelding (Danone x Lady x Londonderry) owned by Karin Flint and Flintwoode Farms LLC, had just shattered their own previously held world record score of 83.334% with an 84.702% in Saturday night’s team test for Grade I, but blew the competition – and the Ground Jury – away with her Freestyle performance Sunday morning. Scoring 89.522%, Trunnell and Dolton claimed the weekend’s championship title as well as the world record score. Syd Collier and All In One, the 2009 Hanoverian gelding (Abanos x Dauphina x Dauphin) owned by Going for Gold LLC and Katie Robicheaux, gave strong performances of their own, scoring 74.145% to claim second in Freestyle competition. In third, Deborah Stanitski and her own Skovlunds de Nice, the 2006 Danish Warmblood mare (De Noir 3 x Miss Kiki x Diamond), collected a score of 65.845%.

“He kept getting better and better every day!” Trunnell recapped. “It feels really good [to have earned two world records in a row]. His [Dolton’s] mom is really happy with him!” Coming into Tryon Stadium Sunday morning with a personal best in her pocket, Trunnell shared that she prepared by “just keeping it calm, and hanging out with [my dog] Yoda in my tack room. We’ve been working really hard on his Freestyle. I felt pretty good about it!”

Chef d’Équipe Michel Assouline was overcome by the performances produced by the Adequan® U.S. Para Dressage Team, and shed tears after Trunnell’s stunning performance in the rain in Tryon Stadium.

“I think we have a horse-and-rider combination that is taking us to a different timeline… a Twilight Zone is the phrase [I keep coming to]! She’s leading the team into other dimensions where we haven’t been before! And the world is watching us. It’s an absolutely wonderful feeling,” he emphasized. “She beat the London 2012 record now, which is absolutely fabulous.”

Assouline is thrilled with the team as a whole, noting that each rider’s plans to build their performances throughout the weekend were executed smoothly and to good results. “I’m very pleased [with the team]. They all wanted to start very conservatively so as to not start with any hiccups or failures, and we are trying to increase everything [carefully] and not peak too early. Our goal was to do that, and the mission was accomplished.”

Kate Shoemaker and Solitaer 40 improved all weekend in Grade IV competition, producing a 77.375% in their Freestyle performance to earn Reserve Champion in Perrigo CPEDI 3* competition. Shoemaker and the 2007 Hanoverian stallion (Sandro Hit x Dynastie x De Niro) owned by Kate, Craig, and Deena Shoemaker rode a brand new Freestyle test, and she was thrilled to hit all her markers in her first outing: “I feel so, so proud of my horse. We were riding a brand new Freestyle with brand new music. It was our first time going through it and we hit our markers. That comes down to Sully being so rideable for me today, and the music also just felt so good. It made it easy to ride to, and I loved it!”

Though waiting for the Olympic Team to be announced is now what feels like an eternity away, Shoemaker is proud of her weekend’s performances and grateful for the support of the entire Para Dressage community, she emphasized.

“There were a lot of people and a lot of work that went into getting here this weekend. It may look like one partnership in the arena, but of course, we all know there are trainers, grooms, and countless people that are behind us,” she continued. “I’m just so appreciative, especially to Perrigo, Adequan, and Tryon who made this show possible. We have to wait for the team to be announced, because of course, the selectors need to make the best decision for the team going forward into Tokyo. We really hope that we’re what they’re looking for, so that we have the opportunity to show what we can do in the Paralympics.”

Rebecca Hart (USA) collected her third win of the week in Grade III competition, topping the day aboard El Corona Texel, the 2009 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Wynton x Urieta Texel x Goodtimes) owned by Rowan O’Riley, on a score of 76.934%. In second, Charlotte Merle-Smith (USA) and her own Guata, the 2011 Dutch Warmblood mare (Vivaldi x Zuata x Haarlem), earned a 72.311%, while Ignacio Trevino Fuerte (MEX) rode to third place and a score of 62.822% with Delegada X, the 2002 PRE mare (Airoso XXVI x Lusitana x Farruco XIII) owned by Beatrice De Lavalette.

Continuing her fortunate weekend, Hart rode her mount, El Corona Texel, to a new Freestyle test choreographed by Marlene Whittaker. Despite it being the debut of this new test, she and her mount performed to a top score. “We actually hit all of our marks the way I wanted to, so that was nice!” Hart exclaimed.

Fortune 500, Hart’s second mount throughout this weekend’s competition, did not compete in the Freestyle portion of competition. Hart wanted to show El Corona Texel not only because he is a more familiar mount, but because “he’s just so much fun,” she said, elated. She was ecstatic to be able to carry their energy from the warmup ring, through the tunnel, and into the arena. “That was a really nice feeling to have him with me in the ring and have him listen. When I challenged him a little bit, he rose to the occasion.”

Hart emphasized her gratitude for the officials, volunteers, and staff who are assisting with the weekend’s competition. “It’s so special to have a venue that can kind of replicate the situations we will have in Tokyo and all the people that are doing long days in the rain and the heat make this so special.” After a successful weekend, she will be awaiting U.S. team decisions in hopes of competing in Tokyo.

Local athlete from Spartanburg, SC, Emma Jameson (USA), made her debut in Grade III under the lights in Tryon Stadium Friday night in CPEDI 1* competition with Cortesana LA, the 2007 PRE mare (Kabileno XV x Insolencia x Insolente) owned by Misha Marshall. The duo earned a personal best score of 61.071% in their first ride under the lights.

“It was absolutely incredible!” Jameson reported of her experience riding the Para Novice Test B Grade III CPEDI 1*. “Cortesana LA was absolutely amazing. I couldn’t ask for a better dance partner than her. I had never shown under the lights, so it was a new experience for me and I can’t wait to do it again. It was incredible.”

Having previously competed at the Grade IV level, Jameson is exploring her relationship with “Tessie” in a new way, she revealed. “We’re really working on our partnership, especially in Grade III because I just got reclassified a few days ago at Grade III. We’re looking at those tests and trying to figure out how to incorporate those movements and make sure that my right leg can support those movements as well.”

Next on Jameson’s competition bucket list is to move up to the CPEDI 3* level, before one day being named to the U.S. Paralympic Team, she shared. “This week has been a dream come true. I love coming here and watching people like Roxanne Trunnell, Becca Hart, and Kate Shoemaker, because I’ve watched them since the World Equestrian Games in 2018. Watching them and what they can do is what made me really fall in love with Dressage and Para Dressage. It made me realize that I could do that too, now. It’s an amazing feeling to have. Moving forward, our plans are to move up to the CPEDI 3*. One day, I hope to be named to that Paralympic Team!”

Jameson concluded that she had many people in the Carolinas region to thank, including the therapeutic riding programs that have kept her in the saddle since she was just two years old. “I want to give a huge thank you to not only Ashley Parsons, my trainer, and Misha Marshall, Cortesana LA’s owner, but to HALTER, which is a therapeutic riding program in Spartanburg, South Carolina,” she concluded. “I got started there when I was two years old. I want to thank TROT, another therapeutic riding program in North Carolina, that took me on as well and helped me advance to this level. It’s been a huge experience. I don’t think when we got started with therapeutic riding that we ever imagined it would lead to riding on an international stage. It’s been an absolute dream come true!”

Grade V saw Cynthia Screnci (USA) and Sir Chipoli, the 2007 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Sir Donnerhall x Vivaluciene TKS x Carabas) co-owned by Chris Von Martels and Select Equine International, earn another win, scoring 73.242% in their Freestyle test. Cayla Van Der Walt (RSA) claimed reserve with Daturo II, the the 2006 Andalusian gelding (Mirlito XI x Datura x Pestillo) owned in partnership with Christine Heathman.

Grade II resulted in another win for Beatrice De Lavalette (USA), who received a score of 73.845% with Clarc, the 2007 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Dreamcatcher x Miss Sinclair) owned by Elizabeth and Nicolas De Lavalette. Laurietta Oakleaf (USA) and Comte du Baccara C, the 2007 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Johnson TN x Baccara x H Ulrich) owned by Laurietta Oakleaf and Tammi Nowicki, combined for a score of 66.278% and second place.

For more info and results, visit www.Tryon.com.

Perrigo Tryon Summer Dressage CPEDI 3* Sees Para Dressage under the Lights at TIEC

Roxanne Trunnell and Dolton ©Lindsay McCall, USPEA.

Mill Spring, NC – June 18, 2021 – Para Dressage was front and center in Tryon Stadium Friday night at Tryon International Equestrian Center & Resort as part of Perrigo Tryon Summer Dressage 1&2 CPEDI 3* competition and the final U.S. Olympic Observation Event before Tokyo. Individual Tests were performed Friday evening starting at 8:15pm, with Team Tests taking place Saturday evening and Freestyle performances closing out the weekend Sunday, June 20, starting at 10:00am.

Grade I Competition kicked off with a win for Adequan® U.S. Para Dressage Team member Roxanne Trunnell (USA) and Dolton, 2012 Hanoverian gelding (Danone I x Lady x Londonderry) owned by Karin Flint and Flintewood Farms LLC, after the duo collected a total score of 82.500%. In second place, with a score of 70.059%, was Sydney Collier (USA) and All In One, the 2009 Hanoverian gelding (Abanos x Dauphina x Dauphin) owned by Going for Gold LLC and Katie Robicheaux. Deborah Stanitski (USA) and Skovlunds de Nice, her own 2006 Danish Warmblood mare (De Noir 3 x Miss Kiki x Diamond), received third place with a score of 67.143%.

Trunnell and Dolton have shined in the TIEC competition rings before, but competing under the lights at TIEC provided a new layer of atmosphere to the venue and some cooler temps than typically felt in Florida, she shared. “It was [such a good test!] He was a good boy,” Trunnell recapped. “He felt really relaxed, but forward, too.

“I’ve competed [under the lights] in Wellington, and it’s a lot colder out this time!” The weekend that is also serving as a final observation event for the U.S. Olympic Team selection trials is giving high performance athletes and their horses a practice outing, and Trunnell concluded that she hopes to continue her momentum from her win at TIEC into future rides both in North Carolina and beyond. “Hopefully, [the plan is] keeping the good scores going, and making it to Tokyo!”

Rebecca Hart (USA) piloted two mounts through Grade III competition, earning first place aboard Fortune 500 on a score of 72.500% and claiming second place with El Corona Texel, a 2009 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Wynton x Urieta Texel x Goodtimes) owned by Rowan O’Riley, after their performance, which earned them a score of 70.245%. Third place honors were presented to Charlotte Merle-Smith aboard her own Guata, a 2011 Dutch Warmblood mare (Vivaldi x Zuata x Haarlem); the pair received a score of 69.461%. Ignacio Trevino Fuerte and Delegada X, the 2002 mare (Airoso XXVI x Lusitana x Farruco XIII) owned by Beatrice De Lavalette, claimed fourth place with a score of 60.441%.

Hart and the 2010 Oldenburg Gelding (Fidertanz 2 x Weinrose x Don Romantic) owned by Rowan O’Riley have only danced together under the lights twice now, but her “happy soul” of a young horse took to the atmosphere with ease, Hart recalled. “He is just such a cool horse. He’s really starting to come into his own, which is nice, and he’s just a fun, happy soul. He’s such a pleasure to ride and show because he’s just a happy dude!”

After piloting two horses around the Grade III tests, Hart reflected that she’s grateful that she’s been focusing on fitness lately: “You know, I think it’s amazing that we’re doing this at night to, sort of, simulate Tokyo, [but] I’m really glad I’ve been working on my fitness because these are long days, and with two [horses], it kind of doubles!” Hart went first and last in the Grade III competition, without a spare minute between rides. “But,” Hart emphasized, “it’s an absolute privilege to have two horses at an event like this, so I cannot ask for more than that.”

Para Dressage has been featured at TIEC numerous times throughout the years, but Tryon Summer 1&2 is markedly scheduled to showcase all CPEDI competition at evening hours to simulate conditions that will be expected in Tokyo. After her first tour of Tryon Stadium under the lights, Hart was thrilled with the results she achieved. “I love showing under the lights. Para is really starting to come into its own as an international discipline, so I think any time that we can highlight it and bring it to an event like this, in a venue like this, under the lights and now that we’re able to bring back some spectators, it’s great for growing the sport of Para Dressage.”

Going forward throughout the weekend, Hart will work on achieving increased energy in the ring while maintaining El Corona Texel’s relaxation, but is excited to give “Moolah” more miles under the lights Saturday night. “That was a really good test for him and this is his second time under the lights, so to have him come out and really want to play is a really special feeling,” she concluded. “Huge thank you to all the volunteers and sponsors that are putting on this event and staying into the late hours for us. We couldn’t do it without them, so huge thank you to everyone that’s putting on this event!”

Kate Shoemaker, D.V.M. and Solitaer 40, the 2007 Hanoverian stallion (Sandro Hit x Dynastie x De Niro) owned by Kate, Craig, and Deena Shoemaker, were the solo competitors in Grade IV individual competition, producing a score of 73.049%.

One of the last rides in Tryon Stadium for the night, Shoemaker raved about the evening’s atmosphere. “It’s so amazing in this venue under the lights,” she shared. “I don’t know what it is, but just the way the lights bounce off all the different wood, and the rocks, and the colors, it just makes this amazing atmosphere. The horses are loving it!”

She’s starting to see her homework pay off with “Sully” in the sandbox, she detailed. “We’ve really been working on bringing a lot more power and cadence into our riding. Everything is always behind, [between] what you’re getting at home, and what you’re getting in the arena, and it’s just so exciting right now because I’m starting to get that work in the arena. I think it showed today!”

The only thing Shoemaker will tweak going forward is her warmup routine, she revealed. “We’re trying to figure out what the ideal amount of warm-up time is, just to make sure he’s as ‘through’ as possible. I think today was a little bit short, so tomorrow we’ll do just a touch more and see if we can get a bit more. I’m just so happy to be here, and that Perrigo is sponsoring, [and for] everyone here at Tryon, the USEF staff, and everybody’s personal support staff. It’s amazing what goes into putting this on, and I’m super thankful,” Shoemaker concluded.

For more info and results, visit www.Tryon.com.

Trunnell Triumphs after Earning World Record-Breaking Score at Perrigo CPEDI3*

Roxanne Trunnell and Dolton ©SusanStickle.

Wellington, FL – March 15, 2021 – Perrigo CPEDI3* competition presented by Adequan® and Nutrena® concluded on Sunday, March 14, at week nine of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF), with an impressive win for the U.S. team and a world record-breaking score of 83.334% for 2021 Whitney Stone Cup award winner Roxanne Trunnell (USA) in the FEI Para Individual Test Grade I.

Trunnell and Karin Flint’s 2012 Hanoverian gelding, Dolton (Danone I), have been partnered together for over two years and are currently sitting atop the FEI Para Dressage World Individual Ranking list, as well as the FEI Para Dressage World Individual Ranking-Grade I, and the FEI Para Dressage Paralympic Individual Ranking list. Trunnell and Dalton also posted strong scores of 80.119% in the Team Test and 83.500% in the Freestyle Test.

Of her world record-breaking score, Trunnell said, “It feels great to break a world record. Dolton is a very nice horse, and I am proud of him.”

Next up, the combination will head to the June CPEDI in Tryon, like many other North American para dressage riders hoping to make it onto teams for the Tokyo Paralympics. Trunnell noted, “I am looking forward to Tryon. Dolton really likes to compete there, and Tokyo will be fun if we get selected for the team.”

Lehua Custer Welcomes Win in National Grand Prix at AGDF 9

In national competition at AGDF 9, the USA’s Lehua Custer posted a win in the FEI Grand Prix on Saturday, March 13. Custer rode F. J. Ramzes, Wendy Sasser’s 2010 KWPN gelding by Juventus, to first place after earning a score of 69.456% from the judge at C.

“I felt like I focused on making him rideable throughout our test,” said Custer, “so we didn’t nail every movement the way that I wanted to. It’s so important to school him and to make him the horse that I know I can do that with. I trust him so much and know every detail, so now it’s just about finding that brilliance within the power without letting him take over.”

Custer and Sasser picked the gelding out as a yearling, and the U.S. bred KWPN has come up the levels with the 42-year-old as his guide. “He was actually bred at Cornell University; his sire and his dam were both donated to the University by Iron Spring Farm,” explained Custer. “They use the mares and stallions as a part of their veterinary program, and we picked him from a woman who had purchased him from the University.”

She continued, “The intention was for his owner Wendy to eventually take over the ride, but she kept entering us in competitions even after I got the foundation under him. I feel really lucky to continue to ride him and compete. We’ve moved up the levels, and it’s nice to be here now. We started schooling a bit of Grand Prix last spring, but then things got shifted around with COVID, so we decided to just take our time with things.”

For more information and results, please visit www.GlobalDressageFestival.com.

US Para Dressage Team Maintains Their Spot after First CPEDI3* in 2021

Roxanne Trunnell and Dolton. Photo by Lindsay Y. McCall for the USPEA.

Wellington, Florida – February 4, 2021 – Adequan® U.S. Para Dressage Team maintains their stride as the number one ranked FEI Team in Para-Dressage after a solid weekend (January 27-30, 2021) at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) CPEDI3*. The Wellington, Florida venue was an excellent location for the launch of an important Paralympic Year. Chef d’Equipe Michel Assouline and USEF Head of Coach Development & Para Dressage Technical Advisor led the four-woman squad to top results. The Team included Sydney Collier (Ann Arbor, Mich.) with All In One, Rebecca Hart (Loxahatchee, Fla.) riding Fortune 500, Kate Shoemaker (Wellington, Fla.) with Solitaer 40, and Roxanne Trunnell (Wellington, Fla.) aboard Dolton.

Bronze Medal (2018 WEG) rider Trunnell, who recently received the USET Foundation award of the 2021 Whitney Stone Cup, rode Dolton who also earned the US Equestrian Federation Award of 2020 International Horse of Honor Award to the High Point Para-Dressage athlete at the CPEDI3*. Dolton is owned by Flintwoode Farms LLC and Karin Flint. Trunnell (USA Grade I) has had a fantastic year leading the FEI Rankings as the number one Para-Dressage rider in the world.

U.S. Teammate Kate Shoemaker and Solitaer 40 earned the Reserve Champion High Point in the CPEDI3*. With an extra year to prepare not only were the top combinations earning their best scores, but new horses and rider pairs were seen giving the judges the best view of the United States Para-Dressage high performance depth. Even athletes in the national para-dressage show earned outstanding test percentages over the weekend.

The ground jury included Kjell Myhre (Norway), Anne Prain (FRA), and Adrienne Pot (USA). Athletes will prepare in the next few months for the March 24-28, Wellington Para-Dressage National Competition, followed by 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.

Chef d’Equipe Michel Assouline and USEF Head of Coach Development & Para Dressage Technical Advisor noted, “All went beyond expectations. I would expect for athletes in Tokyo contention to not peak too early and be fairly conservative since we have a long way to the Games. The judging panel was of particular interest to me as both Anne Prain (FRA) and Kjell Myhre (NOR) are both part of the future Tokyo Paralympics official jury. It will give our selectors and coaches a solid evaluation of their performances. The team of four, Roxanne Trunnell, Sydney Collier, Rebecca Hart, and Kate Shoemaker, did well. Rebecca Hart had a personal best with Fortune in the Freestyle with a score over 76%, Roxanne Trunnell continues to impress with scores hovering the 80% mark, maintaining her FEI World one strong hold, Sydney Collier was consistent, riding conservatively as there is still a long way to the June Tryon CPEDI, and team rider Kate Shoemaker also rode a soft ‘economical’ test to save her horse for this long road to selection towards Tokyo.

“However, even with this approach in mind, our team achieved a remarkable average of 74.45%. That is keeping the US Para Dressage in its first FEI ranking position. A dream for all involved. Eyes were on the new partnership of Charlotte Merle Smith (Grade III) with her lovely grey mare Guata. She really impressed the judges in their first international; scores were solidly around the 72% mark each day. Beatrice De Lavalette also rode her new partner Clarc, very promising horse indeed, with the same level of score quality. All the other riders improved their performances throughout the three days with most moving to the magic 70% in the freestyle. We received a special accolade from our foreign judges about the ever-increasing quality of horses and riding in the US. Happy team and coaches.”

To view this press release in full, please visit: http://uspea.org/category/recent-uspea-press-news/.

For more information, please visit www.USPEA.org.

Unprecedented Year for International Para-Dressage Athlete Roxanne Trunnell and Dolton

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.

Adequan US Para-Dressage Team and US Athletes Dominate in Florida

Photo by: Lindsay Y. McCall.

Wellington, FL – February 6, 2020 – Twenty-two horse and rider combinations competed at the 2020 Adequan Global Dressage Festival 3 CPEDI3*, January 21-24. Para-Dressage riders from Canada, Mexico, Republic of South Africa, and USA rode to top placings in the International Ring at the Global Dressage Festival in beautiful Wellington, Florida. In the Team competition, the Adequan® U.S. Para-Dressage Team, led by chef d’equipe Michel Assouline, earned the championship over Canada. The U.S. Team included Beatrice de Lavalette (Lake Worth Beach, Fla.) in Grade II riding Duna, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare she co-owns with Elizabeth de Lavalette and Nicolas de Lavalette; Rebecca Hart (Loxahatchee, Fla.), in Grade III, with El Corona Texel, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Rowan O’Riley; Marie Vonderheyden (Wellington, Fla.) in Grade I and London Swing, an 18-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Eleanor Brimmer and Liza MacMillan; and Roxanne Trunnell (Wellington, Fla.) in Grade I and Dolton, an eight-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Flintwoode Farms LLC and Karin Flint. Trunnell also earned the individual championship with her 77.738% in the FEI Grade I Team Test, 78.572% in the FEI Grade I Individual Test, and the highest score of the show, a 81.878% in the FEI Grade I Freestyle Test, resulting in an overall of 77.699%. This was Trunnell’s second consecutive championship at the Global Dressage Festival in 2020. During the January 8-11, CPEDI3* Trunnell earned multiple scores over 81%. Taking home the reserve championship was Sydney Collier and the Hanoverian All in One, owned by Going for Gold LLC. Collier, also in Grade I, averaged a score of 73.384%. The US Para-Dressage riders have an intense year ahead as they prepare for the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo August 27-31.

Champion Para-Dressage athlete Roxanne Trunnell noted, “Karin Flint’s Dolton was such a superstar at the ADGF 3 CPEDI3*. I was a little worried how he would handle another CPEDI so soon after the last one, but he handled it like a champ. On the first day we started off with another solid test, but I had gotten so excited about it while going down the final centerline that I was not as strong with my aids for the final halt, resulting in the halt not being square. The second day I could feel that the back to back shows were catching up to him and I just didn’t have as much horse under me as I usually do. I had to use a lot of leg during that ride, but it was once again a wonderful test and we nailed that final halt.”

She recalled her freestyle under the lights. “I love our freestyle and I think Dolton does too, so my only concern was that he didn’t get startled by the scoreboard like he did during the first CPEDI. He didn’t even give it any attention, so I was very very pleased with, since this was only the second time he’s showed under the lights.”

During the next few months building up to the Tryon CPEDI3* in June, Trunnell and Dolton will continue to show at the Global Dressage Festival National shows while training at Helgstrand Dressage.

Reserve champion rider Sydney Collier will also be attending the National Shows in Wellington following her successful CPEDI3* with All in One, owned by Going for Gold LLC. Collier expressed, “We were in the zone more than ever at this CPEDI3*. I am so proud of Alle for going into the ring at global and owning it. He is such a special horse in that he really takes any situation in stride and loves showing. I am so lucky to have found him and have had an opportunity to get him because of Georgina (Bloomberg, owner Going for Gold LLC). I don’t even have words to explain how grateful I am for all for these opportunities in Wellington that have opened up since all of these people have joined my team.”

Collier continued, “I had so much fun at this show. Honestly anytime I get to show any horse it is a blast but even more so with Alle because he is so special. He really looks forward to going into the ring. My trainer Katie Robicheaux and I have been working to master my geometry which was something I struggled with for years due to my vision. At this show my geometry was one of my stronger points but there is further room for improvement. I was also proud of our halts since in a walk test there are three of them and they weigh heavily on the total score. Alle is a great horse and I love his walk quality. A great walk was one gait that we searched hard for in each horse until we found him. It is a beautiful walk to ride in and out of the show ring. Horses are either born with a walk or they aren’t. It’s not a gait you can fix or create.”

Collier like Roxanne Trunnell is on her way as she aims at the Tokyo Paralympics. Collier added, “As Alle and I move along this pathway to Tokyo I remain dedicated to my goal of helping the US Team win the gold medal for America. Bringing this medal back to the USA would proudly represent every person who has stood behind the three horses and riders on their way to the podium. From the farrier, veterinarians, grooms, sponsors, support staff, to our Federation, the teams that stand behind each horse and rider are the dedicated individuals who make success possible for our country at the Games.”

Following the national shows at Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida, Collier will head North to prepare for the summer.

Collier acknowledged, “I would like to thank Georgina Bloomberg for giving me the opportunity to ride, my sponsors Kastel Denmark, TheraPlate, Evermore Pet Foods, Dressage Sport Boots, Romitelli Boots, Equicizer, NupaFeed, Respond systems, OnTyte, Sport Horse Saddlery, Massage Sport Boots, Stacey Bradley Designs, Mastermind Equestrian, Flex Sticks, Eco Vet, and everyone who is a part of our team.”

Trunnell, Collier, and all of the U.S. international para-dressage riders aiming at the Tokyo Paralympics are looking forward to the next few months before selection of the U.S. Team and heading down centerline in Tokyo scheduled August 2020.

For more information about the USPEA, please visit www.USPEA.org.

Roxanne Trunnell Kicks Off Para-Dressage CPEDI3* Grade I in Week 3 of AGDF

Roxanne Trunnell and Dolton. ©SusanJStickle.

Wellington, FL – January 22, 2020 – Paralympic hopeful Roxanne Trunnell (USA) dominated the FEI Para Team Test Grade I CPEDI3* class to kick off the third week of competition of the 2020 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, Florida.

Trunnell and Flintwood Farm LLC’s Dolton received a score of 77.738%, winning by a margin of 7.44%. The USA’s Sydney Collier finished second on a score of 70.298% with All in One, owned by Going for Gold LLC.

During the first week of AGDF competition, Trunnell received the highest score of her career (83.167%). This week, she hopes to beat that score and commented that she’s “hoping to get into the 80s again.”

That same night was also Dolton’s first time competing under the lights. “The scoreboard kind of bothered him during the freestyle that first week, but he’s over that now. This week, I’m hoping to keep him up in the bridle more and keep him really marching, which he did really well today,” Trunnell admitted.

This is Trunnell’s fifth consecutive year competing in Wellington: “I love the weather here; it’s usually good and it’s so handicap friendly,” Trunnell concluded.

For more information and a full list of results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.