Tag Archives: Roxanne Trunnell

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.

Roxanne Trunnell Awarded William E. Simon Olympic Endowment for the Support of Athletes

Roxanne Trunnell aboard Nice Touch at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Also in the photo is U.S. Chef D’Equipe Kai Handt. Photo (c) SusanJStickle.com.

Rowlett, TX – January 29, 2015 – The United States Olympic Committee recently selected Para-Dressage athlete Roxanne Trunnell, 29, of Rowlett, Texas, for the William E. Simon Olympic Endowment for the Support of Athletes.

The William E. Simon Olympic Endowment for the Support of Athletes was established in 1998 by Mr. William E. Simon, Sr., former U.S. Olympic Committee President and U.S. Secretary of the Treasury. Grants for training and competition are awarded to athletes showing financial need. By creating this fund, Mr. Simon recognized the importance and many personal benefits of participating in sports. Awards are made once a year.

Roxanne Trunnell began her Dressage journey as an athlete when she first started her own business as a teenager to finance the purchase of her dream Warmblood horse. That dream came true in 2003 when she purchased Nice Touch (Touché). With a top-notch horse and a full riding schedule, Trunnell began making her way through the able-bodied Dressage ranks, earning her Bronze medal along the way. On October 31, 2009, life as she knew it changed forever when Trunnell awoke that evening unable to stand up without falling over. After a series of events and the best medical specialists around, the official diagnoses was inconclusive. In 2013, Trunnell got back in the saddle and started competing as a Para-Dressage rider. In less than a year she went from developing rider to internationally ranked para-dressage athlete. In 2014, Roxanne Trunnell was named to the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games U.S. Para-Dressage Team. Trunnell competed with her own horse Nice Touch during the Normandy, France Games. As a high-performance international Para-Dressage rider Trunnell is aiming for a spot on the U.S. Paralympic Equestrian Team at the 2016 Rio Paralympics.

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: Wheeler966@aol.com or by phone: (610)356-6481.

Hart, Trunnell Contest Freestyle Finals at World Equestrian Games

Roxanne Trunnell and Nice Touch. Photos copyright SusanJStickle.com.

CAEN, NORMANDY, August 29, 2014 – To be selected to represent one’s country at a world championships is an honor that few riders ever experience. To not only compete but to perform well enough to advance through the rounds of competition to qualify for the finals is a rare achievement, indeed.

Not one but two U.S. representatives in the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ para-equestrian dressage competition claimed that achievement today: Roxanne Trunnell, Grade Ia rider; and her WEG teammate Rebecca Hart, Grade II.

For Trunnell, 29, of Rowlett, Tex., today’s freestyle aboard the nineteen-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare Nice Touch was a high note in several ways. For one, this is Trunnell’s first time on a U.S. equestrian team. For another, it was the ride of a lifetime aboard the horse she’s been paired with since Trunnell was 13. And to top it off, this was Nice Touch’s swan song.

“It was fantastic. She is a good girl,” a beaming Trunnell said afterward. “This was her grand finale.”

Trunnell was proud of her freestyle routine, appropriately set to George Gershwin’s “An American in Paris” and to music from the musical Gigi, including “Thank Heaven for Little Girls.” The highlight, she said, was Nice Touch’s relaxed free walk, which helped the pair earn a score of 62.400 percent for a seventh-place finish.

Schedules are tight for the para-equestrian dressage athletes: Trunnell returns home tomorrow, Saturday, which unfortunately leaves her no time for sightseeing in France. But “I’ll be back,” she said.

Rebecca Hart and Schroeter's Romani
Rebecca Hart and Schroeter’s Romani

The 2014 U.S. WEG para-dressage team veteran, Rebecca Hart, 30, of Unionville, Penn., found herself in the position of showing her new mount, Schroeter’s Romani, the ropes of international competition. The twelve-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare “was definitely enthusiastic” in her Grade II Freestyle, Hart said with a laugh, referring to occasional tension and loss of focus that left the 2014 United States Equestrian Federation Para-Equestrian Dressage national champions with a score of 65.400 percent and seventh place.

“As we move along, I’m hoping for more power and relaxation,” Hart said afterward. “The enthusiasm is appreciated, but maybe just a little bit more controlled enthusiasm.”

Of the freestyle choreography, Hart said: “We were trying to play to her walk a little bit because she has such a great walk. Mostly we were trying to make the walk a little more technical in that you have to hit it exactly with the music, or else the rest of the choreography will be slightly off. When it comes off, you really see that.”

The WEG was the debut performance of this freestyle, said Hart. Freestyle choreographer Marlene Whitaker helped Hart put the routine together – but according to the rider, it was Schroeter’s Romani who approved the music selection.

“She loves this music; she actually picked this music herself,” Hart said. “It’s ‘The Journey Begins,’ which is fairly fitting, since this is the beginning of our journey together.” The melody is the anthem from the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, she said, and “We used that with some other pieces as well that we mixed together.”

Looking to the future, Hart added: “This was our original choreography, but if we want to change out leg-yields for half-passes or increase the difficulty later on, we can.”

And Hart may be doing just that as she focuses on her next big goal: the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. First things first, however: “Between now and then, we’re going to get her out and about quite a bit so she gets used to different venues and different atmospheres. We can work on building our trust together so she comes to me and looks to me for support and guidance instead of being distracted, and so we have more of the harmonious relationship that you’re looking for in any dressage horse and rider.”

After Hart returns home to Pennsylvania, her mare will get a bit of a break; then the rider is “hoping to do the winter season in Florida.” Then “the para-dressage [competitors and supporters] are looking to do a European tour in the spring. We feel that European exposure is so important, not only for us as individuals but for the country as a whole so our team can get out there and be seen.”

With the 2014 WEG, the young U.S. para-equestrian dressage team has taken a major step toward the medal podium on the international stage. It will be exciting to follow this talented group of horses and riders as they proceed on their journey.

Learn more about the Para-Dressage discipline at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Normandy, France: http://www.normandy2014.com/the-disciplines/8/para-dressage.

Support the Team and its future to the 2016 Paralympics in Rio with the USET Foundation’s Jonathan Wentz Memorial Challenge: http://uspea.org/the-jonathan-wentz-memorial-challenge/.

Learn more about the U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage discipline or give a tax-deductible donation to support the development of the sport with the USPEA 501(c)(3)t: www.USPEA.org.

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: Wheeler966@aol.com or by phone: (610)356-6481.

Hart and Trunnell Close Out WEG with Freestyle Performances

Roxanne Trunnell & Nice Touch (SusanJStickle.com)

Caen, France – Roxanne Trunnell and Rebecca Hart brought FEI World Para-Dressage Championship competition at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games to a close with their Freestyle Tests. The La Prairie Racecourse hosted the final tests of the championships as the top third of competitors from Grade 1a, 1b, II, III, and IV looked to ascend the medal podium.

Grade 1a rider Trunnell (Rowlett, Tx.) was making her final competitive appearance with Sidney Trunnell’s 19-year-old KWPN mare Nice Touch and made it a successful one as she closed out her World Championship debut with a seventh place finish. The longtime pair performed a forward, upbeat test set to French flared music to score 62.400% from the Ground Jury of Hanneke Gerritsen, Kjell Myhre, Marco Orsini, Eva Bachinger, and Sarah Leitch.

“She was fantastic, such a good girl; this was her grand finale,” said Trunnell. “(My favorite part was the) free walk. She likes doing those; it was so relaxed.”

Despite these Games being the final test for the pair, Trunnell has her sights firmly set on representing the United States at the 2016 Paralympic Games.

Italy’s Sara Morganti and Royal Delight earned the Grade 1a Freestyle Gold medal with a score of 75.783%, with Laurentia Yen-Yi Tan and Ruben James 2 of Singapore clinching Silver on 74.522%, and Great Britain’s Sophie Christiansen and Janiero 4 earning Bronze with a score of 74.261%.

Rebecca Hart & Schroeter's Romani (SusanJStickle.com)
Rebecca Hart & Schroeter’s Romani (SusanJStickle.com)

Hart (Unionville, Pa.), a World Championship and Paralympic veteran, closed out her second World Games appearance with a seventh-place finish in the Grade II Freestyle riding her own Schroeters Romani. The 12-year-old Danish Warmblood mare earned a score of 65.400% from the Ground Jury of Freddy Leyman, Anne Prain, Hanneke Gerritsen, Kjell Myhre, and Marco Orsini after enthusiasm got the better of her in the Freestyle.

“She was definitely enthusiastic; she loves this music,” said Hart. “In the future I’m hopeful for a little more power but her enthusiasm was definitely appreciated but next time, hopefully have a little more controlled enthusiasm.”

Hart has enjoyed her time in France as well training camp in Aachen, Germany and getting the chance to get to know her teammates better.

“The group of people we have has been great; we’ve really bonded and all my supporters have been wonderful. We really have become a tight knit family.”

Rixt van der Horst and Uniek of The Netherlands won Grade II Freestyle Gold on a score of 76.350%, earning the Silver medal was Canada’s Lauren Barwick and Off to Paris on a score of 76.250%, with The Netherlands’ Demi Vermeulen and Vaness earning Bronze on a score of 71.900%.

By Helen Murray

To learn more about the Para-Dressage Championship at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, visit: http://www.normandy2014.com/2014-games/the-disciplines/8/para-dressage.

Learn more about the Para-Equestrian Team: click here.