Tag Archives: Stefanie Putnam

Vote for Para-Driver Stefanie Putnam for USEF Annual Equestrian of Honor Awards

Photo by Marie de Ronde-Oudemans.

Para-Equestrian Driver Stefanie Putnam has been named as a 2016 USEF semi-finalist for the Becky Grand Hart award.  Now there will be a vote by the general public over the next three weeks to choose a finalist who embodies the sportsmanship and dedication to the principles, vision, and mission of the United States Equestrian Federation.

Please cast your vote for Stefanie today! You do not need to be a member of USEF to vote.  See below for how to vote.

About Stefanie Putnam of West Lafayette, Calif.

Stefanie Putnam has been working towards accomplishing her international dreams for five years and on August 6, 2016 she did just that as the sole U.S. representative at the 2016 FEI World Para-Driving Championships in Beesd, The Netherlands. In her international debut, Stefanie achieved a remarkable individual fifth-place finish in the Grade I division, which included a third-place finish in the cones phase.

The key to her success is the magical connection she has established with her black Morgan gelding, Bethesda After Dark (“Shadow”). Paralyzed from the chest down in 2009 at the age of 24 in a non-horse-related accident, Stefanie began exploring carriage driving in 2010 as an alternative to jumping, which had been her lifeblood. In 2012, “Shadow” came into Stefanie’s life, launching her far beyond the confines of her wheelchair and opening up the adrenaline rush world of combined driving where she began to shine. Stefanie, who has minimal feeling from her chest down and drives from cuffs around her wrists, likes to say that it is as though she is driving Shadow from her heart rather than her hands.

Stefanie has thrived through her involvement with carriage driving, winning the prestigious America Driving Society’s President’s Award in 2016 and is a spokesperson for United States Driving for the Disabled.

HOW TO VOTE:

  1. Click on https://www.usef.org/_IFrames/eoty/Default.aspx?utm_source=SilverpopMailing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=EOTY%20Voting%20Email%20(1)&utm_content=
  2. Enter EMAIL ADDRESS and CONTINUE.
  3. In the bottom left, select a FIRST CHOICE, then a second and third. Press SUBMIT.
  4. LOG ON TO YOUR EMAIL ID. See the email titled:  “USEF Equestrian of the Year Voting Verification.”  Click on the link labeled “PLEASE CLICK HERE TO VERIFY YOUR VOTE”.
  5. You will receive a message thanking you for verifying.

Thank you for your incredible support!

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.

 

Stefanie Putnam Earns Fifth at 2016 FEI World Para-Driving Championships

Photo by Katrin Doerr.

Lafayette, California, August 24, 2016 – The 2016 FEI World Para-Driving Championships took place August 3-6, 2016, in Beesd, The Netherlands. Stefanie Putnam made her international debut as the sole Para-Driver representing the United States of America. Putnam drove her horse Bethesda after Dark, a 1993 Morgan gelding, to a remarkable individual fifth place in Grade I against 13 seasoned competitors, also earning a third in Cones. She was supported by U.S. coach Scott Monroe and chef d’equipe Marcie Quist, as well as Marie de Ronde-Oudemans from Holland who graciously hosted and assisted the team. Seven nations competed in the championships with drivers from Latvia to Ireland. Putnam and Bethesda after Dark have been working towards accomplishing their international dreams for five years and on August 6, Putnam did just that.

Putnam grew up competing hunters and jumpers and was also the captain of the Cal Poly Tech polo team. She suffered a spinal cord injury that left her paralyzed from the chest down in 2009. In 2011 she discovered the sport of driving and competed in her first competition the very same year. In 2015 Putnam and Bethesda after Dark claimed top honors in the Preliminary Single Horse division at the Shady Oaks CDE, as well as earning the prestigious Charles Kellogg American Driving Society North American Preliminary Horse Champion and West Coast Triple Crown Preliminary Single Horse co-Champion titles. This season (2016) the duo took the Reserve Championship in the Intermediate Single Horse division at the Summer Festival CDE.

The 2016 FEI World Para-Driving Championships gave Stefanie an opportunity to compete at the FEI level for the first time (this is not an option for Para-Drivers in the U.S., as it is for Para-Dressage riders).  The World’s enabled Stefanie to experience the thrill and challenges of international competition and to get to know the Para-Equestrian Drivers from other countries.  Being selected to represent her country on behalf of USEF was especially exciting and meaningful.  While there are no carriage driving events in the Olympics and thus the Paralympics, this competition is considered to be the equivalent in the equestrian driving world.

Stefanie stated, “I have been deeply honored and indelibly touched by this incredible, inspiring opportunity.  It has taken an army of people to help me reach this goal, and I want to extend my utmost gratitude and heartfelt thanks to everyone who has supported me in this amazing journey. Against the backdrop of Rio, it was a proud and unforgettable feeling flying the American flag from the back of a beautiful horse drawn carriage.”

Results from the 2016 FEI World Para-Driving Championships: www.hoefnet.nl/uitslagen/2016/NED/WCPENKBEESD.20160804.20160806/results.html.

By: Lindsay Y. McCall

To view an online version of this press release, please visit: http://uspea.org/category/recent-uspea-press-news/.

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.

Putnam Finishes Fifth at 2016 FEI World Para-Driving Championships

Stefanie Putnam and Bethesda After Dark (©Marie de Ronde-Oudemans)

Beesd, The Netherlands – Stefanie Putnam made her European debut at the 2016 FEI World Para-Driving Championships and impressed with a stellar performance. As the sole U.S. representative, Putnam looked right at home competing against a strong international field. She partnered with Bethesda After Dark to finish fifth in the Grade I division.

Putnam (Lafeyette, Calif.) executed a solid test with her own Bethesda After Dark on Thursday in front of the Ground Jury of Andrew Counsil (GBR), Gun Hagring (SWE), Danuta Nowicka (POL), Henk van Amerongon (NED), and Reiner Wannenwetsch (GER). She and the 1993 Morgan gelding earned a score of 53.58 for fifth place. The pair attacked the Barry Hunter (GBR)-designed marathon course on Friday, having great times in obstacles two and three. They finished the marathon phase in eighth place, adding 100.92 penalties to their overall score to remain in fifth place. Putnam and “Shadow” finished their World Championship performance strongly by finishing third in the cones phase. They had a single ball down for 3.00 penalties and 5.83 time penalties to finish on a final score of 163.33.

Heiner Lehrter (GER) and Dashwood won Gold in the Grade I division with a score of 130.41, while Jacques Poppen (NED) and PP earned Silver on a score of 135.63 and Deborah Daniel (GBR) and Valeside Galaxy claimed Bronze on a score of 145.59.

Find out more about the FEI World Para-Driving Championships and view complete results.

By Kathleen Landwehr

Para-Driver Stefanie Putnam Triumphs Big Time at Shady Oaks CDE

Stefanie Putnam and Bethesda after Dark (Shadow). Photo by Tom Muehleisen.

Lodi, CA – October 16, 2015 – Para-Equestrian Driver Stefanie Putnam and her horse Bethesda after Dark (Shadow) brought home a big win from Shady Oaks Combined Driving Event (CDE) in Lodi, California. This prestigious three day CDE took place September 18-20, 2015. Putnam drove over three days competing in the driven dressage test, a marathon, and the cones course. On the final day, Putnam drove an almost flawless cones round with preeminent grace and style to finish an epic and consistent summer with supreme honors. Putnam earned accolades, including Charles Kellogg ADS North American Preliminary Horse Champion, West Coast Triple Crown Preliminary Single Horse co-Champion, Shady Oaks Preliminary Single Horse Champion, and Shady Oaks Preliminary Single Horse Cones Winner.

Putnam acknowledged, “I feel very grateful and honored to be in the company of some pretty fantastic co-competitors. They have all been an incredible inspiration and ongoing, steadfast source of encouragement and sustenance to me and my very soul. I am truly blessed.”

CDEs are the carriage driving equivalent of Three Day Eventing in the riding world. They are tremendous tests of horsemanship and performance over three days which include a driven dressage test, a marathon over miles of countryside with complicated obstacles to negotiate at high velocity, and a cones course where speed, stamina, and accuracy are paramount. In the United States all drivers compete equally whether amateur, professional, male, female, youth, or disabled. With no concessions made on the playing field, Putnam, with a Grade 1 disability, took everyone’s breath away with her phenomenal and consistent achievements this summer culminating in one big moment at Shady Oaks.

Putnam competed in the preliminary division and earned the Charles Kellogg ADS North American Preliminary Horse Champion, Shady Oaks Preliminary Single Horse Champion, and Shady Oaks Preliminary Single Horse Cone. The preliminary division is the most hotly contested and competitive division with a field of around fifteen entries in Single Horse and over thirty entries in the overall division. To add fuel to the fire, the West Coast sponsored a highly sought after Triple Crown award combining scores at the Summer Festival CDE (Clay Station) in June, the Sargent Equestrian Center CDE in August, and Shady Oaks CDE in September. A few points separated each competitor coming into the final event. Putnam took home the West Coast Triple Crown Preliminary Single Horse co-Champion as well topping off one successful summer.

About Stefanie Putnam: Stefanie is dedicated and passionate about her interests, including design and advertising (she completed her Master’s Degree in Fine Arts/Advertising in December), public speaking, and competitive horse carriage driving. Following a devastating spinal cord injury in August of 2009 at the age of 24 which left her paralyzed from the chest down, Stefanie has embraced an amazing journey of self-discovery – rediscovering, reshaping, and rebuilding her dreams and her future. She has been blessed with the unbelievable support of many wonderful individuals who have embodied the magnificent power and triumph of the human spirit.

Stefanie has thrived through her involvement with carriage driving and is a spokesperson for United States Driving for the Disabled. She is also a prominent supporter and speaker for Canine Companions, has recently consulted with Google in the development of new product lines, and has worked with Ride Designs in Denver on sports seating for the disabled. She hopes to continue to broaden her scope as a motivational speaker/consultant combining her successes as a competitive horse carriage driver with her insights into the world of individuals facing extreme challenges. She looks forward with great anticipation and excitement to her continuing, incredible journey and is truly an inspiration to everyone around her.

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