Tag Archives: USPEA

FEI World Ranked Para-Dressage Rider Katie Jackson Earns Top Accolades in 2017

Katie Jackson and Royal Dancer. Photo by Susan J Stickle.

Austin, TX – November 13, 2017 – International Para-Dressage athlete Katie Jackson from Austin, Texas has been working hard in 2017 topping Grade V Para-Dressage with scores in the mid 70’s and recently earning her USDF Silver Medal and High Point Award in the Fourth Level Open Division in able-bodied Dressage. Only two years ago Jackson was just out of surgery and barely even walking after she was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive form of soft tissue cancer. Amputation of her right leg, above her knee, was the only option to make sure all of the cancer was removed from the area. Jackson made a commitment to herself to continue to do the sport she loved and aim for the world stage. With talent, hard work, and a strong support system Jackson and Royal Dancer, now owned by Jackson and her husband Yancy thanks to the generosity of Rachel and Julia Handt, have become a top duo on the Para-Dressage stage. Jackson’s list of accomplishments in two years include earning the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Lloyd Kramer Annual Sportsmanship Trophy, United Stated Dressage Federation (USDF) Grade IV Para Equestrian National Champion Number One Rider of the Year, helping to win four gold medals at each Nation’s Cup for Team USA in Florida and California, Awarded Women’s Sports Foundation 2017 Travel & Training Grant, and currently she is the third ranked FEI World Para-Dressage Grade V athlete. In September, Jackson topped Grade V at the US Equestrian 2017 Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships and CPEDI3* in Tryon, NC. In October 2017, Jackson rode at the GAIG/USDF Region 9 Championships, Southwest Dressage Championships and Houston Dressage Society Autumn Classic where she earned her USDF Silver Medal and High Point Award in the 4th Level Open Division. Finishing off the year, Jackson was presented the Grade V 2017 Adequan®/USDF Para-Dressage Grade V Rider of the Year in addition to the All Breeds Para-Dressage Rider of the Year from the Westfalen Horse Association, for her accomplishments with Royal Dancer.

In Summer 2015, Jackson could only imagine where she would be weeks, months, and years down the road. In 2016, she was a brand new Para-Dressage rider and one year amputee competing at her first international Dressage competition. Jackson stated, “It has been an incredible year and I am so thankful to be able to be on this journey.  I have learned so much about myself, my riding, and what it takes to be a top competitor.  It is very rewarding to challenge my body and my mind to see what I can accomplish, especially now, as an amputee.”

Jackson has been a horse woman and athlete since she began riding at six years of age focusing on Dressage. She continued her riding even after graduating from the University of San Diego with a Bachelor in Arts and then from the UCLA School of Dentistry, beginning her dental practice in Austin, TX in 2007. She noted, “Earning my silver medal has been on my bucket list of goals. Even as a little girl I always dreamed about getting to wear the pretty shadbelly coat and riding at the FEI level.  I just never imagined I would be earning it so soon.  Earning this medal now, as a para-equestrian, makes it even more meaningful and special for me.”

Jackson is thankful to all of her support including her husband Yancy. She is also thankful to Austin Prosthetic Center who has helped to tell her story and keep her mobile so Jackson can continue living a life without limits. Jackson added, “I am extremely grateful to Kai Handt of North Texas Equestrian Center as well for believing in me and challenging me to ride at this level.   Kai’s support and coaching have aligned me for these successes and I am very thankful to be able to ride under someone with his knowledge and experience.”

Jackson is now aiming at the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina and the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

For more about Jackson’s story, please visit https://www.austinprostheticcenter.com/single-post/2017/10/21/Riding-toward-the-2020-Paralympics.

By: Lindsay Y. McCall

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.

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

US Para-Dressage Athletes Continue Successful Summer 2017

Annie Peavy and Royal Dark Chocolate. Photo by Lindsay Y. McCall.

Thousand Oaks, California – July 22, 2017 – Summer 2017 began with an impressive international showcase from the United States Para-Dressage riders. The United States Para-Dressage Team dominated at the Golden State Dressage Classic CPEDI3* held at the Rancho Murieta Equestrian Center in Rancho Murieta, Calif. June 15-18. The Golden State Dressage Classic CPEDI3* was followed by an exciting Para-Dressage Symposium with Michel Assouline and US Equestrian Para-Dressage Chef d’Equipe Kai Handt, all sponsored by US Equestrian. Across the pond, 2016 Paralympian (USA) and 2014 World Equestrian Games athlete Annie Peavy headed to Europe this summer riding at the Hartpury Festival of Dressage July 5-9, located at the Hartpury College in Hartpury, Gloucestershire, England. Peavy rode her Paralympic mount Lancelot Warrior and her new mount Royal Dark Chocolate. Peavy and her 2008 Oldenburg mare, Royal Dark Chocolate, owned by Rebecca Reno, scored a 72.425% in the Grade IV Freestyle competition. Their outstanding first show has prepared them for their next journey to the Bishop Burton CPEDI3* July 25-29, held at Bishop Burton College in Bishop Burton, East Riding of Yorkshire, England. Fellow Paralympic teammate Margaret “Gigi” McIntosh (USA) will join Peavy at Bishop Burton with her new partner, 13 year old Danish Warmblood mare, Heros. Finally, United States riders in both National and International will close out the summer competition at the USEF Para Equestrian Dressage National Championship Sponsored by Deloitte, September 14-17, held at Tryon International Equestrian Center in Tryon, North Carolina, site of the 2018 World Equestrian Games competition.

The Golden State Dressage Classic CPEDI3*, held at the Rancho Murieta Equestrian Center in Rancho Murieta, Calif. June 15-18, showcased veteran para-dressage riders and many new horse and rider combinations. The U.S. Team led by Chef d’Equipe Kai Handt included Katie Jackson and NTEC Royal Dancer (Grade V); Roxanne Trunnell with NTEC Daytona Beach (Grade I), Michele Bandinu with Soulman 13 (Grade IV); and Kate Shoemaker and Solitaire 40 (Grade IV). World Equestrian Games (2014) and Paralympian (2016) Roxanne Trunnell and NTEC Daytona Beach topped Grade I over the three days. “The first day was wonderful,” said Trunnell. “She pranced to a 69.571% the highest score of the day. Since Daytona is a big girl it takes her a little bit longer to get her back supple for that nice, swingy, forward walk that the judges want to see in the Grade I tests compared to the more compact horses. So to aid with this situation I did a lot of lateral work with her. Even with 100 degree temperatures Daytona was a soldier. Since Daytona has a long giraffe neck I’ve been playing around with her frame. She starts to get tense in the back when I have her really up in the bridle but when I warm her up where she is reaching for the bit and let her frame become more relaxed and natural to her, she rounds up nicely in her back and gets a relaxed swingy forward walk. I was happy how consistent she was that whole weekend.”

Trunnell added, “My coach and Chef d’Equipe Kai Handt has been helpful for not only the U.S. Team but for Daytona and me as a pair. An example of this is how Kai speaks about keeping a horse forward. He said, ‘a horse is like a Porsche: the engine is in the back. You ride a horse from the back first.’ Daytona is a horse that needs to be ridden from behind and that requires a tremendous amount of half-halts. Knowing that she is trained this way has helped me keep her responsive and pretty in the show ring by giving her little ‘wake-up calls’ in the form of half-halts from my seat during a test.”

Other notable rides at the CPEDI3* included new para-equestrian partnership Alanna Flax-Clark and Real Erbeo in Grade II; Ashleigh Flores-Simmons and Binero in Grade III; new rider Michele Bandinu and Soulman 13 in Grade IV; and Katie Jackson and NTEC Royal Dancer in Grade V.

Equestrians were able to move from the CPEDI3* to the US Equestrian Para-Dressage Symposium with Michel Assouline and US Equestrian Para-Dressage Chef d’Equipe Kai Handt that same week.  Michel Assouline was recently named the US Equestrian Head of Para-Dressage Coach Development and High Performance Programs. This symposium opportunity included lectures, collaborative coaching, and intensive work on what the judges are looking for in the new FEI Para-Dressage Tests.

Michel Assouline commented, “I was pleasantly surprised to find an overall good standard of riders and horses. The facilities were really stunning and well organized in Rancho Murieta. I liked the concept of mixing para-dressage and able-bodied dressage competitions which generates broader crossway interest. The horse and rider combinations looked good indeed with room for improvement. I felt the riders and their coaches all had the ability to enhance the skill sets needed to develop their horses’ performance. Everyone was so keen to learn.”

Assouline and Handt conducted this similar symposium on the East Coast just months prior. Assouline said, “I am happy to say there are equally good quality riding and horses on both sides. The depth on the East coast is obviously greater. In California we worked on Improving their horses’ way of going including throughness, connection, contact and activity. We also worked on test presentation and outline awareness; accuracy. In addition to picking up marks where it’s easy.”

Assouline concluded, “I enjoyed working with Kai very much. I was able to bring different approaches and structures to the established system which Kai seemed to have embraced. Riders benefited from a daily test review with video analysis which is an important step forward and aid in the way we should up our game. I also included videos of recent top European riders in action to create an awareness of where riders are at present, and where they have to go and surpass themselves eventually. In the US, para-dressage riders tend to compare themselves against one another because it’s the only option with the lack of international competitors, so we need to offer them European exposure in the form of videos for the moment, being the cheapest option. I intend to monitor progress through an online competition system too which is being set up by Laureen Johnson and the USEF IT Team. In the meantime several riders have been regularly sending video links for advice.”

Understanding what each athlete’s counterparts are showcasing in the international arena may be the key to the US riders earning medals at the world championships. Each year a handful of US Para-Dressage riders head overseas to immerse themselves within European competition. Annie Peavy headed to the Hartpury Festival of Dressage July 5-9, with Lancelot Warrior and Royal Dark Chocolate. Peavy explained, “Hartpury was great exposure with my new horse Cocoa. We learned a lot as a team; the more I get to know her, the more I love riding her. Both Cocoa and Lance traveled to England well; I am grateful to have two strong competitors. Our plans are to stay in England the rest of July and compete at Bishop Burton. I am thankful for my parents endless support along with my groom, Alex Philpin, and trainer, Heather Blitz.”

2016 Paralympian Margaret McIntosh will join Peavy in Bishop Burton this July. Along her side will be Michel Assouline’s wife and classical dressage trainer Mette. McIntosh said, “After hearing a resounding endorsement of her horse-hunting talent (she found both British Grade I team horses), I asked Mette Assouline to help me find a Grade I horse. Missy (Ransehousen) and I met her in Denmark in May, where we found Heros, a 13 year old, 16.1, dark brown Danish Warmblood mare. I am training with Mette at her farm in Colne Engaine, Essex, U.K. for the month of July with the CPEDI3* at Bishop Burton and Tryon in September as our goals. My regular coach Missy Ransehousen will be here at the end of July to help me at the show. I am so excited to have the opportunity to ride and train in Great Britain, the Mecca of Para Equestrian Dressage. Many thanks to my great support group, including Missy and Jessica Ransehousen, my family, especially Brian, and Assouline Dressage for helping me make this incredible journey happen.”

US Para-Dressage athletes will finish the summer off with the USEF Para Equestrian Dressage National Championship Sponsored by Deloitte in Tryon, NC. The Para-Dressage show is scheduled for September 14-17, 2017.

The United States Para-Equestrian Association would also like to mention four para-dressage horses that have passed this year. Rider Lara Oles lost her Bella earlier in the year, Katie Jackson lost her horse Wembley in April, Elle Faulkner lost Flash Dance in June, and Ashleigh Flores-Simmons lost Binero in July. The USPEA would like to express their sincere sympathy for each of these riders.

By: Lindsay Y. McCall

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.

Kristi Wysocki Earns FEI Five Star Para-Dressage Judge Promotion

Thousand Oaks, California – July 8, 2017 – Kristi Wysocki, of the United States, was recently promoted as a Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) 5* Para-Dressage judge. A 5* accreditation is the highest rank given to international judges. Wysocki is the only US FEI 5* Para-Dressage judge joining only a handful of experts in the world with this level of expertise.

Wysocki was first introduced to the Para-Dressage discipline at the 2008 Unites States Equestrian Federation Para-Equestrian Dressage Selection Trials for the 2008 Paralympic Team. Her next exposure to the sport was at the CPEDI3* held at N.E.D.A. Fall Show in 2009. Watching the athletes and horses and speaking with the international panels of judges during these competitions drew her attention to the value of the sport. She recognized the minimal funding the Para-Dressage riders had so in the spring of 2010, Wysocki organized a fundraising event for the U.S. Para-Dressage riders in Loxahatchee, Florida. She also attended the U.S. Para-Dressage training camp for the 2010 World Equestrian Games held in Lexington, Kentucky. Each of these experiences made Wysocki more interested in becoming further actively involved in the sport. In 2011 Wysocki became a FEI 3* Para-Dressage judge. In 2012 she served on the Selection Committee for the U.S. Paralympic Equestrian Team. She was promoted to an FEI 4* Para-Dressage judge in July 2013 and obtained her Technical Delegate status in the spring of 2014. She has served on the U. S. Equestrian Para-Dressage Committee since the spring of 2011 and currently serves as the chair of that committee. She now sits on the U.S. Equestrian International Disciplines Council as a representative for the Para-Dressage sport.

Wysocki is a lifelong horsewoman in addition to her past career as an engineer. Her engineering background and degree in Metallurgical Engineering has always given her a keen interest in both horse and rider biomechanics. Wysocki noted, “It was not until she became involved in the Para-Dressage branch of Dressage that she really started to see just how much the two can become one, despite many physical hurdles.” Wysocki feels her experience in this division has helped her learn so much more about this most important aspect of riding. She stated, “Para-Dressage has only enhanced my life-long love and bond to the horse. I really feel my experiences in Para-Dressage have made me more aware of the relationship between the two athletes (horse and rider).  I truly believe it has made me not only a worthy Para-Dressage judge but also a much better Dressage judge, trainer and rider than I would have been without.”

Hope Hand, President of the USPEA, noted, “The US is extremely proud of Kristi’s accomplishments and her dedication and commitment to the Para-Dressage Program.”

Wysocki concluded, “I am honored and humbled to be promoted to an FEI 5* Para-Dressage judge.”

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.

Hanneke Gerritsen Para Dressage/Dressage Symposium and Schooling Show June 2-4

Lyman, Maine – May 22, 2017 – Carlisle Academy Integrative Equine Therapy & Sports, recognized as a USEF/USPEA National Para-Equestrian Dressage Center of Excellence, will host a Para Dressage/Dressage Symposium and Evaluation Ride Schooling Show June 2-4, with Hanneke Gerritsen. Hanneke Gerritsen is a FEI 5* Paralympic Dressage Judge and Deputy Chair of the FEI Technical Committee. Gerritsen will offer an educational and interactive symposium packed with information and training for riders and coaches. The symposium will be held at the Carlisle Academy located in Lyman, Maine. Friday & Saturday, June 2-3, 2017, includes the Dressage & Para-Dressage Symposium, followed by Sunday, June 4, Dressage & Para-Dressage Schooling Show. Para-dressage athletes, dressage riders, and interested veterans are encouraged to attend. For more information about dates, activities, or biographies, please visit http://carlisleacademymaine.com/programs/sports-education/para-dressage-education-training/ or contact Sarah Armentrout, Head of School, at sarmentrout@carlisleacademymaine.com or 207-985-0374.

This will be Hanneke Gerritsen’s fifth visit to Carlisle Academy. During the symposium riders will have 45-minute private mounted sessions each day along with lecture-based education. Trained program horses are available. PATH Instructors and Dressage Coaches are encouraged to audit lessons and participate in coach development sessions. A USEF National Classifier will be available for classification. A Sports Medicine Veterinarian will lecture and utilize horses for demonstrations. Veterans may participate free of charge and are encouraged to audit to learn more about the sport, in collaboration with to an Adaptive Sports Grant provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Participants will receive a bound manual on a variety of topics with accompanying lectures on Para-Dressage Classification Process, Introduction to Para-Dressage Competition, A Judge’s Perspective on Winning Rides/Video Analysis, Musical Freestyle Tips, Adaptive Equipment & Compensation Aids, Paralympic Military Program, and Common Equine Athlete Soft Tissue Injuries. Sunday’s schooling show is open to symposium participants, but is managed under a separate registration.

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.

Riders Have Successful Symposium with Para-Dressage Coach Michel Assouline

Assouline speaks to symposium attendees.

Wellington, FL – March 22, 2017 – Team Great Britain Para Equestrian Dressage Coach Michel Assouline flew to Wellington, FL to conduct a Para-Dressage Symposium March 12-14, 2017. The symposium followed the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival CPEDI3*. For United States Para-Dressage riders this was a unique opportunity to work on the new FEI Para-Equestrian Dressage Tests following an international competition. Both Assouline and U.S Para-Dressage Technical Advisor and Chef d’Equipe Kai Handt worked with each athlete and their home coaches in the Van Kampen Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. The focus of the symposium was finding the appropriate competitive horse for each athlete’s Grade and working on what the judges are looking for in the new Tests.

Michel Assouline noted, “I had the pleasure to work with riders and coaches at the Wellington International Equestrian Center, during the USEF Para-Equestrian Symposium. Horses had quality and true potential to progress with the aim to gain consistent marks in competition. It was a question of seeing what they can be rather than what they were, repeating good habits in their training routine which will be more easily replicated in competition. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing. Training sessions were fragmented in building blocks to identify blockers in detail, which were then shared with coaches, as attention to detail is everything in any winning culture. A really exciting pool of good rider-horse combinations.”

Para-Dressage rider Katie Jackson took part in the symposium with Assouline. She expressed, “I really enjoyed having the opportunity to learn from Michel Assouline.  The symposium was a fantastic opportunity for all of us to learn from one of the best in our sport.  On the first day Michel shared valuable insight about developing the para-dressage athlete, giving us his perspective on how to grow as individual riders and as a team.  He also spoke on the key areas that have created the success of Team Great Britain, including having a strong foundation for riders, coaches, and their support teams to grow and develop from.  During my rides I appreciated Michel’s attention to detail. I especially liked his patience and focus on correct basics such as straightness and connection to improve the horses’ gaits.  He gave helpful suggestions on how Royal and I can improve as a team and I felt that we made some big improvements over the two days of riding.  A big thank you to USEF/USPEA and our sponsors for making this symposium possible.”

For more information about future U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Symposiums, please contact Laureen Johnson, High Performance Director, Para Equestrian & Vaulting, United States Equestrian Federation, Inc. Email: lkjohnson@usef.org.

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.

Para-Dressage Returns to Palm Beach for Adequan Global Dressage Festival CPEDI3*

Kai Handt and NTEC Royal Dancer, ridden by Katie Jackson. Photo by Lindsay Y. McCall.

Wellington, FL – March 9, 2017 – Para-Dressage riders returned to the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival for the second international para-equestrian dressage competition in Wellington, Florida. Eleven horse and rider combinations from the United States and Canada will compete over the March 10-12 weekend at Week 9 of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival CPEDI3* presented by Mane Stream courtesy of Rowan O’Riley, Mission Control, Adequan®, and Nutrena. Athletes from Grade I through Grade V include multiple World Equestrian Games’ riders and Paralympians.

The CPEDI3* kicked off Thursday with the FEI Jog with Ground Jury members Carlos Lopes (POR), Adrienne Pot (USA), and Elke Ebert (GER) viewing each horse as they jogged. Dale Dedrick won the Best Dressed Award presented by Show Chic. Rides begin in The Stadium on Friday with the Team Test, followed by Saturday’s Individual Tests, and ending with the Freestyle on Sunday, March 12, 2017. Competition includes both team and individual divisions. The U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team presented by Deloitte includes Laurietta Oakleaf (Grade II), Annie Peavy (Grade IV), Katie Jackson (Grade V), and Mary Jordan (Grade V). The team is led by Chef d’Equipe and U.S. Para-Dressage Technical Advisor Kai Handt. Equine Canada Team includes Laura Hall and Boo Sinclair (Grade IV), Jody Schloss and Lieutenant Lobin (Grade I) and Robyn Andrews and Fancianna (Grade I) with Chef d’Equipe and Para Canada’s technical director Clive Milkins.

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.

Michel Assouline Conducts Para-Dressage Symposium March 12-14 in Wellington

Michel Assouline (credit www.assoulinedressage.com)

Wellington, FL – February 22, 2017 – Michel Assouline will conduct a Para-Dressage Symposium March 12-14, 2017, following the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival CPEDI3* in Wellington, Florida, March 9-12. The symposium will take place at the Van Kampen Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. Riders will begin working with Assouline on March 12, and will continue to ride over two full days March 13 and 14. The cost of the symposium is $500 for riders and $200 for auditors. The focus of the symposium will be finding the appropriate competitive horse for each athlete’s Grade, working on what the judges are looking for in the new FEI Para-Dressage Tests. Assouline will work in collaboration with the U.S Para-Dressage Technical Advisor and Chef d’Equipe Kai Handt. For more information on the details of this symposium, please contact Laureen Johnson, High Performance Director, Para Equestrian & Vaulting, United States Equestrian Federation, Inc. Email: lkjohnson@usef.org .

About Michel Assouline
(credit www.assoulinedressage.com)

Michel is a graduate of the French National Equestrian School, home of the Cadre Noir in Saumur and gained a vast international experience in the USA, France, Germany and the United Kingdom as an international dressage rider and trainer. Michel was long-listed to represent France at the Seoul Olympics and won the French National Championships in 2000.  He has also scored numerous successes at International and National level.

Michel was voted in 1995 UK Dressage Trainer of the Year, and is a member of the International Dressage Trainers Club. He is also currently on the British Dressage panel of trainers eligible to judge Potential International Dressage Horse classes and officiated several times at the Championships for four, five and six-year-old horses.

In 2005 Michel became the British Para-Equestrian Dressage Team Coach and has led Team GBR riders to win Team Gold medals at the 2005 European Championships, the 2007 World Championships, the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games, the 2009 European Championships, the 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games, the 2011 FEI Europeans, the 2012 London Paralympic Games, the 2013 FEI Europeans, the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games, the 2015 FEI Europeans and the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games. At the Rio Games his athletes came back with a total of four silver and seven gold medals, medaling in all their classes contested.

In March 2009 Michel was awarded the PDTT Coaching Award, and in November 2012 Michel was awarded the UK Sports Coach Medal and inducted in the Coaching Hall of Fame at the UK Coaching Awards ceremony. Later that year at the London Olympia International he received the prestigious British Equestrian Federation Medal of Honour. Team GBR made the following statement at the time: ‘Michel has been the British Paralympic team coach for eight years, during which time the GB team have remained unbeaten at major team championships, amassing 85 medals in total, including the 2012 Paralympic haul of 11.

At the 2016 UK Coaching awards Michel Assouline, along with Carl Hester, Angela Weiss, Lisa Hopkins and Helen Burt, was awarded the Mussabini Medal – a sports award recognizing Coaches of British sports people and teams, and was inducted in the UK Coaching Hall of Fame.  Michel recently successfully completed the inaugural intake of UK Sport’s Elite Coaching Programme.

For more information on the details of this symposium, please contact Laureen Johnson, High Performance Director, Para Equestrian & Vaulting, United States Equestrian Federation, Inc. Email: lkjohnson@usef.org.

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.

Kristi Wysocki Conducts International Para-Dressage Symposium

Para Dressage Judge Kristi Wysocki talks about shoulder in.

Wellington, FL – January 28, 2017 – Following a successful Adequan® Global Dressage Festival CPEDI3* in Wellington, Florida, FEI 3* Dressage and FEI 4* Para Dressage Judge Kristi Wysocki conducted an international Para-Dressage Symposium in Collaboration with U.S. Technical Advisor Kai Handt. The symposium ran over three days January 22-24, 2017, and it included demonstration rides of the new tests given by top level Dressage riders. The focus of the symposium was to talk about and work on technical aspects of the FEI tests that were recently released.  Kristi Wysocki was able to give her recent experience judging the new tests at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival CPEDI3* and explain to the riders what they should aim for in each Para-Dressage Grade. Kai Handt worked with the riders and spoke to them about horse preparation and expectations in the ring. The format of the symposium included both riding intensive and sit down discussions.

Each FEI Para-Dressage Grade Test was demonstrated by top Dressage athletes those included Shelly Francis, Noel Williams, Rebecca Waite, Roz Kinstler, and Jessica Rhinelandar. During the Grade V test demonstration by Grand Prix rider Noel Williams with horse Caprice, owned by Hampton Meadows Farm, Wysocki spoke about the importance of geometry.

“It’s important to make sure your geometry is perfect,” stated Wysocki. “If you don’t get the geometry correct you get in trouble with balance and gait. If you know a particular movement is difficult for your horse, you can use certain preparations or movements on the geometry to get the best score.”

She also spoke about transitions. “Don’t throw your transition score away. Even if you have trouble in the lengthening, for example, make sure the transition is done well.”

Hope Hand, President of the United States Para-Equestrian Association, was happy with both the CPEDI3* and the participation at the symposium. Hand acknowledged, “I want to thank all those involved with both the CPEDI3* and the symposium. That includes the riders and support staff; Judges President Kristi Wysocki (USA), Carlos Lopes (POR), and Anne Prain (FRA); Show management, Thomas Baur, Monica Fitzgerald; Sponsors Mission Control and Mane Stream, Rowan O’Reilly; Chef d’Equipe Kai Handt; USEF Discipline Director Laureen Johnson; USEF; and USPEA.”

She continued, “Even with low entries, this event jump started the season off with great enthusiasm and hope for a fantastic year heading into The World Equestrian Games. The January show is a good way for our Developing Riders to get their feet wet and they did just that with promising scores that met the first step of WEG qualifications. I am excited to see new horse rider combinations coming up the ranks. I look forward to seeing our riders return in March.”

The Adequan® Global Dressage Festival CPEDI3* in Wellington, Florida is scheduled for March 9-12, 2017 at The Stadium at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

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.

US Para-Equestrian Dressage Team Earns Blue at AGDF CPEDI3*

Robyn Andrews (CAN), Fancianna. Photos by Lindsay Y. McCall.

Canadian Robyn Andrews and Fancianna earn the overall individual championship

Wellington, FL – January 23, 2017 – Athletes from the United States and Canada competed over the January 20-22, 2017, weekend at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival CPEDI3* presented by Mane Stream courtesy of Rowan O’Riley, Mission Control, Adequan®, and Nutrena. Para-dressage riders in Grades I through V attempted the brand new FEI Para-Dressage tests in front of ground jury members President Kristi Wysocki (USA), Carlos Lopes (POR), and Anne Prain (FRA). The U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team presented by Deloitte earned the blue for the team competition. Earning the individual champion was Robyn Andrews (Grade I) of Canada with an overall total of 70.506. This was the first of two CPEDI3* events held at The Stadium at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, Florida. Following this CPEDI3* is a Para-Dressage symposium with FEI 3* Dressage and FEI 4* Para Dressage Judge Kristi Wysocki in collaboration with U.S. Para-Dressage Chef d’Equipe Kai Handt. The second CPEDI3* is March 9-12, 2017.

The U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team presented by Deloitte showcased top tests with precision and accuracy at the CPEDI3*. The team of four horse and rider combinations included (Grade I) Roxanne Trunnell (USA) and NTEC Daytona Beach;(Grade Ib) Laurietta Oakleaf (USA) Niekele Fan Busenitz; (Grade IV) Eleanor Brimmer (USA) and London Swing; and (Grade V) Katie Jackson (USA) and Wembley.

U.S. Chef d’Equipe Kai Handt noted, “We had a good nations cup team this weekend. This was the first CPEDI of the year and since we started off really early this season it prevented some of our riders from showing up. The new tests came out very late this year and some riders wanted to ride in their local shows before riding them in an international venue. However, we had some great rides this weekend. The March show will be a big show with lots of new horses and riders.”

Individual athlete Robyn Andrews (Grade I) of Canada topped the competition averaging a 70.506 with Fancianna. Andrews said, “We did awesome. I find at shows Fancianna listens to me really well. I am enjoying the new tests. I find them hard but I like the challenge that each presents. I look forward to competing at the March show when there are more riders and horses.”

Also competing from Canada was Paralympian Jody Schloss and Lieutenant Lobin in Grade I. Schloss said, “I’m really happy with our progress. He was looking at everything but I’m happy with where we are at and our future together.”

Paralympian Roxanne Trunnell (USA) rounded out the Grade I competition with NTEC Daytona Beach. “Daytona acted like such a pro out in the show ring and it’s hard to believe she is coming back from a leave of absence in international showing,” stated Trunnell. “When I first started showing Daytona at our first show together she screamed her head off the entire test but this time she didn’t make a peep. I was very impressed with her. During the individual test she was a little tense but she was still a good horse.”

Laurietta Oakleaf (USA), Niekele Fan Busenitz

In Grade II Laurietta Oakleaf and her longtime partner Niekele Fan Busentiz had top scores in the Team and Individual tests. Oakleaf explained, “I’m really liking the new tests. They are a little more difficult but it keeps the horses attention. I wanted to thank my trainer Missy Ransehousen because without her help I couldn’t have ridden in this show. I am honored to have shown at this CPEDI3* with all of the wonderful riders and I was pleased with my rides over both days.”

Grade IV rider Ellie Brimmer and London Swing (USA) had three consistent days at the CPEDI3*. Ellie expressed, “I really appreciate the time and effort the test writing committee put into these new tests after Rio. I find them to be riding well. In the individual test my coach Shelly Francis and I focused on a short warm up, improving the forward impulsion. I’m so happy to have been a part of Team USA for this show and I’m thankful for Deloitte’s support.”

New para-dressage athlete Katie Jackson and her own Wembley experienced their first-ever international show. “I was so happy with Wembley he really showed the potential we have together and the power he can give. He tried so hard at this show. He was really intense but with me through everything and really listened to me. This was my first time in a big nation stadium and it was an incredible experience. I was soaking it all in as the national anthem played. This was a pretty amazing experience. If you told me this a year ago that I would be doing this I wouldn’t believe you.”

Jackson added, “I want to thank all the sponsors including Mane Stream and Mission Control. I want to thank them for the lovely prizes and the support. I also want to thank Kai Handt, Laureen Johnson at USEF, and Hope Hand of the USPEA for making these shows happen.”

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.

Adequan Global Dressage Festival CPEDI3* Commences in Wellington

Ellie Brimmer and London Swing by Lindsay Y. McCall.

Wellington, FL – January 19, 2017 – The winter equestrian show season is in full swing in beautiful Wellington, Florida. At The Stadium at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival, Para-Dressage riders are prepping for the 2017 CPEDI3* January 20-22, presented by Mission Control and Mane Stream. Although a small sample of athletes will be competing at the first CPEDI3* of 2017, the list includes riders from both the United States and Canada. The CPEDI3* begins on Friday, January 20, with the Team Test, followed by the Individual Test on Saturday, and the Freestyle on Sunday.  Ground jury members include President Kristi Wysocki (USA), Carlos Lopes (POR), and Anne Prain (FRA).  Friday will not only be the launch of the CPEDI3* but it is also the first time the judges will see these athletes ride the brand new Para-Dressage tests of 2017. It is also the first time these athletes have new Grade names.

In 2017, the five current Grade names changed from Grade Ia, Ib, II, III, and IV to Grade I, II, III, IV, and V. Grade IV rider Ellie Brimmer will be competing over the weekend with her horse London Swing. The duo earned the Omega Alpha Healthy Horse Award during the FEI Horse inspection on Thursday. Brimmer is looking forward to the first international Para-Dressage show of 2017. She noted, “I’m looking forward to getting the opportunity to show in the International Stadium again. This CPEDI is a great opportunity to experience in a big atmosphere venue. My goal for this show is to ride these new tests with good energy and use this as a baseline to see where I need to make improvements. Working with my trainer Shelly Francis, I think my partnership with Louie continues to strengthen and I look forward to seeing what we’re able to accomplish.”

Para-Dressage competition begins at 10 AM in The Stadium at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival.

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.