Tag Archives: USPEA

USA Para Reining Event at 50th Annual All American Quarter Horse Congress Seeks Participants

Frederick Win participating at a Para Reining event at the AQHA World Championship Show. Photo by Lindsay Y. McCall.

Columbus, Ohio – August 21, 2016 – USA Para Reining event is looking for Para-Equestrians to participate in the USA Para Reining show at the 2016 All American Quarter Horse Congress October 9. In particular, the Para Reining event is looking for Grade Ia and Grade Ib Para Dressage riders who want to try their hand at reining, but if you are interested and are of any Grade please contact Frederick Win at attorneywin@gmail.com or call 609-992-5283. The horses are provided to participants along with coaches and support.  The 2016 All American Quarter Horse Congress is scheduled for October 6-30, at Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, Ohio. Para Reining will include four classes held in the Celeste center starting at 7 AM, October 9. The 50th Annual All American Quarter Horse Congress is run by the Ohio Quarter Horse Association. For more information, please visit www.quarterhorsecongress.com or visit the Ohio Quarter Horse Association at www.oqha.com.

Para Reining made its debut during the 2013 AQHA World Championship Show, and interest in the sport continues to grow, including a class at the 2014 World Show, a class at the Kentucky Reining Cup and the one at the NRHA Futurity.

For 2014, AQHA adopted para-reining rules in collaboration with USA Reining and NRHA. Those rules will be revised with the goal of making para-reining a nationally recognized sport in the future.

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.

USPEA Acknowledges the 2016 Adequan/FEI NAJYRC Management Team

Photo (c) SusanJStickle.com.

Parker, Colorado – July 5, 2016 – With only weeks before the 2016 Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships provided by Gotham North (NAJYRC) taking place at the Colorado Horse Park July 27-31, in Parker, Colorado, the Para-Equestrian Dressage Young Rider Team and Individual Championships were cancelled. Although there was a considerable number of United States athletes looking to make the trip to Colorado, following the close of the Nominate Entry, the FEI requirement of at least two National Federations represented with teams was not met in order to run the para-equestrian division of a Continental Championship. The USPEA would like to thank the NAJYRC show management, sponsors, supporters of our athletes, and show volunteers who worked hard to try and make the Para-Dressage competition happen. The NAJYRC is considered the Junior Olympics and is a 4* competition. In 2015, the U.S. Para-Dressage Team made history at the Inaugural Young Rider Para-Dressage competition when they dominated each of the three days.

Hope Hand of the USPEA commented, “We are very disappointed that we could not meet the criteria this year for many reasons beyond our control but we are thankful to the NAJYRC organizers for including us in this prestigious competition.”

Although the 2016 Para-Equestrian competition was cancelled, the Para-Dressage Young Riders look forward to participating in the NAJYRC in 2017.

By: Lindsay Y. McCall

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

About United States Para-Equestrian Association:

The USPEA is a network of riders, judges, national federation board members, and equestrian enthusiasts. The association gives athletes the ability to get involved and expand their knowledge and experience in the Para-Equestrian sport. The USPEA encourages para-athletes to participate in all disciplines under the para-equestrian umbrella.

The USPEA is a recognized affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) which serves as the National Governing Body for the equestrian sport. This relationship between the USPEA and USEF is to encourage para-equestrian competitors, leisure riders, coaches, fans and enthusiasts to network and get involved with the entire equestrian sport.

Ultimately the goal of the USPEA is to foster growth in the para-equestrian discipline. From growth in the number of participants to growth as a team, and growth in the experience and knowledge of all involved. From local horse shows to international Olympic Games, the USPEA will provide para-equestrians the knowledge of what they need to succeed. The USPEA connects with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), the United States Dressage Federation (USDF), and USEF which provides Para-Equestrians the top equestrian resources.

In June 2010, the USPEA earned its 501 (c)(3) status which has encouraged supporters to help supply funding to the Para-Equestrian Team as a recognized affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF).

For more information about the USPEA, please visit www.USPEA.org or contact USPEA President Hope Hand by e-mail: hope@uspea.org or by phone: (610)356-6481.

Lara Oles and Bella Earn Para-Dressage FEI Championship at Thunderbird CPEDI3*

Lara Oles and Bella. Photo by Totem Photographics – Steve Charles.

Langley, B.C., Canada – June 13, 2016 – FEI Para-Dressage rider Lara Oles (Heber City, Utah) and her Canadian Warmblood, Bella, dominated Grade III at the Thunderbird CPEDI3* in British Columbia. Hosted by Equine Canada, this international Para-Dressage competition took place at the beautiful Thunderbird Show Park in Langley, June 9-12, 2016. Ten horse and rider combinations from the USA and Canada rode under ground jury members President Kjell Myrhe, FEI 5* (NOR); Jennifer Maynard FEI 4* (CAN), and Christel Carlson FEI 3* (USA). For USA athlete Lara Oles and her bay mare the Thunderbird CPEDI3* was the competition they needed to showcase their partnership that has been growing over the past year. Oles had a hard decision to make whether to attend the 2016 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships/Paralympic Selection Trials sponsored by Deloitte in Michigan, or gain international ranking in Canada. Over three days Oles and Bella wowed the judges with their tests scoring a 70.219% in the Team Test, a 71.463% in the Individual Championship Test, and a 70.333% in their Freestyle. Oles was the highest overall scoring rider of the Thunderbird CPEDI3* in addition to her clean sweep to earn the Grade III Championship.

Despite some inclement weather and an electric atmosphere, Oles and Bella had an incredible show including a visit from Bella’s breeder Michael Rabe. Oles commented, “After a great first day in the Team Test it was exciting to meet Bella’s breeder Michael Rabe from British Columbia. He drove four hours to watch us ride and it was great to get to know him and hear stories about Bella’s dam (Le Gunz), sire (Bonaparte), and siblings. It was an added bonus that he saw us perform in the Individual Test earning our highest score of the whole show. During that test we rode through the rain to earn a 71.5%. On the final day, Bella stayed consistent even with a few moments of tension in the Freestyle, and scored a 70.3%.”

Oles added, “I want to thank Sage Creek Equestrian and the Challenged Athletes Foundation because without their generous financial assistance we would not have been able to continue training or afford to attend the Thunderbird CPEDI3*. I also want to thank our sponsors including Theraplate for keeping Bella in top competition form.  She is an elite athlete and we want to keep her feeling good. CEECOACH for improving our training experience and Arista Equestrian for making me look good.”

Oles concluded, “All in all, it was a great show. I am so glad to have another CPEDI3* under my belt.  I am hoping our scores will bump me up in the FEI Para-Dressage rider standings. I am very proud of my entire team including Bella and I want to thank my trainer and coach Annie Sweet for working so hard with Bella and me to get us this far, and of course my husband Dan who does everything from driving the truck and organizing the gear, to braiding Bella’s mane and keeping us on schedule. We couldn’t do it without him. We have been able to accomplish an amazing amount in the past few years.  We have very limited funding and bought Bella at a stable down the street in Heber City, Utah, but still have been able to earn competitive scores for the rankings.  We hope to be able to continue training and improving all the way up to the 2018 World Equestrian Games selection trials. I would love to have a shot at earning a spot on the United States Equestrian Team.”

By: Lindsay Y. McCall

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

About United States Para-Equestrian Association:

The USPEA is a network of riders, judges, national federation board members, and equestrian enthusiasts. The association gives athletes the ability to get involved and expand their knowledge and experience in the Para-Equestrian sport. The USPEA encourages para-athletes to participate in all disciplines under the para-equestrian umbrella.

The USPEA is a recognized affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) which serves as the National Governing Body for the equestrian sport. This relationship between the USPEA and USEF is to encourage para-equestrian competitors, leisure riders, coaches, fans and enthusiasts to network and get involved with the entire equestrian sport.

Ultimately the goal of the USPEA is to foster growth in the para-equestrian discipline. From growth in the number of participants to growth as a team, and growth in the experience and knowledge of all involved. From local horse shows to international Olympic Games, the USPEA will provide para-equestrians the knowledge of what they need to succeed. The USPEA connects with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), the United States Dressage Federation (USDF), and USEF which provides Para-Equestrians the top equestrian resources.

In June 2010, the USPEA earned its 501 (c)(3) status which has encouraged supporters to help supply funding to the Para-Equestrian Team as a recognized affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF).

For more information about the USPEA, please visit www.USPEA.org or contact USPEA President Hope Hand by e-mail: hope@uspea.org or by phone: (610)356-6481.

Collier and Western Rose Earn USEF Para-Dressage High Perf. Division National Championship

Sydney Collier and Western Rose. Photos by Erich Linder.

Grass Lake, Michigan – June 6, 2016 – Like a movie ending moment, Grade Ib rider Sydney Collier (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and Western Rose, owned by Wes Dunham, garnered the 2016 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage High Performance Division National Championship Sponsored by Deloitte. The duo maintained consistent scores over the weekend earning a final FEI Freestyle score of 73.167%. Grade III rider Annie Peavy (Avon, Conn.) and Lancelot Warrior, owned by Rebecca Reno and Heather Blitz, scored the highest freestyle of the day on Sunday at the Waterloo Hunt Club show grounds with a 75.833%. Peavy’s final score placed her as Reserve Champion of the 2016 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage High Performance Division National Championship. In the National division, Grade III athlete Pam Hardin (Evans, Ga.) and Quaterjack, owned by Hardin, Kara Hardin, Kasey Hardin, and Rachel Bryant, finished as the 2016 National Division Champion. Grade Ib rider Laurietta Oakleaf (Malvern, Pa.) and Niekele fan Busenitz, owned by Oakleaf and Laura McGinnis, took home the 2016 National Division Reserve Championship. It was an exciting weekend for the thirteen horse and rider combinations competing in front of ground jury members Kristi Wysocki 4* (USA); Kathy Amos-Jacob 5* (FRA); and Carlos Lopes 5* (POR). For ten of those horse and rider combinations it was the final chance to secure a spot on the U.S. Paralympic Dressage Team representing the United States at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games in September.

Sydney Collier is looking forward to the opportunity that she may be heading to Rio de Janeiro in September. Although the short list/ FEI Nominated Entry will not be released until a later date the 2016 championships gave an idea of how each rider competes under international pressure. Collier is no stranger to international competition since she was a team member of the 2014 World Equestrian Games Para-Dressage Team in France. Collier has been working hard over the years growing as an athlete and perfecting her dressage skills with coach Wes Dunham. Collier rode two horses in the championships over the weekend, Western Rose and Wentworth, and her determination and strength showed that she has the talent to represent the United States once again in Rio.

Collier expressed, “Winning yesterday meant the world to me. It was an affirmation that all of my hard work and training has really been paying off. It also makes me so happy to be able to make everyone that has been riding alongside me on my journey proud. In addition, getting to ride down centerline in Jonathan Wentz’s honor meant so much to me; he is who started me on this path and although he can’t be with us in person I know he is riding alongside all the riders as the sport of Para-Dressage grows. I don’t know if there are even words to describe how proud I am of my horses and how thankful I am to have such a supportive team beside me. Without my family, sponsors, trainer Wes Dunham, and amazing groom Satu Greer, I wouldn’t have been able to achieve the success I achieved at selection trials. Then to make things even more special I won back in my own home state at a show grounds that I used to compete at when I was first starting Para-Dressage. It seems like everything has really come full circle and seeing the growth development that training with Wes and my two amazing mounts Wentworth and Rosie has made in my riding. I cannot even tell you how proud I am of the two of them for performing so well with me. Freestyles have always been my favorite day of competition; I just love how much you can express yourself and how much the horses really enjoy dancing to the music.

Collier concluded, “A huge thank you as well to Deloitte for sponsoring such an incredible national championship and selection trial event, as well as show management, a great panel of judges, and all of the other officials that made this event possible.”

Reserve High Performance champion Annie Peavy is also no stranger to international competition. Peavy and Lancelot have traveled the world competing against the best Para-Dressage athletes in the world. Peavy was also an individual rider at the 2014 World Equestrian Games in France. Peavy and Lancelot secured the Reserve Championship High Performance Championship and earned competitive scores over the selection weekend. Peavy also earned the Reserve High Performance Division National Championship in 2015 aboard her own Ozzy Cooper.

Annie Peavy and Lancelot Warrior
Annie Peavy and Lancelot Warrior

Peavy noted, “This weekend was great for Lance and me; he was truly a warrior. After a long trip from Wellington he got off the trailer ready to compete. It was a very tough competition and I couldn’t have asked any more of him.  I am anxious for the team to be named, but if we are on the team I know it will be a summer of doing what I love with intense focus.”

Peavy continued, “Following the trials I am heading to Connecticut for a few days to see good friends and give Lance a chance to travel back to Florida and have a couple days off.
When I return to Florida I plan on continuing to work with Heather to have Lance at his peak. Ozzy (Ozzy Cooper) is reportedly doing well and we will also continue to work together on our partnership.”

Peavy concluded, “I have to thank Heather for once again helping me train and also helping me take the judges impressions and translate that to the show arena. Both horses are so well taken care of by Alex Philpin; a happy healthy horse makes my job much easier. But most importantly I have to thank my parents for their support and passion for me to achieve my dream.”

In 2015 the USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships added the High Performance and National divisions. The 2016 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Division Champion was Pam Hardin and Quaterjack. The pair took the lead after the FEI Individual Test and maintained that lead to obtain the tricolor rosette. Hardin was also competing in the selection trials over the weekend as was the Reserve National Division Champion duo Laurietta Oakleaf and Niekele fan Busenitz.

Hardin reflected on what this championship meant to her. “When I can no longer ride a horse and my days are filled with more memories than new beginnings, I will remember this week and how proud I was to have the chance to compete with such amazing women athletes for a chance to represent my country and to become the Para-Equestrian Dressage National Division Champion.  I will remember reconnecting with friends and beginning new friendships. I will remember the partnership that was created with a ‘horse of a lifetime’ and I will cherish the support I received from both friends and family as I pursued this dream. I must thank my trainer and friend, Melanie Mitchell, who walked me onto this path and daily keeps me on the correct one, doing so with laughter and enduring care for the comfort of my horse.  I would never be on this journey without her, or my family, friends, and sponsors, or the para-equestrian community, as a whole.”

Hardin will return home to Georgia and is hoping to qualify for the Region 3 championships in October 2016.

The overall National Champions in each division were determined by weighting the tests with the Team Test counting for 40%, Individual Test 40%, and Freestyle Test 20%.

The U.S. Paralympic Dressage Team selection rankings will be based on 50% of a combination’s overall performance in the Selection Event and 50% on the combined overall score from its best two CPEDI3* events taking place January 1, 2015 – May 16, 2016. The selection procedures also include discretionary criteria. All nominations to the 2016 U.S. Paralympic Dressage Team are subject to approval by the United States Olympic Committee and the USEF. The short list/FEI Nominated Entry for the U.S. Paralympic Dressage Team will be forwarded to the FEI by the United States Equestrian Federation by June 20, 2016. Equestrian competition at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games is scheduled for September 11-16, 2016, at the Olympic Equestrian Centre in the Deodoro Olympic Park, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

For more information about the Selection Event for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games/National Championship/Open National Show procedures, please visit https://www.usef.org/_IFrames/breedsdisciplines/discipline/allparaequestrian/hpparaEquestrian.aspx.

For more information about the 2016 Rio Paralympic Equestrian Events, please visit http://www.rio2016.com/en.

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.

Sydney Collier and Western Rose Post Top Score at USEF Para-Dressage National Championships

Sydney Collier and Western Rose at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival CPEDI3* in 2016 in Wellington, Florida. Photo by Lindsay Y. McCall.

Roxanne Trunnell and Royal Dancer Maintain Lead

Grass Lake, Michigan – June 4, 2016 – Young rider Sydney Collier of Ann Arbor, Mich. posted a 73.678% in Grade Ib FEI Individual Test on Saturday, June 4, in the 2016 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships Sponsored by Deloitte and Selection Event for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Collier led the field with Western Rose, owned by Wes Dunham, in the High Performance National Championships. Grade Ia rider Roxanne Trunnell and Julia Handt’s Royal Dancer earned a 72.754% to maintain an overall lead over the two days of competition. In the National division, Pam Hardin (Grade III) and Quaterjack garnered the first place overall. The Waterloo Hunt Club show grounds in Grass Lake, Mich. has been the stage of excitement as riders and horses in Grade Ia, Ib, II, III, and IV give it their all as they aim for top positions in the National Championship with High Performance and National Divisions and the Paralympic Selection Trials. Each horse and rider combination will have one final chance on Sunday, June 5, in the FEI Freestyle competition to present their best tests for ground jury members Kristi Wysocki 4* (USA); Kathy Amos-Jacob 5* (FRA); and Carlos Lopes 5* (POR). After the Freestyle competition spectators will know the national champions from each division. The short list for the U.S. Paralympic Dressage Team representing the United States at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games will be announced at a later date by USEF. The Games are scheduled for September 11-16, 2016, at the Olympic Equestrian Centre in the Deodoro Olympic Park, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Contenders Collier and Trunnell are both aiming for a spot on the U.S. Paralympic Dressage Team. Collier is riding both qualified horses Western Rose and Wentworth in Grade Ib. “It’s incredible to be back in my home state and showing at a venue where I used to ride when I was first starting to ride para-dressage in 2010,” explained Collier. “It really feels like everything is coming full circle. It’s such an honor to be in contention for a possible spot on the U.S. Para-Dressage Team headed to Rio and to be showing alongside so many talented athletes. I am very proud of Wentworth and Western Rose. They have both looked and felt wonderful since we arrived in Michigan and really stepped up to everything we have asked of them in the training and show ring. I feel so lucky to have the privilege to ride and create such special bonds with both of them. I am so thankful to my trainer Wes Dunham, all my sponsors, as well as my amazing friends and family for their support along this journey. I couldn’t do any of this without each and every one of them. A huge thank you also to show management and Deloitte for organizing and sponsoring such a wonderful event as we pick a strong team to represent our country in Rio, but also grow and develop the sport of Para Dressage in the USA.”

Roxanne Trunnell noted, “Royal was a superstar again today. Despite having little connection inconstancies during the individual championship test we still pranced to the same exact score that we received yesterday (72.758%) and placed first in the class again. I’ve been working really hard on improving the freewalk at home and even though there are still improvements to be made, the overall movement is better. I would like to thank my trainer Kai Handt for taking the time out of his schedule to help train Royal and me. I would also like to thank the owners of the Waterloo Hunt Club for opening their facility up to the 2016 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships and Selection Event for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. There were golf carts provided to the para-dressage athletes so that they could get from the stable area to the arenas quickly. The arenas themselves were very well cared for and the staff was efficient in changing the long dressage court to the short dressage court very quickly. I’m not sure but I think this is the first time the Waterloo Hunt Club has opened its show grounds to Para-Equestrians and it ran quite smoothly for the first time this was done. Tomorrow is the freestyles and I’m very excited because we have totally changed the freestyle chorography and music since the 2016 Florida CPEDIs. I find the freestyle extremely fun especially since I came up with the music on my own, so it will be exciting to see what the amazing ground jury we are able to show under this year will think of it.”

Roxanne Trunnell and Royal Dancer. Photo by Erich Linder
Roxanne Trunnell and Royal Dancer. Photo by Erich Linder

The overall National Champions in each division will be determined by weighting the tests with the Team Test counting for 40%, Individual Test 40%, and Freestyle Test 20%. U.S. Paralympic Dressage Team selection rankings will be based on 50% of a combination’s overall performance in the Selection Event and 50% on the combined overall score from its best two CPEDI3* events taking place January 1, 2015 – May 16, 2016. The selection procedures also include discretionary criteria. All nominations to the 2016 U.S. Paralympic Dressage Team are subject to approval by the United States Olympic Committee and the USEF. The short list/FEI Nominated Entry for the U.S. Paralympic Dressage Team will be forwarded to the FEI by the United States Equestrian Federation by June 20, 2016. Equestrian competition at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games is scheduled for September 11-16, 2016, at the Olympic Equestrian Centre in the Deodoro Olympic Park, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

For more information about the Selection Event for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games/National Championship/Open National Show procedures, please visit https://www.usef.org/_IFrames/breedsdisciplines/discipline/allparaequestrian/hpparaEquestrian.aspx.

For more information about the 2016 Rio Paralympic Equestrian Events, please visit http://www.rio2016.com/en.

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.

Competition Kicks Off at 2016 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships

Roxanne Trunnell and Royal Dancer. Photo by Erich Linder.

Grass Lake, Michigan – June 3, 2016 – The 2016 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships Sponsored by Deloitte and Selection Event for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games kicked off on Friday, June 3, with the Team Test competition. Thirteen horse and rider combinations showcased their top tests in front of judges Kristi Wysocki 4* (USA); Kathy Amos-Jacob 5* (FRA); and Carlos Lopes 5* (POR), at the beautiful Waterloo Hunt Club show grounds in Grass Lake, Michigan. The weekend is full of excitement as the top U.S. Para-Dressage athletes from around the country in Grade Ia, Ib, II, III, and IV compete in the National Championship with High Performance and National Divisions and the Paralympic Selection Trials. Roxanne Trunnell and Royal Dancer (Grade Ia) scored a 72.754 to top the field of seven horse and rider combinations in the High Performance National division while Laurietta Oakleaf and Niekele fan Busenitz (Grade Ib) scored a 68.2 to earn the blue in the National Division Team Test over five other horse and rider combinations. Roxanne Trunnell was happy with the duo’s first day of competition. Trunnell noted, “Royal put in a fantastic first test today scoring a 72.754% winning his class and also getting the highest score of the show. I really feel that over this past year Royal & I have really hit our stride in the show ring. Our rides have been very harmonious making it easier for me to focus more on the accuracy of the rides. I would like to thank Julia Handt for allowing me to ride her big boy; he has the sweetest personality and I just love hanging out in the barn with him.” Trunnell and Royal Dancer are also competing as one of the ten horse and rider teams aiming for the four spots on the U.S. Paralympic Dressage Team.

U.S. riders will continue to compete on June 4, in the Individual Test competition followed by the Freestyle competition on June 5. The overall National Champions in each division will be determined by weighting the tests with the Team Test counting for 40%, Individual Test 40%, and Freestyle Test 20%. U.S. Paralympic Dressage Team selection rankings will be based on 50% of a combination’s overall performance in the Selection Event and 50% on the combined overall score from its best two CPEDI3* events taking place January 1, 2015 – May 16, 2016. The selection procedures also include discretionary criteria. All nominations to the 2016 U.S. Paralympic Dressage Team are subject to approval by the United States Olympic Committee and the USEF. The short list/FEI Nominated Entry for the U.S. Paralympic Dressage Team will be forwarded to the FEI by the United States Equestrian Federation by June 20, 2016. Equestrian competition at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games is scheduled for September 11-16, 2016, at the Olympic Equestrian Centre in the Deodoro Olympic Park, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

For more information about the Selection Event for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games/National Championship/Open National Show procedures, please visit https://www.usef.org/_IFrames/breedsdisciplines/discipline/allparaequestrian/hpparaEquestrian.aspx.

For more information about the 2016 Rio Paralympic Equestrian Events, please visit http://www.rio2016.com/en.

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.

USEF and USPEA Names Para-Equestrian Dressage Centers of Excellence

Lexington, Ky. – The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and the United States Para-Equestrian Association (USPEA) are excited to announce the first USEF/USPEA International Para-Equestrian Dressage Centers of Excellence (COE). These regional hubs of excellence will attract new riders to the sport of para-equestrian dressage. Additionally, they will work in partnership with the USEF high performance programs to develop athletes to a level where they can represent the U.S. in international competition and at the Paralympic Games and ultimately win medals.

The USEF Selection Committee carefully scrutinized each application and upheld the highest standards when bestowing the prestigious COE title to the following facilities:

Carlisle Academy – Lyman, Maine
Contact:  Sarah Armentrout, sarmentrout@carlisleacademy.com

North Texas Equestrian Center (NTEC) – Wylie, Texas
Contact:  Kai Handt, kaihandt@yahoo.com

Pine Knoll Farm – Lexington, Ky.
Contact:  Gillian Vallis, pineknollfarm@aol.com

Ride On Therapeutic Riding Center – Chatsworth, Calif.
Contact: Megan McQueeney, jrsporthorses@gmail.com

Additional COE applicants are currently being evaluated and will be announced shortly.

COEs will play a vital role in attracting dressage trainers to the sport and helping them understand the aids and methods of training the disabled athletes in para-dressage.  The COEs will be the primary hosts of USEF para-dressage high performance programs and educational symposiums. In addition, COEs will aim to further develop their links with the therapeutic riding community, thus exposing interested athletes to competition opportunities.

Each COE is unique in the structure of their para-dressage programs and may offer opportunities independent of other COEs. The USEF/USPEA is committed to working with each COE to build plans that complement their individual strengths and opportunities.

For more information on the COE programs, please contact USEF Director of Para Equestrian, Laureen Johnson, at lkjohnson@usef.org or 908-326-1155.

The USPEA is the USEF’s Recognized Affiliate for all para-equestrian disciplines and exists to help develop, promote, and support athletes wishing to participate in the para-equestrian sport.  For more information on getting started with para-equestrian, please visit www.uspea.org or contact USPEA President, Hope Hand, at wheeler966@aol.com.

From the USEF Communications Department

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By: Lindsay Y. McCall

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

About United States Para-Equestrian Association:

The USPEA is a network of riders, judges, national federation board members, and equestrian enthusiasts. The association gives athletes the ability to get involved and expand their knowledge and experience in the Para-Equestrian sport. The USPEA encourages para-athletes to participate in all disciplines under the para-equestrian umbrella.

The USPEA is a recognized affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) which serves as the National Governing Body for the equestrian sport. This relationship between the USPEA and USEF is to encourage para-equestrian competitors, leisure riders, coaches, fans and enthusiasts to network and get involved with the entire equestrian sport.

Ultimately the goal of the USPEA is to foster growth in the para-equestrian discipline. From growth in the number of participants to growth as a team, and growth in the experience and knowledge of all involved. From local horse shows to international Olympic Games, the USPEA will provide para-equestrians the knowledge of what they need to succeed. The USPEA connects with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), the United States Dressage Federation (USDF), and USEF which provides Para-Equestrians the top equestrian resources.

In June 2010, the USPEA earned its 501 (c)(3) status which has encouraged supporters to help supply funding to the Para-Equestrian Team as a recognized affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF).

For more information about the USPEA, please visit www.USPEA.org or contact USPEA President Hope Hand by e-mail: hope@uspea.org or by phone: (610)356-6481.

Horse Radio Network Features Equestrians Margaret McIntosh and Katie Jackson

Margaret McIntosh and Rio Rio. Photo (c) Lindsay Y. McCall.

Jupiter, FL – April 5, 2016 – Horse Radio Network’s once-a-month Para-Equestrian Show featured equestrians Margaret McIntosh and Katie Jackson with hosts Lindsay McCall and Regina Cristo.

To listen to episode #357, please visit: http://www.horseradionetwork.com/2016/04/03/dressage-radio-episode-357-by-uspea-getting-ready-for-selection-trials-and-a-newcomer-preps-for-nationals/.

About Margaret (Gigi) McIntosh: Margaret McIntosh broke her neck in the spring of 1999 while riding in an event, resulting in incomplete quadriplegia. Initially paralyzed from the chest down, she is eternally grateful for having the opportunity to regain her mobility. McIntosh had extensive riding experience before her accident: 1970-1976 Working student for May and Denny Emerson; 1976-1979 Working student and barn manager for Gunnar Ostergaard and Ellin Dixon; 1979-1983 Working student/groom George Theodorescu in Sassenberg, W. Germany; from 1987 through 1999 Gigi evented several horses with lots of help from Bruce Davidson, culminating in completing the CCI*** and CCI**** at Rolex Kentucky 3-Day in 1997 and 1998. Six months after her accident she began riding with Jane Cory, the owner of the Cort Center for Therapeutic Riding at Pleasant Hollow Farm in Pleasant Valley, PA. She initially asked Missy and Jessica Ransehousen for help just before the World Equestrian Games in 2010 and has enjoyed their expertise ever since. In 2012, McIntosh qualified for the London 2012 selection trials including successful trips at back-to-back CPEDI ***s in Wellington, FL. McIntosh was also the Reserve Champion at the 2014 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships. Married since 1983, with two grown children (Charlotte (27) and Cameron (25)), and her husband, Brian, a retired banker. McIntosh is now aiming at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio Di Janeiro with her own Rio Rio.

About Katie Jackson: Katie Jackson was born and raised in a small town in Southern Oregon.  Always a bit horse crazy, her mom finally gave in and Jackson took her first riding lesson on her sixth birthday. Jackson continued riding through high school and always found a way to keep horses in her life through college and dental school.

Jackson attended the University of San Diego for her undergraduate degree, receiving a bachelor’s degree in Biology.  For dental school she decided to stay in California, attending the UCLA School of Dentistry. After dental school she did a postgraduate residency program for general dentistry which took her to San Antonio.  While in San Antonio she fell in love with a Texan who happened to live up the road in Austin. Jackson and her husband have called Austin home for nine years.  Jackson currently owns and manages a private dental practice in north/central Austin.  When not at the office, she is out at the barn or outdoors with her husband and two labs.

Katie Jackson. Photo (c)Moonfyre Photography
Katie Jackson. (c)Moonfyre Photography

Jackson’s life changed last summer when she went to the doctor for a second opinion on the pain she was having behind her knee.  At 35 years old it was quite a surprise to be diagnosed with cancer.  The type of cancer she had was a rare type of soft tissue cancer known as a Clear Cell Sarcoma.  Amputation of the leg above her knee was her only option to make sure this aggressive cancer was removed.  “I feel very fortunate that my recovery has gone as smoothly as it has,” said Jackson.  As soon as she could, she was back out at the barn.  Being around horses has been not only therapeutic but also a big motivation to work hard on her physical therapy.

Jackson explained, “Being able to ride and compete again was a goal from the day I heard my diagnosis.  I knew I needed some direction on how to starting riding again and started looking into para-dressage.  It just so happened that the U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships were in being held in Katy, Texas.   Just three months after surgery I headed to go watch the show.  It was incredibly inspirational to watch the beautiful, talented riders.  Above everything, I was thankful for the warm welcome that I received from everyone I met and all the great information I received about riding again.”

She continued, “I was most apprehensive about how to get back on safely and what my balance would be like without having my leg.  To get back in the saddle I had the help of a therapeutic riding program in Austin known as H.E.L.P.  This was a great way to gain confidence in the saddle again in a safe environment.”

In January Jackson went to Florida to watch the CPEDI3* in Wellington. For Jackson it was a worthwhile experience getting to watch the riders compete and to also attend the symposium featuring FEI 5* judge Carlos Lopez and U.S. Team Chef d’Equipe Kai Handt.  Whence returned two weeks later to watch the second CPEDI3* she received her official classification as a Grade IV Para-Equestrian.  In February, Jackson went to Dallas to ride with Kai Handt, hoping to have him evaluate her riding.  On that day Jackson had the opportunity to ride multiple horses and fell in love with one sweet, bay gelding. Jackson now calls that gelding Wembley her very own. In March Wembley and Jackson went to their first show with a goal of qualifying for the U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships. The duo completed their goal and will head to Michigan in June for the National Championships.

Once a month, the Dressage Radio Show becomes the Para-Equestrian Show Hosted by Lindsay McCall, of the United States Para-Equestrian Association, focusing on international FEI discipline Para-Dressage. Although Para-Dressage is the main event, listeners have the opportunity to learn more about the skillful U.S. Para-Driving Team, the Para-Reining discipline, Para-Vaulting, and the future of Para-Jumping. The para-equestrian dressage show will feature a line-up of guests including Olympians, Paralympians, trainers, coaches, professionals, amateur riders, young riders, and equine enthusiasts. The intention of the radio show is to educate, inform, and entertain listeners on the para-equestrian Dressage discipline.

To learn more about the USPEA, please visit www.USPEA.org or e-mail President Hope Hand at hope@uspea.org. You may also e-mail the host of the para-equestrian segment Lindsay McCall at Lindsay@uspea.org.

To learn more about the Horse Radio Network, visit www.horseradionetwork.com; to contact Glenn the Geek, go to http://www.horseradionetwork.com/contact/ or leave a voicemail at 270-803-0025.

About the Horse Radio Network:

The Horse Radio Network is the voice of the horse world with listeners in over 40 countries. Eight different entertaining shows cover all aspects of the horse world and you can listen any time on your computer, MP3 player or smart phone.

We believe that people own horses for fun and entertainment. Why else would you put up with the early morning feedings, stall cleaning, vet bills, long trips to shows, empty bank accounts and everything else that goes with being a horse owner?

Our goal with these shows is to help your chores go a little faster and to put a smile on your face! Learn more at www.horseradionetwork.com.

HORSES IN THE MORNING live M-F at 9am Eastern at www.horsesinthemorning.com.

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

About United States Para-Equestrian Association:

The USPEA is a network of riders, judges, national federation board members, and equestrian enthusiasts. The association gives athletes the ability to get involved and expand their knowledge and experience in the Para-Equestrian sport. The USPEA encourages para-athletes to participate in all disciplines under the para-equestrian umbrella.

The USPEA is a recognized affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) which serves as the National Governing Body for the equestrian sport. This relationship between the USPEA and USEF is to encourage para-equestrian competitors, leisure riders, coaches, fans and enthusiasts to network and get involved with the entire equestrian sport.

Ultimately the goal of the USPEA is to foster growth in the para-equestrian discipline. From growth in the number of participants to growth as a team, and growth in the experience and knowledge of all involved. From local horse shows to international Olympic Games, the USPEA will provide para-equestrians the knowledge of what they need to succeed. The USPEA connects with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), the United States Dressage Federation (USDF), and USEF which provides Para-Equestrians the top equestrian resources.

In June 2010, the USPEA earned its 501 (c)(3) status which has encouraged supporters to help supply funding to the Para-Equestrian Team as a recognized affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF).

For more information about the USPEA, please visit www.USPEA.org or contact USPEA President Hope Hand by e-mail: Wheeler966@aol.com or by phone: (610)356-6481.

Mark Bellissimo Donates $20,000 to the US and Canadian Para-Dressage Teams

Equestrian Sport Production’s Mark Bellissimo and U.S. Chef d’Equipe Kai Handt when Bellissimo offered his $10,000 donation to the U.S. team. Photo by Lindsay Y. McCall.

Wellington, Florida – January 27, 2016 – Unbeknownst to anyone at the $10,000 CPEDI3*, held January 22-24, 2016 at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), home of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, Mark Bellissimo of Equestrian Sport Productions donated $10,000 to the United States Para-Dressage Team and $10,000 to the Equine Canada Para-Dressage Team. This impressive donation was a kind gift to each Para-Dressage Team as they approach the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Over two weeks the Para-Equestrian Dressage Tour took place in The Stadium at the PBIEC. The tour included two $10,000 CPEDI3* events (January 8-10 and January 22-24) presented by Mission Control, Mane Stream, courtesy of Rowan O’Riley, Adequan®, and Nutrena. These shows were crucial as the final opportunities in the United States to qualify for the 2016 Paralympics. The professional staff including Monica Fitzgerald, John Hoppman, Thomas Baur, and their team, the volunteers, and so many others added to the best U.S. Para-Dressage CPEDI3* event in history.

U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Chef d’Equipe Kai Handt was grateful for the $10,000 donation. He noted, “The money will help us a lot. Capital is the bigger struggle in this business. We may be the most expensive sport that the Olympic Committee has. For some sports they need some shoes or clothing. For equestrian you need a lot more. Credentials will be tight this year for the Paralympics and we have a huge support staff. That includes a groom, a trainer, an assistant, a physiologist, and so much more. We drag a few more people along then everyone else. So this will help us a lot with some of the burden of the Paralympic costs to go over there.”

Equine Canada Para-Dressage Chef d’Equipe Elizabeth Robinson agreed. “These donations were just wonderful. I appreciate the fact that he did it for both teams. That was really special. We have a lot of items to check off right now. We need a horse for Ashley, which the donation may contribute to a lease or purchase. We have to fly all over the world. Since we are up in Canada and we don’t have any competitions in our country, we have to fly people in constantly. That includes coaches and trainers. The donation will be extremely helpful with all of those expenses. We will be spending it wisely.”

Laureen K. Johnson, USEF Discipline Director of Para-Equestrian and Vaulting, commented, “The USEF and Para Equestrian athletes would like to extend our deepest thanks to Mark Bellissimo for his surprise donation. Generous gifts from donors like Mr. Bellissimo provide the financial and moral support needed to continue our Paralympic mission. Equestrian Sport Productions and Mr. Bellissimo’s support has repeatedly played a key role in the Para Equestrian athletes continued success. We absolutely love competing at Global Dressage, as it provides the European atmosphere for our U.S. athletes.”

USPEA President and past Paralympian acknowledged, “Reflecting back on the last few weeks has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. As President of the United States Para Equestrian Association, it is our job to keep the pipe line of new horse/rider combinations moving up the levels both Nationally and Internationally. We are constantly striving to find ways to expand our horse sports and to bring the equestrian families together for the public to get to know us and to fall in love watching our talented horses and riders perform. Leading up to these last qualifying events for a Team Ranking slot for the Paralympics resulted in success, but not without the support of many and the hard work from the athletes and their equine partners. Everyone has a story to tell and the journey it took to get there for some took many bumps in the road and sacrifices but in the end, they all prevailed and gave us some great performances that proved that the US Para Dressage Team earned the right to represent their country at the Rio Paralympics this fall.”

Hand continued, “Equestrian sports recognized by the Olympic and Paralympic committee are probably the most expensive among all sports represented at the summer games. The athletes depend on family, friends and sponsors that believe in the Olympic/Paralympic dream to participate at the high performance level. Mark Bellissimo, owner of the Global Dressage Facility, presented both the US and Canada each a check of $10,000 to continue on the road to Rio. Mr Bellissimo, there are no words but a heartfelt thank you for your generous support. Our athletes love Global and all its amenities and are most grateful for the opportunities to compete here.”

By: Lindsay Y. McCall

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

About United States Para-Equestrian Association:

The USPEA is a network of riders, judges, national federation board members, and equestrian enthusiasts. The association gives athletes the ability to get involved and expand their knowledge and experience in the Para-Equestrian sport. The USPEA encourages para-athletes to participate in all disciplines under the para-equestrian umbrella.

The USPEA is a recognized affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) which serves as the National Governing Body for the equestrian sport. This relationship between the USPEA and USEF is to encourage para-equestrian competitors, leisure riders, coaches, fans and enthusiasts to network and get involved with the entire equestrian sport.

Ultimately the goal of the USPEA is to foster growth in the para-equestrian discipline. From growth in the number of participants to growth as a team, and growth in the experience and knowledge of all involved. From local horse shows to international Olympic Games, the USPEA will provide para-equestrians the knowledge of what they need to succeed. The USPEA connects with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), the United States Dressage Federation (USDF), and USEF which provides Para-Equestrians the top equestrian resources.

In June 2010, the USPEA earned its 501 (c)(3) status which has encouraged supporters to help supply funding to the Para-Equestrian Team as a recognized affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF).

For more information about the USPEA, please visit www.USPEA.org or contact USPEA President Hope Hand by e-mail: hope@uspea.org or by phone: (610)356-6481.