New York, NY – October 10, 2012 – On Wednesday October 10th, U.S. Paralympian Rebecca Hart of Unionville, Penn. was showcased on ABC’s Good Morning America. Hart and horse Lord Ludger accompanied Ann Romney, wife of Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, in New York’s Times Square. Mrs. Romney and Rebecca Hart spoke about how horses have provided a unique form of therapy for each of them. Mrs. Romney co-hosted the news hour with George Stephanopoulos where she was filling in for Robin Roberts, who is on extended medical leave.
Rebecca Hart and horse Lord Ludger (owned by Jessica Ransehousen) presented a previously recorded segment from October 8th showcasing the Paralympic Dressage duo at Blue Hill Farm. The previously recorded segment featured Rebecca Hart explaining how equine therapy has improved her quality of life and how it has helped her work through Familial Spastic Paraplegia. Mrs. Romney, who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1998, began riding as a form of therapy and found equine therapy to benefit her life in many ways as well.
The high performance equine Lord Ludger maintained a calm demeanor as a crowd of people surrounded the horse in historical Times Square. Mrs. Romney continued to show affection towards the Holsteiner gelding as she was interviewed by Good Morning America’s Lara Spencer. To watch the clip, please visit: http://gma.yahoo.com/video/parenting-26594265/ann-romney-paralympian-reveal-benefits-of-horse-therapy-30831209.html.
Rebecca Hart was a recent U.S. competitor at the 2012 London Paralympics in Para-Dressage. Hart earned a 4th in the team competition, 5th place in the freestyle, and 11th place in the individual test competition. Rebecca Hart was part of the seventh-place U.S. Paralympic Team featuring the late Jonathan Wentz and NTEC Richter Scale, Donna Ponessa aboard Wes Dunham’s Western Rose, and Dale Dedrick on Bonifatius.
As an elite equestrian and co-owner of 2012 U.S. Olympic Dressage horse Rafalca ridden by Jan Ebeling, Ann Romney was able to relate to Hart’s recent accomplishments and therapeutic use of riding. Ann Romney and Hart met in June 2012 where Hart was presented with the 2012 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championship. “This whole year has been a whirlwind,” noted Hart. I met Mrs. Romney in June, rode down the Prime Meridian at the London Paralympics for my team in August, met the President of the United States in September, and visited Times Square with LoLu on Wednesday.”
Watch the Good Morning America news segment by going to this link: http://gma.yahoo.com/video/parenting-26594265/ann-romney-paralympian-reveal-benefits-of-horse-therapy-30831209.html.
Written by: Lindsay Y McCall
For press related inquiries, comments or questions please e-mail Lindsay McCall at Lindsay@uspea.org.
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).