Para-Equestrian Developing Driver Clinic Featured Top Clinicians

Stefanie Putnam driving Rupert 15.2 Welsh Cob, owned by Diane Kastama (Ann McClure, Hardy Zantke on carriage). Photo by Pat Kastama.

Moorpark, California – March 23, 2013 – United States Driving for the Disabled (USDFD) conducted a driving clinic for current and future Para-Equestrians March 16 and17th in Moorpark, CA. There were nine para-equestrian drivers including a young driver at the clinic and six drivers took advantage of being classified while attending the clinic. The clinic even featured a “try-it-and-see-if-you-like-it” portion the clinic.

The participants had an individual dressage lesson with Hardy Zantke or Jody Cutler Saturday and again Sunday morning. Saturday afternoon they walked a cones course while International Para-Equestrian World Champion Driver Diane Kastama demonstrated the course.  They then were given the opportunity to drive their own horses and ponies through the course with instruction by Hardy and Jody.  Sunday afternoon the group walked the 2 flagged hazards and again watched Diane Kastama drive one of the hazards.  They were also encouraged to drive a 3k course marked around the property and out into the local park.  Walt Ashford talked to the drivers on Sunday about possible adaptations to carriage driving and met with everyone individually.  USDFD would like to thank Gregg and Jody Cutler for providing a wonderful venue for this first of its kind clinic for Para-Equestrian Driving.

About the Clinicians:
Hardy Zantke, ADS & USEF “R” Combined Driving Judge, FEI Combined Driving Judge and Para-Equestrian Judge. Competed in pairs and 4-in-hands; served as Chef d’Equipe for many USA teams competing abroad.

Jody Cutler, ADS “R” in Pleasure Driving and Dressage, ADS “S” in Combined Driving, USEF “r” in Pleasure Driving.

Diane Kastama, World Champion in Para-Equestrian driving Grade 1. Competes at Advanced combined driving single and pair.

About the USDFD Clinics:

United States Driving for The Disabled (USDFD) is conducting a series of clinics for the 2013 calendar year.  The clinics are open to current and future Para-Equestrians featuring a “try-it-and-see-if-you-like-it” section of the clinic. The first clinic was March 16 and 17 in Moorpark, CA. Future clinic dates and clinicians will be announced including Spring and Fall Clinics in Florida, the northeast of the United States and the west coast of the United States. USDFD would like to share the pleasure of driving with more equestrians while building the skill level of currently competitive drivers. The clinics are free to those interested. Clinics will provide instruction in driven dressage, hazards and cones. Lessons will be adapted to the skill level of each driver. Equestrians may bring their own horse and carriage or contact USDFD to borrow a horse and equipment. If sponsors or donors would like to participate in this exciting series, please contact United States Driving for the Disabled Vice President Diane Kastama at e-mail: or by Phone: 805-343-6026.

Note from USDFD: Come improve your driving skills, learn about local, regional and international competition opportunities for the Para-Equestrian. Driving is a great equalizing sport. Come see and feel the freedom of being behind the lines in a carriage. Everyone is welcome to attend and audit. Clinics will provide instruction in driven dressage, hazards and cones. Lessons will be adapted to the skill level of each driver. Bring your own horse and carriage or let us know if you need to borrow a horse and equipment.

For more information, please visit

About the United States Driving for the Disabled, Inc.

United States Driving for the Disabled, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, seeks to improve the lives of physically challenged individuals throughout the United States and Canada by providing the experience of driving horses in a safe and challenging environment. Our mission is to provide the extraordinary benefit of therapeutic driving to as many people as possible through sharing knowledge, experience, and serving as a resource for innovations in adaptive equipment for drivers, trainers, and programs offering carriage driving. The Sybil Dukehart Memorial Fund seeks to provide financial assistance to equip and train disabled drivers through providing scholarship funds to applicants. USDFD fosters opportunities for drivers to compete in national and international amateur competitions by training and providing financial support for Team USA.

United States Driving for the Disabled, Inc.
32450 S. Wright Rd.
Molalla, OR 97038
Ph: 503-550-9384


Written by: Diane Kastama and Lindsay Y McCall

To view an online version of this press release with more photos, please visit:

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 or contact USPEA President Hope Hand by e-mail: or by phone: (610)356-6481.

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