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US Para-Dressage Athletes Make Big Impression at USET Foundation “Soirée du Cheval” Gala

United States Para-Equestrian Athletes, Chef d’ Equipe Kai Handt, trainers, and their support staff. Left to Right front row: Cambry Kaylor, Roxanne Trunnell, Hope Hand, Derrick Perkins, Sydney Collier. Back Row left to right: Brian Kaylor, Regina Cristo, Josette Trunnell, Susan Guinan, Ellie Brimmer, Ashley Flores-Simmons, Susan Treabess, Tina Wentz, Kai Handt (Chef d’Equipe), Mary Jordan, Dale Dedrick, Roz Kinstler. Photo by Lindsay Y McCall.

Wellington, FL – January 30, 2014 – For one exciting evening their boots were left in the closet and their heels and ties appeared.  On January 24, 2014, The United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation launched their $35 Million Campaign to Achieve Competitive Excellence at the “Soirée du Cheval” Gala.  The event was held at The Pavilion at the International Polo Club Palm Beach and was a benefit for the United States Equestrian Teams headed to the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France. Para-Dressage riders from across the country including riders from Northern California, Maine, and Texas flew to Wellington, Florida, in support of the U.S. Para-Dressage Team, the U.S. Show Jumping Team, the Eventing Team, the U.S. Dressage Team, the U.S. Reining Team, the Driving Team, the U.S. Endurance Team, and the U.S. Vaulting Team. After a wonderful keynote speech from USET Foundation President Tucker S. Johnson, a live auction commenced where over $700,000 was raised for the U.S. Teams. The event concluded with attendees hopping on the dance floor to celebrate the evening.  Para-Equestrian Dressage Technical Advisor/Chef d’Equipe Kai Handt was also in attendance at the event supporting the Para-Dressage riders and each of the United States Equestrian Teams. After the gala, Kai Handt had his first athlete meeting for the top-ranked Para-Dressage riders, their families, and support staff. Handt stressed how the future of the USEF U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team is growing with young and emerging new talent. Excitement is building, while the first of two U.S. final 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games qualifier competitions start in March. The discipline anticipates several new horse rider combinations to be debuted, making the final team selection suspenseful.

Laureen Johnson, USEF High Performance Director of Para-Equestrian and Vaulting, commented, “I was delighted to see so many Para-Equestrian Dressage athletes, coaches, and enthusiasts attend the USET Foundation’s ‘Soirée du Cheval’ World Equestrian Games benefit in Wellington.  It was a most memorable evening for all.”

She continued, “Kai Handt, the new Para-Equestrian Dressage Technical Advisor/Chef d’Equipe, kicked off the next morning with a very successful breakfast forum for the top ranked Para-Equestrian athletes and coaches to discuss the team approach and strategize for 2014.  The feedback received was amazing and all athletes appeared to share Kai’s enthusiasm and grasped the team concept whole-heartedly. We are looking forward to working with Kai and a successful 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games experience.”

For more information about the USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage discipline, please contact Laureen Johnson, USEF High Performance Director of Para-Equestrian and Vaulting, 908-326-1155, or via email at lkjohnson@usef.org.

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

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