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August 31, 2014 – U.S. Para-Dressage Is Really Cooking

United States Para-Equestrian Association

Media Contact: Lindsay McCall -Lindsay@uspea.org -USPEA, 3940 Verde Vista Drive, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360- www.USPEA.org

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U.S. Para-Dressage Is Really Cooking

Officials are creating a recipe for success at the 2016 Rio Paralympics

 

By Jennifer O. Bryant

 

In the run-up to the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Great Britain poured £264 million into training programs for elite sports, about 60 percent of which came from National Lottery proceeds. (Source: BBC.com) The results were indisputable: 63 medals, five of which were in the equestrian disciplines, three of those gold.

 

No matter how talented the athletes, the chances of stepping onto the medal podium are slim without sufficient training and competition opportunities. And that goes double for the equestrian sports, with the high costs of acquiring, maintaining, training, and transporting top horses.

 

Unlike in Great Britain, equestrian sports in the U.S. typically rely on corporate and private sponsorship to fill the financial gaps. And human nature being what it is, once a discipline or a horse-rider combination begins to enjoy some success, more supporters want to get on the bandwagon.

 

The sport of para-equestrian dressage is approaching that tipping point, say American equestrian officials and coaches. In this article, we’ll take a look at how U.S. high-performance para-dressage has gathered momentum-and how it’s positioning itself to climb onto the medal podium at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

 

Step 1: Hire a Chef

Roxanne Trunnell and her own Nice Touch with U.S. Para-Equestrian DressageChef d'Equipe Kai Handtat the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.
Roxanne Trunnell and her own Nice Touch with U.S. Para-Equestrian DressageChef d’Equipe Kai Handtat the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Photo (c) SusanJStickle.com

 

Kai Handt has been the United States Equestrian Federation’s national para-equestrian dressage national coach and coordinator since February. Handt, a German Bereiter and Grand Prix-level trainer and competitor who has owned and operated North Texas Equestrian Center (NTEC) in Wylie, Tex., since 1985, got involved in para-dressage in a roundabout way.

 

About six years ago, Handt recounts, his (able-bodied) daughter, Julia, “was riding on the junior team for the regional dressage finals, and we had [para-dressage rider] Jonathan Wentz on the team. The team won the gold medal, and he came to our barn. He said, ‘I want to go to the Olympics, I want to do all this stuff.’ I said, ‘Well, what are you going to do for it?’”

 

Wentz began working at the NTEC, and Handt decided to sponsor him. “He rode three of our horses that we kept for him. We got him to [the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky] the next year. The next year, he was US national [para-dressage] champion. He won four Nations Cups and was the best US rider at the [2012] Paralympics. He was very, very close to a medal. He sadly passed away that fall, and then I got approached about becoming the para-dressage national coach.”

 

Says Handt: “My job at home is to educate all the trainers. The U.S. situation is a little bit unique. The European teams, they are very small countries, so they [each] have one national coach and the riders go on a regular basis to clinics with these coaches. The U.S. is so spread out that everybody has their own individual coach. So I coordinate the trainers and I’m the chef d’équipe at the international events.”

 

Prior to 2014, Handt says, “We didn’t have much of a [US national para-dressage] program. For London, I believe we had two riders [who were earning scores] in the seventies. We have twelve or thirteen this year. At the national finals [The USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships], I believe we had 27 [riders] this year.”

 

Step 2: Gain Experience

 

Exciting new talent, both human and equine, competed for the U.S.A. at the 2014 WEG-but “new” is synonymous with “inexperienced.”

 

“We have the youngest rider here of all the [WEG para] riders [16-year-old SydneyCollier]; I think we have the youngest rider the U.S. has ever sent [to an equestrian world championships],” says Handt. “I have all the riders on new horses, so there is really not any pair here with big championship experience. They just need to get some experience under their belly.” (Even Team U.S.A.’s most experienced rider, six-time U.S. para-equestrian dressage national champion and Paralympic veteran Rebecca Hart, is on a new horse this year, the mare Schroeter’s Romani.)

 

“I think we’re sitting on the right horses; we just need a little bit more ring time, and time for the judges to get to know them,” Handt says. “They’re not well known to the judges yet. They need to go out there and pay their dues and get better known.”

 

CAPTION: USEF national para-equestrian dressage national coach and coordinator Kai Handt (left) with U.S. Para-Equestrian Association president Hope Hand at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games CREDIT: Jennifer Bryant
USEF national para-equestrian dressage national coach and coordinator Kai Handt (left) with U.S. Para-Equestrian Association president Hope Hand at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games CREDIT: Jennifer Bryant

To Handt, the way forward is clear: “We need to get ready for Rio de Janeiro, so we need to majorly cowboy up. We need to compete more so they get calmer about these kinds of competitions. The Europeans have ten, fifteen CPEDIs [FEI-recognized para-dressage competitions] they can go to every year; we have two in Florida and one in California. So we’re trying to get more CPEDI sponsorships so we can get more shows in the United States. I’m working right now with some of the European countries to come over to the U.S. and give them some incentive so we actually compete against the gold medalists. It’s usually just the U.S. and Canada [at the U.S. shows]; we need to compete against the other nations.”

 

Handt also wants his riders to be able to emulate the other U.S. high-performance squads by traveling to Europe to train and compete. He says he’s hoping for a European tour in 2015.

 

“Since we’re getting a better team now, and they’re getting competitive, it’s worth it for us to start coming over here and competing in Europe,” he explains.

 

Step 3: Find the Funding

 

Which brings us back to where we started this discussion-with the bottom line. Thanks to some recent initiatives, U.S. Equestrian Team Foundation executive director Bonnie Jenkins is sanguine about the subject of funding.

 

USEF president Chrystine Tauber (left) and USET Foundation executive director Bonnie Jenkins (right) take in WEG para-dressage freestyles with 2014 U.S. WEG competitor Susan Treabess. CREDIT: Jennifer Bryant
USEF president Chrystine Tauber (left) and USET Foundation executive director Bonnie Jenkins (right) take in WEG para-dressage freestyles with 2014 U.S. WEG competitor Susan Treabess. CREDIT: Jennifer Bryant

 

“We’re all really excited about the para-dressage program,” Jenkins says. “The U.S. athletes have performed extraordinarily well, and we’re working hard with the Jonathan Wentz Memorial Challenge that Margaret Duprey and the Barnfield Foundation have made available.” (Duprey and the Barnfield Foundation will each match, dollar for dollar, every pledge of $4,000 and above made through April 1, 2015. For more information, click here.) http://uspea.org/category/jon-wentz-memorial-challenge/

“We feel that, through additional funding, the athletes in this program will really have the opportunity to take off.”

 

USEF president Chrystine Tauber, who was in the stands with Jenkins for the 2014 WEG para-dressage freestyle classes, observes: “I have attended a few para-equestrian events at home, but seeing it at the international level, you get a very clear picture of how we’re doing in our programs and what needs to get ramped up more.”

 

“With the additional funding we’re going to be putting in place starting next year, we’re really going to focus on Rio,” Tauber continues. “Just chatting with people, one of the things is how to create this atmosphere at a few more events at home. From the technical side, I think we can work with competition management to give our riders more of an opportunity to compete in [a championships-style venue]. Because some of our horses got a little bit lit up when they came into this stadium.”

 

The officials’ presence did not go unnoticed.

 

“I’m very thankful and impressed that the USEF sent a lot of their staff, and the able-bodied dressage trainers and coaches were all excited about coming over this year to catch some of the rides,” says former Paralympian and current U.S. Para-Equestrian Association president Hope Hand. “To have them see firsthand the quality of rides, it’s very important to take all that back to our federation. That will mean a lot to us, getting that support and exposure.”

 

Says Tauber: “With [veteran sports-management and development executive] Chris Welton coming in as the new [USEF] CEO, we’re hoping to really step up the sponsorship levels. That’s one of our main focuses-to bring up the level of sponsorship dollars that goes back into high performance. That should have an effect on all disciplines, but certainly on para as well.”

 

In recent years, a lot has been written about the USEF’s establishment of high-performance tracks, or “pipelines,” to develop new talent in eventing, jumping, and dressage. Designated national coaches do scouting and conduct clinics, among other duties.

 

Currently there is no USEF para-dressage pipeline program, but such a program “certainly can be” established, says Tauber. “That’s a question of having our coaches start to put together those specific programs, because that’s what our three Olympic coaches have done. They actually created the pipeline, and that is clearly working. We need to probably use that model across the board.”

 

Another key new hire-one that Tauber says will prove “a major turning point in all our programs”-is that of Will Connell. Connell, a native of Great Britain, has served as the British Equestrian Federation’s sports director since 2003. After he concludes his commitment to Team GB when the 2014 WEG wraps, Connell will immigrate to the U.S. to start his new job as USEF director of sport programs October 1, based at U.S. Equestrian Team Foundation headquarters in Gladstone, N.J. He succeeds former USEF director of sport programs Jim Wolf.

 

“He is the one who put together that phenomenal sports program for Great Britain, and we saw the results of that in London,” Tauber says of Connell. “I think this is going to have a dramatic impact on our future plans and our development programs because he has already proven that he can create the programs and produce the results we need.”

 

Delicious Possibilities

 

“I think it was really a positive experience,” Hand says of the 2014 WEG. Of the U.S. para-dressage riders, she says: “I think they did very well. Everybody got very respectable scores. They performed well as a team, they helped each other, and they got through some very tough competition.” As the largest-ever para-dressage competition at the WEG-19 teams and 100 horse-rider combinations from 33 nations-”the field was so competitive, and to get two of our riders qualified for the freestyle was significant and important to us.”

 

As Handt sees it, para-equestrian dressage is a sport whose star is rising-and he plans to ride the wave.

 

“The Paralympics is the second-biggest sporting event in the world,” he says, and “the Paralympic movement is really moving up as far as status goes. Obviously, for a sponsor, the image is fantastic: How much better an image can you have than to sponsor a physically disabled person who is actually an Olympic competitor?”

 

Take the feel-good para-equestrian message and stir in some good old-fashioned American patriotism, and the result may well be not only irresistible to sponsors but also a source of growth for the para-dressage program.

 

” We’re working a lot with out veterans. I actually have a U.S. Air Force veteran who is competing and was long-listed for here We’re even working with the Wounded Warrior Project;,” says Handt, referring to the veterans service organization that supports injured post-9/11 U.S. military veterans (WoundedWarriorProject.org).

 

The positive impression that the 2014 U.S. WEG para-equestrian dressage athletes left on VIPs and the equestrian public alike is “what we need to further the sport and get it out there that they’re serious athletes, not much different from [those in] able-bodied dressage,” says Hand. “They’re very focused and very athletic and have the same challenges that we all do in the sport.” And with the right mix of talent and support, it will be exciting to see how far they can go.

 

2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team

The following horse-and-athlete combinations have been named to the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team (in alphabetical order):

Sydney Collier (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and Victoria Dugan’s Willi Wesley.
Willi Wesley is a 2000 Warmblood gelding. (Grade Ib)

Rebecca Hart (Unionville, Pa.) and Schroeter’s Romani, owned by Rebecca Hart in conjunction with Margaret Duprey, Cherry Knoll Farm, Sycamore Station Equine Division, Barbara Summer, The Ruffolo’s, and Will and Sandy Kimmel.
Schroeter’s Romani is a 2003 Danish Warmblood mare. (Grade II)

Angela Peavy (Avon, Conn.) and Rebecca Reno’s Ozzy Cooper.
Ozzy Cooper is a 2006 Trakehner gelding. (Individual athlete Grade III)

Susan Treabess (Winters, Calif.) and Kathryn Hill’s Kamiakin.
Kamiakin is a 2005 PRE stallion. (Grade IV)

Roxanne Trunnell (Rowlett, Texas) and her own Nice Touch.
Nice Touch is a 1995 Dutch Warmblood mare. (Grade Ia)

USA WEG Team  by Lindsay Y. McCall Photos by Sue Stickle

Learn more about the Para-Dressage discipline at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Normandy, France:

Support the Team and it’s future to the 2016 Paralympics in Rio with the USET Foundation’s Jonathan Wentz Memorial Challenge:

Learn more about the U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage discipline or give a tax-deductible donation to support the development of the sport with the USPEA 501(c)(3)t:

About the United States Para-Equestrian Association: 

The USPEA is a network of riders, judges, national federation 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 Paralympic Games, the USPEA provides Para-Equestrians the knowledge and resources needed to succeed.  The USPEA connects with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), the United States Dressage Federation (USDF), USA Reining, and USEF which provide 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.

 

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

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August 30, 2014 – U.S. Para-Dressage Team Earns Top Accolades at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™

United States Para-Equestrian Association

Media Contact: Lindsay McCall -Lindsay@uspea.org -USPEA, 3940 Verde Vista Drive, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360- www.USPEA.org

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U.S. Para-Dressage Team Earns Top Accolades at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™  

 

CAEN, NORMANDY, August 30, 2014 – The para-equestrian dressage competition at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) concluded on August 29. The U.S. Team led by Chef d’Equipe Kai Handt included: Sydney Collier (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and Victoria Dugan’s Willi Wesley; two-time Paralympian (2008 and 2012) and 2010 WEG athlete Rebecca Hart (Unionville, Pa.) and Schroeter’s Romani, owned by Rebecca Hart in conjunction with Margaret Duprey, Cherry Knoll Farm, Sycamore Station Equine Division, Barbara Summer, The Ruffolo’s, and Will and Sandy Kimmel; 2010 WEG athlete Susan Treabess (Winters, Calif.) and Kathryn Hill’s Kamiakin; and Roxanne Trunnell (Rowlett, Texas) and her own Nice Touch. U.S. para-dressage athlete Angela Peavy (Avon, Conn.) and Rebecca Reno’s Ozzy Cooper also contested as an individual at the WEG. The U.S. equestrians had multiple notable rides including three top ten finishes and an 11th place team accolade (beating out the 2012 Paralympic Equestrian Bronze winning team Ireland) out of 19 teams. The 2014 WEG was an exciting preview for the U.S. to showcase their new horse and rider combinations before the 2016 Paralympics in Rio.

 

 

 

Para-Dressage final results and standings 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™

 

Team Medals

 

Gold: Great Britain, 456.024

Silver: Netherlands, 436.941

Bronze: Germany, 432.510

 

11. USA (Roxanne Trunnell/Nice Touch, Rebecca Hart/Schroeter’s Romani, Sydney Collier/Willi Wesley, Susan Treabess/Kamiakin), 407.042

 

Grade Ia Individual Results

Team test:

1. Sara Morganti/Royal Delight (ITA), 75.783%

2. Laurentia Tan/Ruben James 2 (SIN), 74.522%

Roxanne Trunnell and Nice Touch at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™. Photo (c) SusanJStickle.com
Roxanne Trunnell and Nice Touch at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™. Photo (c) SusanJStickle.com

3. Sophie Christiansen/Janeiro 6 (GBR), 74.261%

 

8. Nice Touch/Roxanne Trunnell (USA), 68.087%

 

Individual test:

Gold: Sophie Christiansen/Janeiro 6 (GBR), 77.565%

Silver: Sara Morganti/Royal Delight (ITA), 76.478%

Bronze: Laurentia Tan/Ruben James 2 (SIN), 75.087

 

8. Nice Touch/Roxanne Trunnell (USA), 69.435%

 

Freestyle test:

Gold: Sara Morganti/Royal Delight (ITA), 78.800%

Silver: Sophie Christiansen/Janeiro 6 (GBR), 77.550%

Bronze: Elke Philipp/Regaliz (GER), 76.750%

 

7. Nice Touch/Roxanne Trunnell (USA), 62.400%

 

Grade Ib Individual Results

Willi Wesley trots to a thirteenth-place finish and a score of 65.960 percent in the Grade Ib team test with rider Sydney Collier.
Sydney Collier (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and Victoria Dugan’s Willi Wesley. Photo (c) SusuanJStickle.com

Team test:

1. Lee Pearson/Zion (GBR), 77.960%

2. Pepo Puch/Fine Feeling S (AUT), 76.520%

3. Silvia Veratti/Zadok (ITA), 72.000%

 

13. Sydney Collier/Willi Wesley (USA), 65.960%

 

Individual test:

Gold: Lee Pearson/Zion (GBR), 77.310%

Silver: Pepo Puch/Fine Feeling S (AUT), 74.793%

Bronze: Nicole den Dulk/Wallace (NED), 71.621

 

9. Sydney Collier/Willi Wesley (USA), 68.103%

 

Freestyle test:

Gold: Lee Pearson/Zion (GBR), 80.050%

Silver: Pepo Puch/Fine Feeling S (AUT), 78.000%

Bronze: Nicole den Dulk/Wallace (NED), 75.150%

 

Grade II Individual Results

Team test:

1. Natasha Baker/Cabral (GBR), 73.647%

Rebecca Hart (Unionville, Pa.) and Schroeter’s Romani, owned by Rebecca Hart in conjunction with Margaret Duprey, Cherry Knoll Farm, Sycamore Station Equine Division, Barbara Summer, The Ruffolo’s, and Will and Sandy Kimmel. Photo (c) SusanJStickle.com

2. Rixt van der Horst/Uniek (NED), 72.618%

3. Lauren Barwick/Off to Paris (CAN), 70.176%

 

7. Rebecca Hart/Schroeter’s Romani (USA), 67.971% (tied with Anthea Gunner-Dixon/Doncartier, NZL)

 

Individual test:

Gold: Rixt van der Horst/Uniek (NED), 72.457%

Silver: Natasha Baker/Cabral (GBR), 71.429%

Bronze: Lauren Barwick/Off to Paris (CAN), 70.914%

 

7. Rebecca Hart/Schroeter’s Romani (USA), 67.486%

 

Freestyle test:

Gold: Rixt van der Horst/Uniek (NED), 76.350%

Silver: Lauren Barwick/Off to Paris (CAN), 76.250%

Bronze: Demi Vermeulen/Vaness (NED), 71.900%

 

7. Rebecca Hart/Schroeter’s Romani (USA), 65.400%

 

Grade III Individual Results

Team test:

1. Hannelore Brenner/Women of the World (GER), 72.474%

Angela Peavy (Avon, Conn.) and Rebecca Reno’s Ozzy Cooper. Photo (c) SusanJStickle.com

 

2. Sanne Voets/Vedet PB N.O.P. (NED), 72.053%

3. Annika Lykke Risum/Aros a Fenris (DEN), 69.868%

 

10. Angela Peavy/Ozzy Cooper (USA), 65.421%

 

Individual test:

Gold: Hannelore Brenner/Women of the World (GER), 73.610%

Silver: Sanne Voets/Vedet PB N.O.P. (NED), 73.146%

Bronze: Susanne Jensby Sunesen/Thy’s Que Faire (DEN), 71.976%

 

17. Angela Peavy/Ozzy Cooper (USA), 63.561%

 

Freestyle test:

Gold: Sanne Voets/Vedet PB N.O.P. (NED), 77.450%

Silver: Hannelore Brenner/Women of the World (GER), 76.200%

Bronze: Annika Lykke Risum/Aros a Fenris (DEN), 73.050%

 

Grade IV Individual Results

Team test:

1. Sophie Wells/Valerius (GBR), 74.595%

Susan Treabess (Winters, Calif.) and Kathryn Hill’s Kamiakin

2. Michele George/FBW Rainman (BEL), 73.643%

3. Frank Hosmar/Alphaville N.O.P. (NED), 73.167%

 

10. Susan Treabess/Kamiakin (USA), 65.833%

 

Individual test:

Gold: Michele George/FBW Rainman (BEL), 74.881%

Silver: Sophie Wells/Valerius (GBR), 74.333%

Bronze: Frank Hosmar/Alphaville N.O.P. (NED), 73.500%

 

16. Susan Treabess/Kamiakin (USA), 60.667%

 

Freestyle test:

Gold: Michele George/FBW Rainman (BEL), 78.650%

Silver: Sophie Wells/Valerius (GBR), 78.050%

Bronze: Frank Hosmar/Alphaville N.O.P. (NED), 75.950%

 

2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team

The following horse-and-athlete combinations have been named to the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team (in alphabetical order):

Sydney Collier (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and Victoria Dugan’s Willi Wesley.
Willi Wesley is a 2000 Warmblood gelding. (Grade Ib)

Rebecca Hart (Unionville, Pa.) and Schroeter’s Romani, owned by Rebecca Hart in conjunction with Margaret Duprey, Cherry Knoll Farm, Sycamore Station Equine Division, Barbara Summer, The Ruffolo’s, and Will and Sandy Kimmel.
Schroeter’s Romani is a 2003 Danish Warmblood mare. (Grade II)

Angela Peavy (Avon, Conn.) and Rebecca Reno’s Ozzy Cooper.
Ozzy Cooper is a 2006 Trakehner gelding. (Individual athlete Grade III)

Susan Treabess (Winters, Calif.) and Kathryn Hill’s Kamiakin.
Kamiakin is a 2005 PRE stallion. (Grade IV)

Roxanne Trunnell (Rowlett, Texas) and her own Nice Touch.
Nice Touch is a 1995 Dutch Warmblood mare. (Grade Ia)

USA WEG Team  by Lindsay Y. McCall Photos by Sue Stickle

Learn more about the Para-Dressage discipline at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Normandy, France:

Support the Team and it’s future to the 2016 Paralympics in Rio with the USET Foundation’s Jonathan Wentz Memorial Challenge:

Learn more about the U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage discipline or give a tax-deductible donation to support the development of the sport with the USPEA 501(c)(3)t:

About the United States Para-Equestrian Association:The USPEA is a network of riders, judges, national federation 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 Paralympic Games, the USPEA provides Para-Equestrians the knowledge and resources needed to succeed.  The USPEA connects with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), the United States Dressage Federation (USDF), USA Reining, and USEF which provide 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.

 

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

Find us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter View our videos on YouTube

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Photos and Articles Copyright(c) 2014 United States Para-Equestrian Association. All Rights Reserved.
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August 29, 2014 – Hart, Trunnell Contest Freestyle Finals at World Equestrian Games

United States Para-Equestrian Association

Media Contact: Lindsay McCall -Lindsay@uspea.org -USPEA, 3940 Verde Vista Drive, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360- www.USPEA.org

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Hart, Trunnell Contest Freestyle Finals at World Equestrian Games

 

CAEN, NORMANDY, August 29, 2014 - To be selected to represent one’s country at a world championships is an honor that few riders ever experience. To not only compete but to perform well enough to advance through the rounds of competition to qualify for the finals is a rare achievement, indeed.

 

Not one but two U.S. representatives in the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ para-equestrian dressage competition claimed that achievement today: Roxanne Trunnell, Grade Ia rider; and her WEG teammate Rebecca Hart, Grade II.

 

For Trunnell, 29, of Rowlett, Tex., today’s freestyle aboard the nineteen-year-old Dutch

Roxanne Trunnell and Nice Touch. Photo copyright SusanJStickle.com
Roxanne Trunnell and Nice Touch. Photo copyright SusanJStickle.com

Warmblood mare Nice Touch was a high note in several ways. For one, this is Trunnell’s first time on a U.S. equestrian team. For another, it was the ride of a lifetime aboard the horse she’s been paired with since Trunnell was 13. And to top it off, this was Nice Touch’s swan song.

 

“It was fantastic. She is a good girl,” a beaming Trunnell said afterward. “This was her grand finale.”

 

Trunnell was proud of her freestyle routine, appropriately set to George Gershwin’s “An American in Paris” and to music from the musical Gigi, including “Thank Heaven for Little Girls.” The highlight, she said, was Nice Touch’s relaxed free walk, which helped the pair earn a score of 62.400 percent for a seventh-place finish.

 

Schedules are tight for the para-equestrian dressage athletes: Trunnell returns home tomorrow, Saturday, which unfortunately leaves her no time for sightseeing in France. But “I’ll be back,” she said.

 

The 2014 U.S. WEG para-dressage team veteran, Rebecca Hart, 30, of Unionville, Penn., found herself in the position of showing her new mount, Schroeter’s Romani, the ropes of international competition. The twelve-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare “was definitely enthusiastic” in her Grade II Freestyle, Hart said with a laugh, referring to occasional tension and loss of focus that left the 2014 United States Equestrian Federation Para-Equestrian Dressage national champions with a score of 65.400 percent and seventh place.

A delighted Roxanne Trunnell with her father, Sidney Trunnell, after her Grade Ia Freestyle aboard Nice Touch CREDIT: Jennifer Bryant
A delighted Roxanne Trunnell with her father, Sidney Trunnell, after her Grade Ia Freestyle aboard Nice Touch CREDIT: Jennifer Bryant

“As we move along, I’m hoping for more power and relaxation,” Hart said afterward. “The enthusiasm is appreciated, but maybe just a little bit more controlled enthusiasm.”

 

Of the freestyle choreography, Hart said: “We were trying to play to her walk a little bit

Rebecca Hart and Schroeter's Romani. Photo copyright SusanJStickle.com
Rebecca Hart and Schroeter’s Romani. Photo copyright SusanJStickle.com

because she has such a great walk. Mostly we were trying to make the walk a little more technical in that you have to hit it exactly with the music, or else the rest of the choreography will be slightly off. When it comes off, you really see that.”

 

The WEG was the debut performance of this freestyle, said Hart. Freestyle choreographer Marlene Whitaker helped Hart put the routine together-but according to the rider, it was Schroeter’s Romani who approved the music selection.

 

 

“She loves this music; she actually picked this music herself,” Hart said. “It’s ‘The Journey Begins,’ which is fairly fitting, since this is the beginning of our journey together.” The melody is the anthem from the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, she said, and “We used that with some other pieces as well that we mixed together.”

 

Looking to the future, Hart added: “This was our original choreography, but if we want to change out leg-yields for half-passes or increase the difficulty later on, we can.”

 

And Hart may be doing just that as she focuses on her next big goal: the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. First things first, however: “Between now and then, we’re going to get her out and about quite a bit so she gets used to different venues and different atmospheres. We can work on building our trust together so she comes to me and looks to me for support and guidance instead of being distracted, and so we have more of the harmonious relationship that you’re looking for in any dressage horse and rider.”

 

After Hart returns home to Pennsylvania, her mare will get a bit of a break; then the rider is “hoping to do the winter season in Florida.” Then “the para-dressage [competitors and supporters] are looking to do a European tour in the spring. We feel that European exposure is so important, not only for us as individuals but for the country as a whole so our team can get out there and be seen.”

 

With the 2014 WEG, the young U.S. para-equestrian dressage team has taken a major step toward the medal podium on the international stage. It will be exciting to follow this talented group of horses and riders as they proceed on their journey.

2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team

The following horse-and-athlete combinations have been named to the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team (in alphabetical order):

Sydney Collier (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and Victoria Dugan’s Willi Wesley.
Willi Wesley is a 2000 Warmblood gelding. (Grade Ib)

Rebecca Hart (Unionville, Pa.) and Schroeter’s Romani, owned by Rebecca Hart in conjunction with Margaret Duprey, Cherry Knoll Farm, Sycamore Station Equine Division, Barbara Summer, The Ruffolo’s, and Will and Sandy Kimmel.
Schroeter’s Romani is a 2003 Danish Warmblood mare. (Grade II)

Angela Peavy (Avon, Conn.) and Rebecca Reno’s Ozzy Cooper.
Ozzy Cooper is a 2006 Trakehner gelding. (Individual athlete Grade III)

Susan Treabess (Winters, Calif.) and Kathryn Hill’s Kamiakin.
Kamiakin is a 2005 PRE stallion. (Grade IV)

Roxanne Trunnell (Rowlett, Texas) and her own Nice Touch.
Nice Touch is a 1995 Dutch Warmblood mare. (Grade Ia)

USA WEG Team  by Lindsay Y. McCall Photos by Sue Stickle

Learn more about the Para-Dressage discipline at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Normandy, France:

Support the Team and it’s future to the 2016 Paralympics in Rio with the USET Foundation’s Jonathan Wentz Memorial Challenge:

Learn more about the U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage discipline or give a tax-deductible donation to support the development of the sport with the USPEA 501(c)(3)t:

About the United States Para-Equestrian Association: 

The USPEA is a network of riders, judges, national federation 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 Paralympic Games, the USPEA provides Para-Equestrians the knowledge and resources needed to succeed.  The USPEA connects with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), the United States Dressage Federation (USDF), USA Reining, and USEF which provide 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.

 

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

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Photos and Articles Copyright(c) 2014 United States Para-Equestrian Association. All Rights Reserved.
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August 29, 2014- Sydney Collier Carries the Para-Equestrian Torch

United States Para-Equestrian Association

Media Contact: Lindsay McCall -Lindsay@uspea.org -USPEA, 3940 Verde Vista Drive, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360- www.USPEA.org

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Sydney Collier Carries the Para-Equestrian Torch

 

The young WEG newcomer is determined to continue the legacy of her mentor, the late Paralympian Jonathan Wentz

 

By Jennifer O. Bryant

 

They say some living things are “old souls.” If that’s true, then Sydney Collier is one of them.

 

With her huge, earnest, round blue eyes and round rosy cheeks, the pint-sized Collier bears a certain resemblance to an oversized Raggedy Ann doll. (She even has the reddish hair, although hers is cropped close.) But the sixteen-year-old para-equestrian dressage rider’s articulate speech and positive, thoughtful nature belie her young age.

Sydney Collier and her dog Journey at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Photo copyright SusanJStickle
Sydney Collier and her dog Journey at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Photo copyright SusanJStickle

 

Collier has lived with medical challenges for half her young life. At the age of eight she was diagnosed with a rare condition called Wyburn-Mason syndrome, which causes vascular malformations within the brain and causes other side effects, including one that befell Collier when she lost vision in her right eye and had coordination problems on the left side of her body. Then in 2009, when Collier was 11, she was undergoing one of the three brain surgeries she endured that year when she suffered a stroke. The stroke left her with hemiparesis (one-sided weakness) on her left side.

 

The disability ended Collier’s career as a budding event rider. She’d begun riding at the age of seven, and she’d evented until the time of her stroke. The setback left her feeling “a little discouraged, like, ‘Oh, I had a stroke, I can’t be the best rider I possibly can be.’”

 

It was time for a little luck to come into Collier’s life, and the lucky break took the form of a trip to Lexington, Ky.

 

In 2010, the year after Collier’s stroke, the Kentucky Horse Park hosted the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games-which also happened to be the first WEG held in the United States and the first to include para-equestrian dressage. Collier traveled from her home in Ann Arbor, Mich., to Lexington to watch the competition.

 

“That was when it really clicked for me: Even though I have these physical challenges that make me have to do things differently, I still can ride at the level I want to ride,” Collier recalls.

 

The 2010 WEG was also the site of the meeting that changed Collier’s life. She befriended the young US para-equestrian dressage rider Jonathan Wentz, who “got me connected with the right people” and whom she calls her mentor.

 

Collier decided to pursue para-dressage, and she’s never looked back. Of the sport, she says, “The best thing about dressage is there’s always something to work on.”

Collier’s quest to reach the international levels of para-dressage has led to a vagabond existence. While the rest of the Collier family remains in Michigan, Sydney and her mother, Anna Collier, rent a house in Millbrook, N.Y., so that Sydney can train with FEI-level instructor/trainer Wes Dunham at his Woodstock Stables in Millbrook. Dunham also coaches para-equestrian Donna Ponessa, who rode Dunham’s mare Western Rose in the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.

 

“Syd’s ParaQuest,” as Collier calls it (her website is www.sydsparaquest.com), next led her to Texas, home base of Kai Handt, the US para-equestrian dressage chef d’équipe. Collier was riding two horses based at Handt’s North Texas Equestrian Center in Wylie, Tex.: NTEC Cuplee, a six-year-old Mecklenburg gelding owned by Patricia McIean Mendenhall; and Willi Wesley, a 14-year-old Hessen gelding owned by Victoria Dugan.

 

“It’s been a lot of traveling for us the last few months,” Collier says, referring to the trips to Texas to ride with Handt.

 

Collier competed with both horses at the 2014 U.S. WEG para-dressage selection trials, held in June at U.S. Equestrian Team Foundation headquarters in Gladstone, N.J. Although she actually ranked higher (third) on the WEG short list with NTEC Cuplee than with Willi Wesley (sixth), “the selection committee selected Willi Wesley as my main mount.”

 

“Willi Wesley has been to many international competitions, so he has a lot of experience,” Collier explains. “The other horse I was riding is six years old and just starting out. He definitely has a bright future ahead of him. Both of them are amazing, and I could never pick one over the other. They have brought me so much happiness.”

 

Collier’s sunny attitude extends to her experience in Normandy, where she is competing in the Grade Ib division. Her first tests at a world championships haven’t been mistake-free, but like any dedicated dressage rider, she is matter-of-fact about what needs to improve.

 

“I would like to work a lot on my center lines and get them as perfect as they can be,” she says after her Grade Ib Team test, her first time competing in the arena at the WEG para venue, La Prairie Racecourse. “I also want to work on my geometry because I’m three-fourths blind, actually. It helps a lot when I have that extra time” to become familiar with the arena,” she says.

 

Not Your Usual Dog and Pony Show

 

Collier has attracted a lot of media attention at these Games. For starters, she’s the youngest para-equestrian here. For another, she makes for ridiculously easy photo ops because she’s the only WEG competitor accompanied by a dog.

 

The white Standard Poodle at Collier’s side is her service dog, appropriately named Journey. “He’s the first dog ever to get credentials for the world championships,” Collier says. “It was so funny when they gave it to him because it looked like he was getting knighted.”

 

Journey “wears a harness and acts like my cane. If I trip, he braces his muscles. He opens doors; he can turn on and off lights; he can open and close cabinets; he helps me up and down the stairs. He can bark for help, which helps a lot if I fall, and he will find someone if I fall, as well. We do almost like old-fashioned texting: If I forget something, I’ll hand him a note, and he’ll take it to my mom. Then my mom will give him a bag with whatever I need, and he’ll bring it right up to me.”

 

Jonathan’s Legacy

 

In 2012, mere weeks after competing in the London Paralympics, Jonathan Wentz died unexpectedly and suddenly at the age of 22. Although the loss of her mentor hit Collier hard, she says she is determined to keep his memory and his para-equestrian legacy alive.

 

“He’s always been a huge part of my story and journey,” says Collier, who lifts the sleeve of her dressage show coat to reveal a rubber bracelet bearing the phrase JONATHAN RIDES ON. “I ride with one of his Paralympic pins, and I ride with a picture of the two of us in my pocket so I can always keep him close.

 

“A huge part of my journey is carrying on his story,” Collier continues. “It’s like I’m carrying on his hope to grow the [U.S.] junior/young rider para program. For me, it’s so inspiring seeing all these other riders who have reached their goals.

 

“It’s crazy to think about: Four years ago I was sitting in the stands [at the 2010 WEG], thinking, ‘Maybe I could do this.’ I hope that, through my story, I inspire other youths-or people of any age range-that they can achieve their goals, no matter what speed bumps might come up along the way.”

2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team

The following horse-and-athlete combinations have been named to the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team (in alphabetical order):

Sydney Collier (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and Victoria Dugan’s Willi Wesley.
Willi Wesley is a 2000 Warmblood gelding. (Grade Ib)

Rebecca Hart (Unionville, Pa.) and Schroeter’s Romani, owned by Rebecca Hart in conjunction with Margaret Duprey, Cherry Knoll Farm, Sycamore Station Equine Division, Barbara Summer, The Ruffolo’s, and Will and Sandy Kimmel.
Schroeter’s Romani is a 2003 Danish Warmblood mare. (Grade II)

Angela Peavy (Avon, Conn.) and Rebecca Reno’s Ozzy Cooper.
Ozzy Cooper is a 2006 Trakehner gelding. (Individual athlete Grade III)

Susan Treabess (Winters, Calif.) and Kathryn Hill’s Kamiakin.
Kamiakin is a 2005 PRE stallion. (Grade IV)

Roxanne Trunnell (Rowlett, Texas) and her own Nice Touch.
Nice Touch is a 1995 Dutch Warmblood mare. (Grade Ia)

USA WEG Team  by Lindsay Y. McCall Photos by Sue Stickle

Learn more about the Para-Dressage discipline at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Normandy, France:

Support the Team and it’s future to the 2016 Paralympics in Rio with the USET Foundation’s Jonathan Wentz Memorial Challenge:

Learn more about the U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage discipline or give a tax-deductible donation to support the development of the sport with the USPEA 501(c)(3)t:

About the United States Para-Equestrian Association:

 

The USPEA is a network of riders, judges, national federation 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 Paralympic Games, the USPEA provides Para-Equestrians the knowledge and resources needed to succeed.  The USPEA connects with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), the United States Dressage Federation (USDF), USA Reining, and USEF which provide 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.

 

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

Find us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter View our videos on YouTube

USPEA
Photos and Articles Copyright(c) 2014 United States Para-Equestrian Association. All Rights Reserved.
If you have received this e-mail and no longer wish to receive any e-mails regarding the USPEA please click on the Unsubscribe link below.  USPEA will only send e-mails that are news related to the USPEA.

August 28, 2014 – Even on the World Stage, the Learning Never Stops

United States Para-Equestrian Association

Media Contact: Lindsay McCall -Lindsay@uspea.org -USPEA, 3940 Verde Vista Drive, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360- www.USPEA.org

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Even on the World Stage, the Learning Never Stops

 

By: Jennifer O. Bryant for the USPEA

 

Caen, France – August 28, 2014 - There is no higher level of equestrian competition than a World Equestrian Games, an Olympic Games, or a Paralympic Games. The experience, not surprisingly, is like no other and even at this level, an up-and-coming horse has to get his feet wet.

 

It may seem odd to think of the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ as a schooling show, but to an extent that’s what it’s been for Kamiakin, a nine-year-old PRE stallion owned by Kathryn Hill and ridden by Grade IV competitor Susan Treabess.

 

Relaxed, poised, and confident at the U.S. WEG para-equestrian dressage selection trials in June, Kamiakin has been more on edge in Normandy, with lovely moments interrupted by slight tension. Today’s Grade IV Individual test, for one, was off to a good start when a runner popped out from behind a judge’s booth. Kamiakin spooked, and Treabess did a masterful job of regaining the stallion’s focus-which came and went a few more times until he finally settled toward the end. The ride garnered a score of 60.667 percent.

 

The stallion Kamiakan (with Grade IV rider Susan Treabess) is the first PRE ever to compete on a United States equestrian team
The stallion Kamiakan (with Grade IV rider Susan Treabess) is the first PRE ever to compete on a United States equestrian team

 

“I’m disappointed, but I keep getting back to…for [us] it’s just a stepping stone, as kind of a young partnership and him as a young horse. He’s young and he’s a stallion, and he has those things that come along with being a young stallion. Once the third mistake happened, I kind of said, ‘That’s it; it’s a schooling experience and he’s here to learn. I’m going to get him through this, and he’s going to have to learn to handle this kind of pressure and atmosphere,’” Treabess said afterward.

 

Kamiakin was also unnerved by the low scoreboards positioned outside the arena perimeters, Treabess said, as they weren’t there when competitors had their “arena familiarization” opportunity a few days ago.

 

“Being a stallion, if they change the furniture, that’s it,” she said. “He’s got to get over that. He has to learn to let me protect him in those situations, and trust that I’m not going to put him in a situation where his life is in jeopardy.”

 

Still, the trainer-she has brought Kamiakin up from Training Level to confirmed small-tour horse in just three years, and he’s schooling all the movements of the Grand Prix-is proud of the way her mount performed.

 

“In about the last two movements, he really settled in and let me ride him. To me it’s a win. It was fun to come to France and be part of this experience, and we’re going to go home and put some banners up and maybe take him to some shows where they change the arena. So hopefully in two years we’ll be ready to rock and roll [at the 2016 Paralympics].

 

“The George Clooney of Horses”

 

That’s what Treabess, 37, and the other folks at her training base, Somerset Farm, Winters, Calif., call “Kam.” Like the famously handsome actor, Kam is a head-turner: a dark bay PRE (by Kianto) with that fabulously cresty Iberian-stallion neck and an unmistakable presence. Although Kam has been “on vacation” from breeding, he is an approved breeding stallion who will return to breeding on a limited basis after the WEG, and probably turn to breeding as a second career after he retires from dressage competition, Treabess said. (Not a bad way to spend a retirement!)

 

Kam has garnered attention at the WEG for another reason, as well: According to Treabess, he is the first PRE ever to make a U.S. team.

 

“The PRE owners and riders have been trying to have this happen for years,” Treabess said. “[Olympic dressage competitor] Courtney King [Dye] had Grandioso, and when she was injured he went to Spain.” (Grandioso is competing at the 2014 WEG under Jose Daniel Martin Dockx.) “They’re amazing horses; they’re highly intelligent and they’re fun to ride. This horse has incredible potential.”

 

Treabess, who was born without a left hand, says that “having one hand, they’re the choice breed for me [because] he’s quite easy to ride off the seat. I cannot have a horse that’s heavy in the hand. There are plenty of warmbloods that are like that as well, but there’s just something special about the PREs.” She choked up as she said of Kam, “He’s one of my best friends.”

 

Treabess and Kam: Right Place, Right Time

 

Kam’s owner, Kathryn “Katie” Hill, is from Oregon but now lives in the Netherlands, Treabess said. “When she and her husband, Scott, were moving to the Netherlands, they decided they wanted to sell him, so they brought him down to me. Things just fell into place, and now I’m a part-owner,” said Treabess, who has been paired for Kam for three years.

 

Serendipity also played a role in Treabess’s entry into the para-equestrian dressage world. She had previously competed in able-bodied eventing (including trying out for the FEI North American Young Riders Championships) and had “competed in dressage as a hobby for a long time.” FEI-level dressage trainer and competitor Dennis Callin, who had previously coached a Paralympian, came to California to conduct a clinic with colleague Monica Theodorescu, then chef d’équipe of the German dressage team.

 

“He said, ‘I hear you’re quite a good rider. Have you ever thought of getting into para-dressage?’” Treabess recalled. “I had never even heard of it. He introduced me, and it was sort of surprising-him scouting for para riders. He’s a pretty big advocate of the sport.”

 

Even though the U.S.-born Callin now resides in the United Kingdom, Treabess continues to work with her trainer. “I’ve been bringing him every eight weeks from the U.K., and he stays for a week. We’ve been doing that now for three years. He will be competing his own horses next year, so we’re going to back off a little bit from that schedule, but continue to train.” Callin also helps to oversee the training programs at Somerset Farm, she said.

 

The Road to Rio

 

As the 2014 WEG para-dressage competition winds down (tomorrow is the freestyle finals), Treabess is already looking to the future.

 

“Next year, I’m going to try to show him on the small-tour CDI circuit in California and continue to school him toward Grand Prix; then continue to compete in the para and work toward Rio [the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro],” she says of her stallion. “Our goal of getting here [WEG] was getting him out and having a schooling-type experience, getting ready for Rio.”

Grade II rider Rebecca Hart is all smiles aboard Schroeter's Romani in their individual test today
Grade II rider Rebecca Hart is all smiles aboard Schroeter’s Romani in their individual test today. Photo copyright SusanJStickle.com

 

Freestyle Finale

 

Tomorrow, Friday, is the final day of WEG 2014 para-dressage competition, with individual freestyles in all grades. With a score of 67.486 percent in today’s Grade II Individual test, Rebecca Hart and Schroeter’s Romani look to have qualified. (Official freestyle start lists hadn’t yet been issued at press time.)

 

 

“It was good; she was more settled for this one, but we still need to add a little bit of power,” Hart said of the twelve-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (Lobster x Come Back II). “She did everything I asked of her today, so I’m happy with that. I’m hoping [to qualify] for the freestyle. We’ll have to wait for the rest of the day.” (The top third in each grade, based on combined scores from the team test and the individual test, will advance to the freestyle.)

 

The other U.S. competitor who has a chance of dancing tomorrow is Grade Ia’s Roxanne Trunnell on Nice Touch, a nineteen-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (by Grundstein). Trunnell improved on her 68.087 percent score in the Grade Ia Team test, earning an impressive 69.435 percent in today’s Grade Ia Individual test. She placed eighth in both classes.

Roxanne Trunnell and Nice Touch present an elegant picture in their Grade Ia Individual test. Photo copyright SusanJStickle.com
Roxanne Trunnell and Nice Touch present an elegant picture in their Grade Ia Individual test. Photo copyright SusanJStickle.com
2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team

The following horse-and-athlete combinations have been named to the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team (in alphabetical order):

Sydney Collier (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and Victoria Dugan’s Willi Wesley.
Willi Wesley is a 2000 Warmblood gelding. (Grade Ib)

Rebecca Hart (Unionville, Pa.) and Schroeter’s Romani, owned by Rebecca Hart in conjunction with Margaret Duprey, Cherry Knoll Farm, Sycamore Station Equine Division, Barbara Summer, The Ruffolo’s, and Will and Sandy Kimmel.
Schroeter’s Romani is a 2003 Danish Warmblood mare. (Grade II)

Angela Peavy (Avon, Conn.) and Rebecca Reno’s Ozzy Cooper.
Ozzy Cooper is a 2006 Trakehner gelding. (Individual athlete Grade III)

Susan Treabess (Winters, Calif.) and Kathryn Hill’s Kamiakin.
Kamiakin is a 2005 PRE stallion. (Grade IV)

Roxanne Trunnell (Rowlett, Texas) and her own Nice Touch.
Nice Touch is a 1995 Dutch Warmblood mare. (Grade Ia)

USA WEG Team  by Lindsay Y. McCall Photos by Sue Stickle

Learn more about the Para-Dressage discipline at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Normandy, France:

Support the Team and it’s future to the 2016 Paralympics in Rio with the USET Foundation’s Jonathan Wentz Memorial Challenge:

Learn more about the U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage discipline or give a tax-deductible donation to support the development of the sport with the USPEA 501(c)(3)t:

About the United States Para-Equestrian Association:

 

The USPEA is a network of riders, judges, national federation 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 Paralympic Games, the USPEA provides Para-Equestrians the knowledge and resources needed to succeed.  The USPEA connects with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), the United States Dressage Federation (USDF), USA Reining, and USEF which provide 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.

 

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

Find us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter View our videos on YouTube

USPEA
Photos and Articles Copyright(c) 2014 United States Para-Equestrian Association. All Rights Reserved.
If you have received this e-mail and no longer wish to receive any e-mails regarding the USPEA please click on the Unsubscribe link below.  USPEA will only send e-mails that are news related to the USPEA.
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