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March 6, 2013 Two Incredible Evenings Honoring Paralympian Jonathan Wentz and the USPEA

Two Incredible Evenings Honoring Paralympian Jonathan Wentz and the USPEA

By: Lindsay McCall

VIEW THE PDF HERE

Thursday, March 7th
The United States Para-Equestrian Association Presents
“Inspire a Generation” private Benefit Party and Auction
Honoring Jonathan Wentz
Hosted by Rancho Valencia Resort
Rancho Santa Fe, CA

&

Friday, March 8th
1st Annual Wooden Horse Race and Casino Night
Hosted by the 2013 Rancho Valencia Dressage Affaire CDI YJ3*
Del Mar, CA

Jonathan Wentz waving the U.S. Flag at the 2012 London Paralympics (C) Lindsay Yosay McCall

Jonathan Wentz waving the U.S. Flag at the 2012 London Paralympics (C) Lindsay Yosay McCall

Del Mar, CA-March 6, 2013- For two exciting evenings the late Para-Dressage rider and USPEA member Jonathan Wentz will be honored in the Southern California community. On March 7th The United States Para-Equestrian Association (USPEA) presents “Inspire a Generation” private Benefit Party and Auction Honoring Jonathan Wentz Hosted by Rancho Valencia Resort in Rancho Santa Fe, California.  Guests will learn about the newly created Jonathan Wentz Memorial Scholarship Fund before enjoying delectable hors d’oeuvres and drinks, and entertainment by musician Mack Bailey. Patrons of this event will be given the opportunity to bid on the finest of auction items and experiences. Although the party is private any person may bid on the unique auction items.

Please contact Lisa at lblaufuss@dressageevents.com if you are interested in bidding on the auction items virtually or over the phone.  The auction will commence at 7:00 p.m. (west coast time). Please view the list of auction items by clicking the link below.

(You may download the list of auction items here)

Thursday, March 7th “Inspire a Generation” Benefit Party Honoring Jonathan Wentz Hosted by Rancho Valencia Resort Rancho Santa Fe, CA

What:  “Inspire a Generation” Benefit Party Honoring Jonathan Wentz
When: March 7th
Where: Rancho Valencia Resort Rancho Santa Fe, CA
Cost: Tickets are sold out but the cost to bid on the auction items is free

About the USPEA Jonathan Wentz Memorial Scholarship Fund

The Jonathan Wentz Scholarship Fund was established to continue the dream of Paralympian Jonathan Wentz; to advance High Performance Para Dressage in the USA by supporting and encouraging Para Dressage Young Riders to set the goal of International competition.

At age 13 Jonathan set the goal of riding for the USA in the Paralympics. At age 16 he established a plan and budget to achieve his dream. In 2012, at the age of 21, Jonathan was able to achieve his dream of riding for Team USA in the 2012 London Paralympics earning the highest placing of all U.S. equestrians that competed in London. Another goal of Jonathan’s was to develop a Para Dressage Young Rider program to help grow and improve Para Dressage in the USA. His scholarship fund will be used to offset the cost of International competition for Para Dressage Young Rider’s and to encourage their participation enabling them to excel in their sport.

Scholarship funds will go toward Para Dressage High Performance Young Riders, ages 16 – 25, within the competition year, who are actively competing in International Para Dressage competitions, 3* and above. 

Funds shall be awarded to help offset competition expenses up to $1,000.00 per competition to help cover entry fees including stabling and/or shipping (greater than 500 miles one way) costs for competition.

Guidelines for Application of JW Scholarship fund:
Athlete’s must submit a Jonathan Wentz Scholarship Grant Request form with expenses itemized, along with a copy of completed entry forms, invoices and/or receipts for consideration of scholarship funds, along with a list of their competition highlights, competition goals and competition plan/schedule for the current 2 years. (Example; 2013- 2014, 2015 – 2016) Scholarship funds are intended for direct payment of specific competition expenditures, entry fees, stabling, and/or shipping only. Checks made out to athlete or immediate family for reimbursement will require a completed W-9, and will be subject to the approval.

Scholarship funds may be awarded for a maximum of two CPEDI3* events per competition year with a maximum of $1,000.00 awarded per competition. Grants are subject to the approval of the USPEA board. Funds will be awarded based on “own horse” (according to FEI Para definition), distance to competition, number of competitions athlete is planning to attend in 2-year competition period, and/or number of applicants.

Friday, March 8th
1st Annual Wooden Horse Race and Casino Night
Hosted by the 2013 Rancho Valencia Dressage Affaire CDI YJ3*
Del Mar, CA

The Rancho Valencia Dressage Affaire CDI YJ3* will be hosting the 1st Annual Wooden Horse Race and Casino Night March 8, 2013. This event will commence after the last class on Friday at the Del Mar Horse Park. The entire evening, featuring horse races, casino games, appetizers, and awards, will help benefit the Jonathan Wentz Scholarship Fund under the United States Para-Equestrian Association (USPEA).

What: Horse Races, Casino Night, & “Around the World” Appetizers
When: Friday March 8th (end of show day)

There will be 12 wooden horses available for purchase at check in. Trainers would make a donation for their horse of $50.00 and can decorate them to make them unique. Supplies will be available and payments collected by your Bookie/Barn Manager Lisa Vidov.

Display your horse in your barn area and solicit clients and friends to join your syndicate for a donation of $5/person. You can choose to make your investment back first or let it ride in the pot. There is no limit to the size of your syndicate. Proceeds will support the United States Para Equestrian Association.

On Friday, at the end of the show day, all horses will collect in the paddock (warm up arena) for display purposes. Then, when the bugle sounds, each trainer will parade their horse to the start gate and the race will occur down the FEI Jog lane. Winner and syndicate will get photo opportunity in the Rancho Valencia Arena with their horse and trophy presented during the Brunch on Sunday.

Prizes:
Best decorated horse
Largest syndicate
Best in show for the horse parade to start gate (great mover? crazy? lazy?)
Huge Engraved Trophy to winning trainer and syndicate

Support the United States Para-Equestrian Association:
Continue on to vendor row for “Around the World” appetizers and drinks sponsored by your vendors and try your hand at BlackJack, Craps or Roulette!!! Make a donation to the USPEA for $20.00 worth of chips/play money to use at Casino Night.

Real Dealers!
Real Casino Tables!
Free drawings for more prizes!

Rancho Valencia “Inspire a Generation” Benefit Party

Rancho Valencia “Inspire a Generation” Benefit Party

Honoring Paralympian Jonathan Wentz

Jonathan Wentz (c) Lindsay Yosay McCall

Jonathan Wentz (c) Lindsay Yosay McCall

Buy Tickets for the Rancho Valencia “Inspire a Generation” Benefit Party honoring  Jonathan Wentz

Date: March 7, 2013

Location: Rancho Valencia

Cost: $100 per person – Please click the “Buy Now” button to purchase a ticket to the party.



 

Jonathan Wentz at 2012 Paralympics (C) Lindsay Yosay McCall

Jonathan Wentz at 2012 Paralympics (C) Lindsay Yosay McCall

For anyone interested in donating to the Jonathan Wentz Scholarship Fund please click the “Donate” button below and follow the instructions. At the end of your transaction please add “Jonathan Wentz Fund” in special instructions box below the payment box.

DONATE TO THE JONATHAN WENTZ SCHOLARSHIP FUND:




 

Your Donations will go towards the United States Para-Equestrian Association 501(c)(3)

Mailing Address:
USPEA
Attn: Jonathan Wentz Scholarship Fund
3940 Verde Vista Drive
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360

*The USPEA is a 501(c)(3) and all donations are tax-deductible.

ABOUT THE UNITED STATES PARA-EQUESTRIAN ASSOCIATION:

The United States Para-Equestrian Association (USPEA) includes every equestrian discipline that is practiced by athletes with physical disabilities. Each rider or driver competes under the eighth discipline, The Para-Equestrian discipline, of the United States Equestrian Federation.  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 sport of Para-Equestrian.
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).  Three months later in September 2010 the USEF High Performance Para-Equestrian Dressage Team made history with their debut at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ held in Lexington, Kentucky.

The number of equestrians has tripled in the last year which has in turn created more opportunities for those wanting to get involved.  The USPEA is a recognized affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and provides programs, clinics, and competition opportunities for athletes with physical disabilities. Riders compete under the USEF rules during their national competitions and FEI rules during international competition.

In the Para-Equestrian discipline, each rider or driver is classified according to his or her functional ability. Those disciplines include Para-Dressage, Para-Driving, Para-Vaulting, Para-Jumping, and Para-Reining. Trained physiotherapists and doctors who evaluate muscle strength, coordination, throughout the athlete’s body, assess Para-Equestrian athletes. The athlete is then given a functional profile that indicates the grade in which they can compete. The competition within each grade is judged on the functional skill of the rider or driver and not the level of disability.

After applying the selection criteria, considering the horse and rider combinations, their rankings and scores at the trials, and a team is selected.  Riders are ranked into Grades, which have been created to allow riders with the same abilities to challenge each other.  The five Grades include Ia, Ib, II, III, and IV.  Grade Ia represents the more severely impaired riders and Grade IV represents the least impaired riders.  For a comparison to regular Dressage, FEI Para Equestrian Grades Ia and Ib are equivalent to USDF Intro Level, FEI Para Equestrian Grade II is equivalent to USEF Training level, FEI Para Equestrian Grade III is equivalent to USEF First Level, and FEI Para Equestrian Grade IV is equivalent to USEF Third Level.

Most nationally recognized horse shows such as United States Dressage Federation Shows will permit a para-equestrian to compete and be judged at each horse show.  The rider will then earn points towards national points and rankings.  For example, in July 2010, the USEF Para-Dressage National Championships occurred at the Lamplight Equestrian Center in Chicago, IL.  For one weekend Para-Dressage riders from all over the United States competed under FEI judges to earn the title of National Champion.  Coinciding with the National Championships the USEF Para-Dressage Selection Trials for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ were also conducted.

The primary focus of the USPEA programs are to provide clinic and competition opportunities for athletes with physical disabilities. Many of our USPEA athletes were first introduced to horses through their therapeutic riding programs. The therapy program objectives are to introduce riding to improve balance, joint mobility, coordination, muscle tone and posture to ease symptoms of a wide variety of disabilities. It is a well know fact that horse’s gaits parallel that of the human.

What makes USPEA so special is that a person with a disability can compete in an exciting and well respected sport as an elite athlete and be judged on their abilities.  A Para-Equestrian has the opportunity to reach the highest level of their sport including National Championships, World Equestrian Games, and the Paralympics.

December 23, 2012-Laureen K. Johnson Takes New Role In Stride as USEF High Performance Director of the Para-Equestrian Discipline

Laureen K. Johnson Takes New Role In Stride as USEF High Performance Director of the Para-Equestrian Discipline

Lexington, KY- December 23, 2012- As the United States Para-Equestrian discipline looks toward 2013, the United States Para-Equestrian Association (USPEA) is pleased to honor new discipline director Laureen K. Johnson. Laureen was appointed an exciting new role as High Performance Director of Para-Equestrian and Vaulting Programs and Assistant to High Performance Director of Driving Programs. Laureen’s prior title for the past seven years included Assistant to Para-Equestrian and Vaulting Director. She has also been with USEF since 1999 where she assisted every High Performance discipline except able-bodied dressage. Laureen’s dedication, professional experience and love for the equestrian sport has made this transition exceptionally smooth.

Laureen Johnson High Performance Director of Para-Equestrian and Vaulting Programs and Assistant to High Performance Director of Driving Programs

Laureen Johnson High Performance Director of Para-Equestrian and Vaulting Programs and Assistant to High Performance Director of Driving Programs

Laureen was born in Chicago, IL and moved to Chatham Township, NJ at 13 years of age. On her 16th birthday Laureen received her first horse kindly called, “Sweet William,” as a gift from her parents. Since that moment Laureen has continued to enjoy all aspects of the equestrian world including riding, volunteering at therapeutic riding centers, and working for the Federation. Laureen graduated from Washington School for Secretaries and Business Administration in Washington D.C. and began working for USEF in January of 1999.

The 2012 calendar year was a very exciting year for many equestrian disciplines. With 2013 right around the corner and the 2014 World Equestrian Games approaching Laureen will be an integral part of the continued growth of the Para-Equestrian discipline including both Dressage and Driving. “I love the artistry and elegance of Dressage and Driving,” noted Laureen. “The disabled athletes never cease to amaze me with their dedication and “can do” attitudes.  They are an extremely positive group of athletes.” She added, “Vaulting is also a fascinating sport. The artistry, athletic strength and teamwork to create a harmonious relationship with the horse is magical.”

With the 2014 World Equestrian Games and 2016 Paralympics on the four-year calendar Laureen will also have to face a few challenges. Laureen explained, “The biggest challenge is fundraising and securing high quality, competitive horses.  The budget for Para-Equestrian and Vaulting is limited so it is imperative that the athletes receive more funding which will help increase their international presence.”

Raising the capital for each discipline can be difficult which is why the United States Para-Equestrian Association (USPEA) works with the Para-Dressage and Para-Driving equestrians to help reach their goals nationally and internationally. The USPEA is a large network that continues to support the disabled athletes in all aspects of competition and training. Laureen mentioned, “I’m eager to work closely with the USEF recognized Para-Equestrian affiliate, USPEA, in developing grass root riders into elite athletes.  The USPEA conducts outstanding clinics and educational seminars for riders and officials.  The new and experienced Para-Equestrian athletes are fortunate to have the high caliber support and knowledge from the USPEA.  Synergistically, the USPEA and USEF will develop the finest of athletes.”

President of the USPEA Hope Hand commented, “We are looking forward to working with Laureen and are very excited for her new role at USEF.  Laureen’s great attitude, willingness to work as a team, and dedication to the athletes will provide each of the disciplines she works with the support needed to succeed around the world.

In June 2012 Laureen married Lee Schenck and they reside in Bridgewater, NJ.  Between Laureen and her husband Lee they have six adult children and one grandchild. When Laureen has free time she enjoys spending time with family and friends and relaxing at their beach house in North Wildwood, NJ.

To contact High Performance Director of Para Equestrian and Vaulting and Assistant to Driving Laureen K. Johnson please e-mail lkjohnson@usef.org or call USEF at (908) 326-1155.

On December 14, 2012 the Para-Equestrian High Performance Committee and Para-Equestrian Eligible Athlete Committee were announced. Both committees are pending approval of the USEF Executive Committee.

 

Para-Equestrian High Performance Committee (Pending approval of the Executive Committee)

 

The Chair of the High Performance Committee is Hope Hand

Co-Chair of the High Performance Committee is Barb Grassmyer.

 

Dale Dedrick

Barabara Grassmyer, Elected Eligible Athlete

Hope Hand

Rebecca Hart, Elected Eligible

Mary Jordan, Elected Eligible Athlete

Kim Kelly

Sandy Rafferty

Melissa Ransehousen

Sharon Schneidman

Lynn Siedemann

Hardy Zantke

 

The Chair and Vice-Chair of the Para-Equestrian High Performance Committee will be named shortly.

 

Para-Equestrian Eligible Athlete Committee (Pending approval of the Executive Committee)     

 

Mary Jordan , Chair

Rebecca Hart, Vice Chair

Erin Alberda

Robin Brueckmann

Barbara Grassmyer

Watch U.S. Paralympian Rebecca Hart On Good Morning America October 10th with Co-Host Ann Romney

Watch U.S. Paralympian Rebecca Hart On Good Morning America October 10th with Co-Host Ann Romney

Article by Lindsay McCall

Photos by Lindsay McCall and Susan Stickle

To view this Press release in PDF format please click here.

New York, NY – October 8, 2012 – On Wednesday October 10th, U.S. Paralympian Rebecca Hart of Unionville, Penn. will be showcased on ABC’s Good Morning America. Hart will accompany Ann Romney, wife of Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney in New York’s Times Square. Mrs. Romney and Rebecca Hart will be speaking about how horses have provided a unique form of therapy for them. Both equestrians will also touch on the 2012 London Paralympics and the equestrian sport. Mrs. Romney will be co-hosting the 8 a.m. (Eastern Time) news hour with George Stephanopoulos on Wednesday where she is filling in for Robin Roberts, who is on extended medical leave.

Rebecca Hart, horse Lord Ludger (owned by Jessica Ransehousen), and U.S Parlaympic Chef d’Equipe Missy Ransehousen will present a previously recorded segment from October 8th showcasing the Paralympic Dressage duo at Blue Hill Farm. In addition to Rebecca Hart and Lord Ludger’s Times Square debut, Ann Romney will accompany Hart riding Ireland’s Bronze Medal Team horse, Orlando, owned by James Dwyer.

Both Rebecca Hart and James Dwyer were recent competitors at the 2012 London Paralympics in Para-Dressage. Rebecca 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.

James Dwyer was one of the four athletes representing the Bronze Medal Ireland team. Alongside James Dwyer and horse Orlando were Eilish Byrne aboard Youri, Geraldine Savage on Blues Tip Top Too, and Helen Kearney on Mister Cool.

As an elite equestrian and co-owner of 2012 U.S. Olympic Dressage horse Rafalca ridden by Jan Ebeling, Ann Romney can relate to Hart’s and Dwyer’s recent accomplishments and therapeutic use of riding. Ann Romney, who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1998, is an advocate for Multiple Sclerosis. Mrs. Romney began riding as a form of therapy and found it to benefit her life in many ways. Hart and Mrs. Romney 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 now will be riding in Times Square. You don’t often get asked to ride in Times Square and I am very excited for this opportunity.”

The program is scheduled on ABC’s Good Morning America Wednesday October 10th at 8 a.m. (Eastern Time). Please check your local listings for your local ABC channel.

View the June 2012 press release about Ann Romney presenting Rebecca Hart her award by clicking this link. 

For press related inquiries, comments or questions please e-mail Lindsay McCall at Lindsay@uspea.org.

Photo Credit: Rebecca Hart receiving 2012 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championship award from Ann Romney during the 2012 USEF Dressage Festival of Champions. Photograph taken in Gladstone, NJ (c) Susan Stickle at SusanStickle.com.

Photo Credit: Rebecca Hart receiving 2012 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championship award from Ann Romney during the 2012 USEF Dressage Festival of Champions. Photograph taken in Gladstone, NJ (c) Susan Stickle at SusanStickle.com.

Rebecca Hart and Lord Ludger at 2012 Paralympics photo (c) Lindsay McCall

Rebecca Hart and Lord Ludger at 2012 Paralympics photo (c) Lindsay McCall

James Dwyer (IRL) and Orlando at 2012 Paralympics photo (c) Lindsay Yosay McCall

James Dwyer (IRL) and Orlando at 2012 Paralympics photo (c) Lindsay Yosay McCall

Irish Bronze Team photo (c) Lindsay McCall

Irish Bronze Team photo (c) Lindsay McCall

Dale Dedrick

Dale Dedrick and Bonifatius by Lindsay Yosay McCall

Dale Dedrick and Bonifatius by Lindsay Y McCall

Dale Dedrick (Ann Arbor, MI) With a U.S. National Swimming world-record holder for a mom, a father that was an elite golfer, and a grandmother who rode in the Calgary Stampede, it seemed only natural for Dale Dedrick to become an athlete and equestrian.  After a few intense years, earning her M.D. from the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Dale stepped back into riding and her Dressage training evolved. During her orthopedic residency at the University of Michigan Dedrick was diagnosed with Lupus. As an orthopedic surgeon symptoms of joint deformities, inflammation, heart disease, and muscle weakness were affecting Dedrick’s ability to work. Dale retired in 1992 as an Assistant Professor of Surgery and Internal Medicine. In her teens she was a successful hunter/jumper rider, was a supreme National Dressage rider and in 1986 she was a U.S. Olympic Festival competitor. As a Para-Equestrian she flew onto the scene training with her mount Bonifatius “Erik” and trainer Rosalind Kinstler of Ann Arbor, Michigan. In 2011 she earned the USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage Reserve National Champion, was Champion Grade II Para-Equestrian, and in 2012 was the Reserve National Champion Grade II Para-Equestrian.

Dale is on the 2012 United States Paralympic Equestrian Team headed to London England

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