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April 18, 2013- 2013 U.S. National Para-Dressage Training Symposium

PRESS RELEASE:

Written by Carlisle Academy and Lindsay McCall

 

Announcing the 2013 U.S. National Para-Dressage Training Symposium
“A Team Approach”
CarlisleAcademy
Hosted & Organized by  Carlisle Academy Integrative Equine Therapy & Sports
65 Drown Lane, Lyman, Maine, USA
USPEA Logo USEF LOGO
Sponsored by USPEA & USEF

Train the Trainer Workshop~ May 29 – 30
Rider Symposium ~ May 30 – June 1
Auditors Welcome

 

Registration Deadline is May 10, 2013

YOU MAY DOWNLOAD THE REGISTRATION FORM HERE:

YOU MAY DOWNLOAD THE INFORMATION PACKET HERE
The information packet will give you specific schedules, costs, lodging, and location information

Contact information for questions or concerns:
Joyce Brown, Training & Leadership Program Director

Email: jbrown@carlisleacademymaine.com
Carlisle Academy Integrative Equine Therapy & Sports
Address: 65 Drown Lane, Lyman, Maine 04002
Phone 207-985-0374 Fax 207-985-7937
www.carlisleacademymaine.com

or contact the USPEA by contacting President Hope Hand at Hope@uspea.org

____________________________________________________________

2013 U.S. National PARA-Dressage
Training Symposium

Lyman, Maine- April 18, 2013- Join us for a four day Para-Dressage Training Symposium! We are thrilled to bring world-class trainers and practitioners to Carlisle Academy for an educational and interactive program packed with information and training for Para-dressage riders, trainers and coaches.

The Training symposium is presented in two parts, with a theme of “A Team Approach”
Train the Trainer Workshop~ May 29 – 30
Para Rider Symposium ~ May 30 – June 1

This is a U.S. Para-Equestrian Association sanctioned event and is organized and hosted by Carlisle Academy Integrative Equine Therapy & Sports, a leading nationally accredited program in Lyman, Maine.

Symposium Banquet & Keynote Address: All participants (clinicians, trainers, and riders) are invited to a symposium banquet at the Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport, Maine on Wednesday, May 29th. Featured guest Gill Merrick will kick off the symposium theme of “A Team Approach” in his keynote address that evening. There will be time for fellowship and networking.

Featured Symposium Clinicians
Hanneke Gerritsen ~ FEI “O” Judge and Olympic Technical Delegate from Holland
Catherine Haddad Staller ~ International Dressage Competitor & Trainer
Clive Milkins ~ 2012 Paralympic Gold Medal Team Coach for Great Britain
Gil Merrick ~ Former USEF High Performance Dressage Director and National Clinician

Symposium Lecturers & Specialists
Hope Hand ~ President of United States Para Equestrian Association (USPEA)
Lora Dow ~ Fundraising & Marketing Expert
Tina Wentz ~ National Classifier and USPEA board member
Susan Grant, OTR/L, HPCS ~ Licensed Occupational Therapist; Hippotherapy Clinical Specialist
Janet Smaldone, PT, HPCS ~ Licensed Physical Therapist; Hippotherapy Clinical Specialist

Exceptional Facilities
The workshop portion and Symposium Banquet will be held at the classic, waterfront Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport, Maine. We have reserved a block of rooms at a group rate for any Symposium participant. All hands-on and riding portions of the Symposium will be held at Carlisle Academy, which is centrally located in Southern Maine, just 30 minutes from Portland, ME and Portsmouth, NH. Fly into Portland, Manchester or Boston airports. The Academy, located on 150-acre Spring Creek Farm in Lyman, Maine, USA, provides an ideal environment for training. With two indoor arenas, two outdoor arenas, a therapy room and classroom, individuals and horses alike will find the space comfortable, peaceful and conducive to a productive learning experience.

Registration Due Date: Friday, May 10, 2013

Please Note! There is no limit on enrollment for the Train the Trainer’s portion. However, due to the intensive nature of the Rider Symposium, space is limited to 10 riders and an unlimited number of active auditors. Carlisle Academy will hold space for 2 alternates in the event of rider cancellations. Preference will be given to Horse & Rider combinations.

Para Symposium Clinician Bios

Hanneke Gerritsen, World-class FEI “O” Judge and Olympic Technical Delegate
Hanneke Gerritsen will share her extensive judging expertise with participants of the Train the Trainer program, through lecture, rider demonstrations and video critiques. Hanneke will be available as well to coach and mentor clinicians as they work with para riders. She will teach lessons to riders who are not planning on trying out for the 2014 World Equestrian Games, and a limited number of private lessons for non-symposium participants will be available as time allows.

Hanneke began her career with horses at her father’s farm while continuing a career as an interior designer. Now she spends all her time coaching, judging and performing a number of executive functions in the Para-Equestrian disciplines. In addition to judging international qualifier competitions worldwide, Hanneke coached the Dutch Para-Dressage Team from 2000 to 2004. From 2005 through 2010 she was a member of the ground jury at a number of international championships including the 2008 Paralympics in Hong Kong. She was the Technical Delegate at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Kentucky. In addition to her Para-Equestrian pursuits, Hanneke is a Grand Prix judge and a selector and trainer for new dressage judges at all levels. She has bred several talented dressage horses and is a trainer and coach to several talented students in Holland. Hanneke gives clinics all over the world.

Catherine Haddad Staller, International Dressage Competitor & Trainer
Catherine Haddad Staller’s international expertise as both an FEI competitor and trainer will enrich the riders’ experience. She will be available for private sessions, as well as two lectures on How to Train the Walk, and the Competitive Mindset.

In 1993 Catherine was stationed in Germany where she represented the United States in competitions throughout Europe at both national and international levels. With Maximus JSS, Cadillac, and Winyamaro, she accumulated over 100 top ten placings and wins at Grand Prix. In 2006, Haddad Staller was alternate for the US Dressage Team in Aachen at the World Equestrian Games. In 2007, she became the first American dressage rider to qualify in the Western European League for the World Cup. With Maximus JSS, she finished seventh at the 2007 FEI World Cup Finals in Las Vegas. In 2009, Haddad Staller won nine Grand Prix with Cadillac and Winyamaro in European competitions. In 2010, she was Reserve for the US Dressage Team for the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky and won the CDI-W at Dressage at Devon which helped her achieve a nomination to the FEI World Cup Final in April of 2011. Winyamaro and Cadillac went on to win two tests in the USA at the Saugerties CDIW/CDI3* in New York, September 2011. Haddad Staller returned to the USA in 2012 and now runs a training facility in Loxahatchee, Florida.
Clive Milkins, 2012 Paralympic Gold Medal Dressage Team Coach for Great Britain
Clive will share his international para coaching experience with an emphasis on working with Grade 1 & 2 para-equestrians. In a lecture, he will also share his perspective on the British system for developing para riders.

Clive Milkins, a leading para-equestrian dressage coach from Great Britain was instrumental in leading his team to a gold medal at the 2012 London Paralympics. He began his work with the RDA (Riding for the Disabled) in the late 1980s after volunteering at Moreton Hall Group while at Warwickshire College. Clive was the trainer for the British team at the 1990 World Championship and Games for disabled riders. He has since coached riders competing at Paralympic Games (Athens and Beijing), European Championships and World Championships. Clive coached triple gold medal winning rider, Sophie Christiansen, at the 2012 Paralympics. Clive has been nominated for numerous awards since his career began: Groom of the Year, 2005; The Queen’s Award for Equestrianism, awarded for ‘Outstanding Services to Equestrianism’; and the Kuster BEF Groom of the Year in 2006.

Gil Merrick, Former USEF High Performance Dressage Director and National Clinician

Gil will kick off the Para-Dressage Symposium with his keynote address, A Team Approach, sharing his knowledge of organizations, national teams, and why collaboration will create a winning team. Gil will also be available for on-site video critiques, a function he fills as a featured dressage coach at Horseshow.com. Gil is an accomplished dressage rider and trainer and conducts clinics and seminars throughout the country. Gil brings over 30 years of management experience including extensive international business experience. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Management and German from Hiram College and a Masters of Business Administration degree from Cleveland State University. Gil served as Managing Director for Dressage at the United States Equestrian Federation from 2005 through 2009, and is a highly recognized equestrian. As the High Performance Director, he was responsible for administering the process of selecting and training the US teams that competed at the international shows. Gil served successfully as the team leader for the U.S. dressage teams at the 2006 World Equestrian Games (Aachen, Germany), the 2007 Pan American Games (Rio di Janeiro, Brazil), and the 2008 Olympic Games (Beijing, China).

Specialist & Speaker Bios

Hope Hand, President of USPEA
Hope will share her depth of knowledge and expertise on para-equestrian sport through lectures on subjects such as Para Theory, FEI Rules Roles & Etiquette, and a review of Highlights from the 2012 Paralympics. As the driving force behind the USPEA and a para-dressage Olympian, Hope is helping to mobilize and develop para riders and coaches across the country.

Hope serves on the board of directors of the United States Equestrian Federation, is chair of the USEF High Performance Committee and has been a long time supporter of the United States Pony Club. Hope has had a successful and exciting competitive career. She was first alternate to the Atlanta Paralympic Team in 1996 and competed at the British Invitational in 1997, earning gold, silver and bronze medals. In 1998 at the USEF Festival of Champions, she was one of four disabled riders where each para-dressage rider competed on four separate teams with their able-bodied peers. At the 1999 World Dressage Championships as a member of Team USA she earned a bronze medal. Hope competed at the 2000 Paralympics in Sydney, Australia, finishing 5th in the overall standings. Hope has received numerous awards for her leadership roles in promoting sport for athletes with disabilities.

Lora Dow, Vice President/Marketing & Communications at Donor By Design, LLC Lora Dow will present an informative lecture “Funding Your Competitive Dreams” designed to help riders identify financial needs for competition and develop strategies to attain fundraising goals using stories and social media.

An experienced equestrian, Lora has nearly 20 years of marketing expertise and more than 10 years working with non-profits. A graduate of Georgetown University, Lora began her career in marketing for technology companies. But it was her role at the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee that helped her realize that there is something special in working with non-profits. Lora continues her passion for helping great causes in her work with Donor By Design and in her volunteer activities in the Milwaukee area.

Tina Wentz, PT, National Classifier and USPEA Board Member
Tina will lead a lecture entitled “Classification Process Defined” for Train the Trainer attendees, as well as being available to classify riders. As a trained physical therapist and mother of Para-Dressage competitor Jonathan Wentz, now deceased, Tina brings her unique perspective and set of skills to rider classification and para-dressage nationwide.

Tina Wentz is a National Classifier and a physical therapist who has used hippotherapy as a treatment strategy for 15 years. Wentz is a very active volunteer for the High Performance Para-Team. She also spends time volunteering at a local therapeutic riding center and dressage club.

Susan Grant, Licensed Occupational Therapist, Hippotherapy Clinical Specialist
Sue will be available at the Symposium to meet with riders for an optional OT consult and evaluation, offering her perspective from over 30 years of experience as an occupational therapist in a variety of settings. Therapists recommendations, if any, will be included on the rider summary evaluation provided at the end of the symposium.

Susan, Director of Therapy & Adaptive Programs at Carlisle Academy, graduated from Utica College of Syracuse University in 1978 with a BS in Occupational Therapy. She recently attained her Hippotherapy Clinical Specialist designation through the American Hippotherapy Association. Sue is a PATH Intl. certified therapeutic riding and carriage driving instructor and holds a specialty certification in Sensory Integration. She has worked as a clinician, supervisor, program manager and clinical director at Eastern Maine Medical Center, New England Rehabilitation Hospital, Alpha One and the University of New England. Susan has clinical experience working with adults and children with neurologic developmental and acquired disabilities. She has advanced clinical skills in adaptive equipment design, home modification assessment and assessment for seated and wheeled mobility, assessment of visual and visual-perceptual skills and sensory processing difficulties.

Janet Smaldone, Physical Therapist, Hippotherapy Clinical Specialist
Janet will be available at the Symposium to meet with riders for optional PT consults and evaluations. With her extensive PT background and interest in yoga, she will provide assistance with individualized stretching and strengthening programs.

Janet Smaldone is a licensed physical therapist in four states, including Maine, and recently attained her Hippotherapy Clinical Specialist designation from the American Hippotherapy Association. Janet graduated from UMass Lowell in 1985 with a BS in Physical Therapy. She joined Carlisle Academy in 2011 in the hippotherapy program with over 25 years’ experience in primarily pediatrics in a variety of settings, including 10 years at NCEFT (National Center for Equine Facilitated Therapy). In addition, she is trained in Pediatric and Baby NDT (Neurodevelopmental Treatment), and Craniosacral Therapy Level I and II.

 

Note from Carlisle Academy ~

I am pleased to forward to you the U.S. National Para-Dressage Training Symposium Information Packet and Registration Form. If you prefer to have these documents mailed to you, please don’t hesitate to ask! Note that the registration deadline is May 10, so if you are planning on attending be sure to complete the registration form as soon as you can and mail it, with your deposit, to me at the address below (contact info also on the registration/payment form).

YOU MAY DOWNLOAD THE REGISTRATION FORM HERE:

YOU MAY DOWNLOAD THE INFORMATION PACKET HERE

The information packet contains an overview of the Symposium, with specific details and tuition for Train the Trainer Workshop, Rider Symposium, Active Auditors and Lesson Auditors. There is a summary schedule of daily activities as well as biographies on all clinicians, speakers and specialists.

For Para Symposium Riders, I want to point out the paragraph at the bottom of page 6 of the information packet. Our charitable partner, the Carlisle Charitable Foundation, is providing scholarship support through the “Zoe Fund.”

A block of rooms has been set aside at the classic waterfront Nonantum Resort (www.nonantumresort.com). Lectures and the Welcome Banquet will be held at the Nonantum, so it is a convenient (and truly beautiful) place to stay. If you choose to make your room reservations at the Nonantum, be sure to indicate that you are with the Carlisle Para Symposium Group in order to get the group rate.

If you would like to make accommodations elsewhere in the area, I am happy to send along some alternatives.

We are delighted to be organizing this event with USPEA and USEF and look forward to hosting a helpful and informative symposium. As you’ll see we have a world-class line up of clinicians, speakers and specialists who will bring their expertise and passion for the sport of Para-Dressage. We hope you’ll be a part of this exceptional 4 day symposium!

Please let me know if you have any questions at all.
Best regards,
Joyce Brown

Joyce Brown, Training & Leadership Program Director
Carlisle Academy Integrative Equine Therapy & Sports 
65 Drown Lane, Lyman, ME 04002 
t. (207) 985-0374     f. (207) 985-7937 
www.carlisleacademymaine.com

 

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

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