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October 14, 2014- U.S. Para-Equestrian Drivers Excel at Shady Oaks Farm CDE

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-Equestrian Drivers Excel at Shady Oaks Farm CDE

Lodi, California- October 14, 2014- Four Para-Equestrian Drivers competed at the Shady Oaks CDE September 18-21, 2014, in Lodi, California. Those athletes included Tracy Bowman competing in Preliminary Single Pony; Ginny Leal competing in Training Level Single Pony; Diane Kastama competing in Preliminary Pair; and Stefanie Putnam who competed in Preliminary Single Horse. The U.S. drivers made an incredible showing among 53 competitors and the support from the spectators, judges, and organizers was overwhelming. Drivers competed in Dressage, Cones, and the exciting Marathon Course over three days.

Tracy Bowman came in sixth place for Dressage, seventh for Marathon, fourth for Cones and fifth in the Preliminary Single Pony Division. Ginny Leal earned the second place accolade for Dressage and Cones and tied for first in the Marathon. Leal also took Reserve Champion for the Training Level Single Pony Division. Diane Kastama came in first for Dressage and Cones in Preliminary Pairs Division. Stefanie Putnam came in second in Dressage, second in Marathon, third in Cones, and first overall in the Preliminary Horse Division out of 14 contestants.  Putnam also won the whole Preliminary Division Championship (1st of 32 drivers) as well as the Reserve Championships for the whole Preliminary Division (including Ponies, Horses, and Pairs) for Dressage and Marathon and third in cones for the whole division (out of 32 drivers).

Tracy Bowman on the Marathon. Photo (c) Christie Bs Photography
Stefanie Putnam in Dressage. Photo (c) Christie Bs Photography
Diane Kastama competing in Cones. Photo (c) Christie Bs Photography

The last few years for the U.S Para-Equestrian Drivers have been outstanding. That includes the most recent 2014 FEI World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships which concluded in June at The Royal Estate in Sandringham, England. The U.S. team earned a Bronze finish with drivers Virginia Fitch, Diane Kastama and Veteran Robert Giles. Giles also garnered a Silver medal at the Championships.
United States Driving for the Disabled
For more information about United States Driving for the Disabled please go to www.USDFD.org.
USDFD facebook site

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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June 30, 2014-U.S. Para-Driving Team Clinches Bronze at 2014 FEI World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships

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-Driving Team Clinches Bronze at 2014 FEI World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships

Press Release by:United States Driving for the Disabled (USDFD) adapted by Lindsay Y. McCall for the USPEA
Photographs by: Marie de Ronde-Oudemans and Patricia Kastama. More at www.facebook/usdfd

 

Sandringham, England– June 30, 2014-  The 2014 FEI World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships concluded on June 29 at The Royal Estate in Sandringham, England. Germany held on to their overnight lead to take Team Gold, The Netherlands captured Silver, and the USA clinched Bronze with a mere 3.29 penalties behind The

Veteran Robert Giles at the closing ceremony of the   Photos by Marie de Ronde-Oudemans and Patricia Kastama. More at www.facebook/usdfd
Veteran Robert Giles with his Silver medal at the closing ceremony of the 2014 FEI World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships June 27-29. Photos by Marie de Ronde-Oudemans and Patricia Kastama. More at www.facebook/usdfd

Netherlands. Finally, Great Britain finished in fourth place. Individually, Veteran Robert Giles (USA) and Solo, owned by Koos and Marie de Ronde, won the Grade 2 Silver medal with Virginia (Boo) Fitch (USA) and her own Kiko earning the Grade 2 fourth place finish. Diane Kastama earned an 11th place in Grade I and Mary Gray earned a 10th place in Grade 2. Marie De Ronde served as Chef d’Equipe for the USA Team and Sara Schmitt served as coach.

The U.S. Para-Driving Team for the 2014 FEI World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships occurred June 27-29, with the three U.S. team members including Diane Kastama with her own Rupert, Virginia Fitch with her own Kiko, and Vietnam Veteran Bob Giles driving Koos De Ronde’s Solo. The first day included driven dressage, followed by the marathon & obstacles course, and the final day concluded with cones and the awards presentation.

It was the first time that these championships were hosted in England. Para-equestrian drivers from eight nations competed in a fiercely fought contest for world supremacy. Four of the nations, including the USA, fielded a team of at least three competitors required for the team awards; the other countries were represented by individual competitors.  Individual medals are awarded by “Grade” which is a classification by the FEI according to level of disability (with Grade I being more severely disabled than Grade II). Sixty percent of the competitors were Grade I.

Veteran Robert Giles at the closing ceremony of the .S. Para-Driving Team for the 2014 FEI World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships June 27-29. Photos by Marie de Ronde-Oudemans and Patricia Kastama. More at www.facebook/usdfd
USA Para-Driving Team (Left to Right) Virginia Fitch, Diane Kastama and Veteran Robert Giles at the closing ceremony of the 2014 FEI World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships June 27-29. Photos by Marie de Ronde-Oudemans and Patricia Kastama. More at www.facebook/usdfd

United States Driving for the Disabled acknowledged, ” A heartfelt thanks go to Coach Sara Schmitt and Chef d’Equipe Marie de Ronde-United States Driving for the DisabledOudemans who each went above and beyond in their help to the team. We would also like to extend our utmost appreciation to all of the individuals and groups over the past many months who have given us their encouragement, backing and support. They have truly been the ones who have made this possible. Thank you all for being a part of this wonderful accomplishment.”

he 2014 FEI World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships June 27-29. Photos by Marie de Ronde-Oudemans and Patricia Kastama. More at www.facebook/usdfd
USA Team, Individuals, Coaches and support staff at the 2014 FEI World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships June 27-29. Photos by Marie de Ronde-Oudemans and Patricia Kastama. More at www.facebook/usdfd

Results from the 2014 FEI World Para Equestrian Driving Championships:

1st Germany 227.07
2nd Netherlands 244.74
3rd USA 248.03
4th Great Britain 264.91

Grade I:
1st Jacques Poppen (Ned) 107.18
2nd Heiner Lehrter (Ger) 118.46
3rd Markus Beerhues (Ger) 124.25
4th Lucy Barclay (GBR) 131 73

Grade II:
1st Alexandra Roeder 111.61
2nd Robert Giles (USA) 125.21
3rd Mick Ward (GBR) 127.25
4th Virginia Fitch (USA) 131.82

Team Members for the 2014 FEI World Para Equestrian Driving Championships:
Diane Kastama  Grade 1
Virginia (Boo) Fitch  Grade 2
Vietnam Veteran Bob Giles  Grade 2

Alternates
1st Alternate: Theresa (Ginny) Leal   Grade 2
2nd Alternate: Mary Gray   Grade 2

Representing the U.S. as an Individual at the 2014 FEI World Para Equestrian Driving Championships for Singles:

Mary Gray (Brunswick, Maine) will drive Nick Hammond’s Leyeswick the Rooster. Leyeswick the Rooster is a 2006 Welsh gelding.

Veteran Robert Giles at the closing ceremony of the 2014 FEI World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships June 27-29. Photos by Marie de Ronde-Oudemans and Patricia Kastama. More at www.facebook/usdfd
Veteran Robert Giles at the closing ceremony of the 2014 FEI World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships June 27-29. Photos by Marie de Ronde-Oudemans and Patricia Kastama. More at www.facebook/usdfd
closing ceremony of the 2014 FEI World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships June 27-29. Photos by Marie de Ronde-Oudemans and Patricia Kastama. More at www.facebook/usdfd
Team USA at the closing ceremony of the 2014 FEI World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships June 27-29. Photos by Marie de Ronde-Oudemans and Patricia Kastama. More at www.facebook/usdfd
closing ceremony of the 2014 FEI World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships June 27-29. Photos by Marie de Ronde-Oudemans and Patricia Kastama. More at www.facebook/usdfd
Team USA at the closing ceremony of the 2014 FEI World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships June 27-29. Photos by Marie de Ronde-Oudemans and Patricia Kastama. More at www.facebook/usdfd

For further detailed scores see:

Additional news is at:

Germany holds overnight lead to take Team Gold at the 2014 Para-Equestrian World Championships

 2012 FEI Para-Equestrian Driving World Championships in Breda, the Netherlands.   Driver is Diane Kastama, Horse is Ruby KWPN , Groom is Jody Cutler  Picture taken by Marie de Ronde.
2012 FEI Para-Equestrian Driving World Championships in Breda, the Netherlands. Driver is Diane Kastama, Horse is Ruby KWPN , Groom is Jody Cutler Picture taken by Marie de Ronde.

About Diane Kastama: Diane Kastama, Arroyo Grande, CA Grade I.  In 1991 a car crash left Diane paralyzed from the waist down. Although a lifelong horse person and dressage enthusiast, riding without the use of her legs was not much fun and she soon turned to driven dressage and then the exciting sport of combined driving. Her relatives and friends thought she was crazy for taking on a sport that involves sitting atop a tall carriage, pulled by a horse going “hell-bent” for speed.

Diane started competing with her home bred Appaloosa’s but now Diane competes with a pair of Section D Welsh Cobs, Rupert and George. She drives them single, pair and tandem. She competes against able-bodied drivers all over the Western United States and occasionally on the East Coast at the Intermediate and Advanced level. Diane has also demonstrated her skills at Rolex, KY, Horse Expo in Sacramento, the “Night of the Horse” in Del Mar. The Equine Affair and various therapeutic horse programs throughout California. She has also participated in the closing ceremonies at the 2006 World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany. Diane is always willing to share her skills and knowledge and bring driving to the forefront of equine sports.  Diane has been very succesful in international Para-Equestrian competition, coming home with an Individual Silver and Team Bronze driving a borrowed Welsh Cob Stallion in 2002 Greven, Germany.  2004 she place 5th with a borrowed Welsh cob in Endinburg, Scotland.  In 2006 she came home with Individual Gold driving her own Welsh cob gelding Jasper.  In 2008 Diane earned Individual Bronze and Team Silver driving Jasper once again. Kastama will drive Rupert at the Championships who is a 1996 Welsh Cob gelding.

Vietnam War Veteran and Purple Heart recipient Bob Giles. Photo courtesy of Brenda Giles

About Bob Giles: Bob Giles (Morriston, Fla.) is a well known driving horse trainer and clinician who has dedicated his life to the sport of driving. His selection to the USEF Para-Equestrian Driving Team is a dream come true for this accomplished competitor, Vietnam War veteran, and Purple Heart recipient.

Giles was in combat within the the Vietnam War resulting in the loss of 90% of his hearing, a fused elbow and only partial use of his right hand. As a combat-wounded Purple Heart recipient, Bob is dedicating his drive to the memory of the 58,000 + men and women who lost their lives in the Vietnam War.

Giles enthusiasm and determination for the thrilling sport of Combined Driving has driven him to the 2014 World Driving Championships in Sandringham, England, June 27-29, 2014. Giles will drive Koos De Ronde’s Solo and Olando.


About Virgina (Boo) Fitch:
Virginia (Boo) Fitch is from Pennhook, Va. Fitch grew up fox hunting and showing hunters. She attended Lynchburg College and rode on their intercollegiate riding team as well as the Old Dominion Athletic Conference Team. After graduating, she rode jumpers

Virginia (Boo) Fitch

for a prominent family in Quebec Canada. It was during this time that Fitch developed Rheumatoid Arthritis. It came on suddenly and strongly. Within two years she had a hip replacement at the age of 26. By the year 2000, she was having considerable problems with her feet and ankles and it just so happened that she owned a school horse that drove and had a good friend that competed in Combined Driving. Between the safe horse and her friend she started driving and loved it. After five surgeries and three joint replacements over the course of 10 years from 2000 to 2010, teaching children just became too difficult and she was finding herself competing in Combined driving more often. Fitch has become a prominent competitor in the para-equestrian driving world and she looks forward to her recent appointment as a member of the 2014 Team. Fitch will drive Kiko, a 2003 Irish Sport Horse Mare at the Championships.

For more information about United States Driving for the Disabled please go to www.USDFD.org.

USDFD facebook site https://www.facebook.com/USDFD

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.

Para-Driving

About Para-Equestrian Dressage Driving
Carriage Driving competitions are modeled on the ridden Three Day Event. It is a triathlon which tests the overall versatility of the driven horse. Modern Horse Driving Trials came into existence in 1968 when HRH Prince Philip of Great Britain initiated the formulation of the rules for the new sport. Prince Philip is a past President of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) for able-bodied people in all equestrian disciplines.

The competition consists of three phases, spread over three or four days.

Day 1 Dressage
Driven dressage consists of a sequence of set movements driven from memory and using mainly reins, assisted by whip and voice for control. Dressage displays the schooling and obedience of the horse.

Day 2 The Cross Country Marathon with Obstacles.
There are three timed sections plus up to six challenging ‘obstacles’ to be driven at speed. The stamina of the horses and the horsemanship of the drivers are stretched to the very limit. This section gets the adrenalin pumping and the mud-flying. Carriage Driving is definitely not for the faint hearted.

Day 3 Cone Driving Competition against the clock.
Cone driving equates to the Show jumping phase of a ridden event. With only centimeters to spare, cone driving requires extreme accuracy on a tricky course, a steady hand, nerves of steel and a well trained horse.

Each phase of the Driving Trials tests the skill and the nerve of the driver and the fitness, obedience and suppleness of the horse. But above all it tests the bond of complete trust between them both.

Most carriage drivers with disabilities have, for one reason or another, found that riding is not physically possible for them. Their love of horses and their determination to participate in equestrian sport has led them to explore new and equally demanding and exciting equestrian challenges.

Great attention is given to all aspects of safety for the horse and the driver. At all times the driver is accompanied by at least one competent able-bodied person. Traditional elegance is expected, horses, drivers, grooms and carriages are all immaculately turned out.

Organization for this sport is very labour intensive requiring 30-40 volunteer Judges, Stewards, Time keepers, Scorers, Vets, Farriers and many others. However a carriage driving competition for disabled drivers can be easily integrated into a competition for able-bodied drivers. The first three World Championships have been held in conjunction with National Championships for able-bodied drivers in Wolfsburg, Germany in 1998 and in Stadl Paura, Austria in 2000, Greven, Germany in 2002 and also Hopetown, Scotland in 2004.

 

Para-Driving Video with Stefanie Putnam


 

The Sport of Carriage Driving 


United States Driving for the Disabled

United States Driving for the Disabled

USDFD.org

United States Driving for the Disabled, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, seeks to improve the lives of physically challenged individuals throughout the United States and Canada by providing the experience of driving horses in a safe and challenging environment.
Our mission is to provide the extraordinary benefit of therapeutic driving to as many people as possible through sharing knowledge, experience, and serving as a resource for innovations in adaptive equipment for drivers, trainers, and programs offering carriage driving.

The Sybil Dukehart Memorial Fund seeks to provide financial assistance to equip and train disabled drivers through providing scholarship funds to applicants.
USDFD fosters opportunities for drivers to compete in national and international amateur competitions by training and providing financial support for Team USA.

 

Para World Driving Championship, Breda (NED) August 30 – September 2, 2012

Pay Application Fee Online (You will be required to login to make the payment) (CLICK HERE)
Selection Procedures – 2012 Para Equestrian Driving World Championship A (DOWNLOAD PDF)
Application – Attachment A (Fillable)
Horse Loan Agreement – Attachment B (Fillable)
Code of Conduct – Attachment C (Fillable)
USEF Realease Assumption of Risk Waiver Idemnification – Attacment D (Fillable)
Code of Ethics – Attachment E
Declaration of Scores – Attachment F (Fillable)
Committee List – Attachment G
Athlete Agreement – Attachment H (Fillable)

 

ABOUT PARA-EQUESTRIAN DRIVING:

“Horses were driven long before they were ridden. As vehicles have eliminated the need for horses as a primary form of transportation, Driving has turned into a fast-growing sports discipline”

What is Para-Equestrian Driving?
Para-Equestrian Driving has been governed by the FEI since 2006 and has now fully joined the ranks of the other 7 FEI disciplines with national and international competitions in Driving for individuals with a disability. This led to the FEI becoming the first, and still the only, International Federation to govern and regulate a sport for both the able bodied and disabled athletes.
Driving is a discipline without riders; instead drivers sit on a vehicle drawn by mainly a single horse or pony  with occasional pairs.

Competition Venue and Testing
All rules and regulations with regards to competition venues and testing are governed by the same principles as other disciplines. The General Regulations, Statutes and Discipline rules that are available on this site apply. The formula for the shows is the same as for standard Driving with Dressage, Marathon, Cones/Obstacles phases.

Classification
With the idea of creating opportunities for all people with disabilities to compete and achieve their goals in equestrian sport, athletes are classified according to the level of their disability/impairment so as to provide for meaningful competition. The competitor’s mobility, strength and coordination are assessed in order to establish their Classification Profile. People with similar functional ability Profiles are grouped into competition Grades. The competition within each Grade can therefore be judged on the skill of the individual competitor on their horse, regardless of the competitor’s disability.

Application procedure to obtain a Para-Equestrian Identity Card (PE ID card)

Equipment
Competitors must wear the appropriate equipment as stipulated in the classification manual, and are only permitted the use of special equipment when this has been formally documented and approved.

Main competitions
FEI World & Continental Championships

 

About the United States Driving for the Disabled, Inc

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

Contact for the USDFD:

UNITED STATES DRIVING FOR 
THE DISABLED, INC
32450 S. Wright Rd.
Molalla,‎ OR‎ 97038
Ph: 503-550-9384
President: usdfdpresident@gmail.com
Offices: usdfd.org@gmail.com
Website: www.USDFD.org


United States Para-Equestrian Association News

U.S. Para-Driving Team Clinches Bronze at 2014 FEI World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships

Sandringham, England- June 30, 2014-  The 2014 FEI World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships concluded on June 29 at The Royal Estate in Sandringham, England. Germany held on to their overnight lead to take Team Gold, The Netherlands captured Silver, and the USA clinched Bronze with a mere 3.29 penalties behind The Netherlands. Finally, Great Britain finished in fourth place. Individually, Veteran Robert Giles (USA) and Solo, owned by Koos and Marie de Ronde, won the Grade 2 Silver medal with Virginia (Boo) Fitch (USA) and her own Kiko earning the Grade 2 fourth place finish. Diane Kastama earned an 11th place in Grade I and Mary Gray earned a 10th place in Grade 2. Marie De Ronde served as Chef d’Equipe for the USA Team and Sara Schmitt served as coach.

Veteran Robert Giles with his Silver medal at the closing ceremony of the 2014 FEI World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships June 27-29. Photos by Marie de Ronde-Oudemans and Patricia Kastama. More at www.facebook/usdfd

Veteran Robert Giles with his Silver medal at the closing ceremony of the 2014 FEI World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships June 27-29. Photos by Marie de Ronde-Oudemans and Patricia Kastama. More at www.facebook/usdfd

The U.S. Para-Driving Team for the 2014 FEI World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships occurred June 27-29, with the three U.S. team members including Diane Kastama with her own Rupert, Virginia Fitch with her own Kiko, and Vietnam Veteran Bob Giles driving Koos De Ronde’s Solo. The first day included driven dressage, followed by the marathon & obstacles course, and the final day concluded with cones and the awards presentation.
It was the first time that these championships were hosted in England. Para-equestrian drivers from eight nations competed in a fiercely fought contest for world supremacy. Four of the nations, including the USA, fielded a team of at least three competitors required for the team awards; the other countries were represented by individual competitors.  Individual medals are awarded by “Grade” which is a classification by the FEI according to level of disability (with Grade I being more severely disabled than Grade II). Sixty percent of the competitors were Grade I.

USA Para-Driving Team (Left to Right) Virginia Fitch, Diane Kastama and Veteran Robert Giles at the closing ceremony of the 2014 FEI World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships June 27-29. Photos by Marie de Ronde-Oudemans and Patricia Kastama. More at www.facebook/usdfd

USA Para-Driving Team (Left to Right) Virginia Fitch, Diane Kastama and Veteran Robert Giles at the closing ceremony of the 2014 FEI World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships June 27-29. Photos by Marie de Ronde-Oudemans and Patricia Kastama. More at www.facebook/usdfd

United States Driving for the Disabled acknowledged, ” A heartfelt thanks go to Coach Sara Schmitt and Chef d’Equipe Marie de Ronde-United States Driving for the DisabledOudemans who each went above and beyond in their help to the team. We would also like to extend our utmost appreciation to all of the individuals and groups over the past many months who have given us their encouragement, backing and support. They have truly been the ones who have made this possible. Thank you all for being a part of this wonderful accomplishment.”

USA Team, Individuals, Coaches and support staff at the 2014 FEI World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships June 27-29. Photos by Marie de Ronde-Oudemans and Patricia Kastama. More at www.facebook/usdfd

USA Team, Individuals, Coaches and support staff at the 2014 FEI World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships June 27-29. Photos by Marie de Ronde-Oudemans and Patricia Kastama. More at www.facebook/usdfd

Results from the 2014 FEI World Para Equestrian Driving Championships:
1st Germany 227.07
2nd Netherlands 244.74
3rd USA 248.03
4th Great Britain 264.91
Grade I:
1st Jacques Poppen (Ned) 107.18
2nd Heiner Lehrter (Ger) 118.46
3rd Markus Beerhues (Ger) 124.25
4th Lucy Barclay (GBR) 131 73
Grade II:
1st Alexandra Roeder 111.61
2nd Robert Giles (USA) 125.21
3rd Mick Ward (GBR) 127.25
4th Virginia Fitch (USA) 131.82
Team Members for the 2014 FEI World Para Equestrian Driving Championships:
Diane Kastama  Grade 1
Virginia (Boo) Fitch  Grade 2
Vietnam Veteran Bob Giles  Grade 2
Alternates
1st Alternate: Theresa (Ginny) Leal   Grade 2
2nd Alternate: Mary Gray   Grade 2
Representing the U.S. as an Individual at the 2014 FEI World Para Equestrian Driving Championships for Singles:
Mary Gray (Brunswick, Maine) will drive Nick Hammond’s Leyeswick the Rooster. Leyeswick the Rooster is a 2006 Welsh gelding.

For further detailed scores see:
http://www.hoefnet.nl/en/home/site/uitslagen/d8471a0aa505c1165003032658706598
Additional news is at:
http://www.britishcarriagedriving.co.uk/
Germany holds overnight lead to take Team Gold at the 2014 Para-Equestrian World Championships
http://www.hoefnet.nl/en/home/site/news/sandringham-germany-holds-overnight-lead-to-take-team-go

 

Closing Cermony Drive Closing Ceremony 2 Closing Ceremony 1

About Diane Kastama: Diane Kastama, Arroyo Grande, CA Grade I.  In 1991 a car crash left Diane paralyzed from the waist down. Although a lifelong horse person and dressage enthusiast, riding without the use of her legs was not much fun and she soon turned to driven dressage and then the exciting sport of combined driving. Her relatives and friends thought she was crazy for taking on a sport that involves sitting atop a tall carriage, pulled by a horse going “hell-bent” for speed.
Diane started competing with her home bred Appaloosa’s but now Diane competes with a pair of Section D Welsh Cobs, Rupert and George. She drives them single, pair and tandem. She competes against able-bodied drivers all over the Western United States and occasionally on the East Coast at the Intermediate and Advanced level. Diane has also demonstrated her skills at Rolex, KY, Horse Expo in Sacramento, the “Night of the Horse” in Del Mar. The Equine Affair and various therapeutic horse programs throughout California. She has also participated in the closing ceremonies at the 2006 World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany. Diane is always willing to share her skills and knowledge and bring driving to the forefront of equine sports.  Diane has been very succesful in international Para-Equestrian competition, coming home with an Individual Silver and Team Bronze driving a borrowed Welsh Cob Stallion in 2002 Greven, Germany.  2004 she place 5th with a borrowed Welsh cob in Endinburg, Scotland.  In 2006 she came home with Individual Gold driving her own Welsh cob gelding Jasper.  In 2008 Diane earned Individual Bronze and Team Silver driving Jasper once again. Kastama will drive Rupert at the Championships who is a 1996 Welsh Cob gelding.

About Bob Giles: Bob Giles (Morriston, Fla.) is a well known driving horse trainer and clinician who has dedicated his life to the sport of driving. His selection to the USEF Para-Equestrian Driving Team is a dream come true for this accomplished competitor, Vietnam War veteran, and Purple Heart recipient.
Giles was in combat within the the Vietnam War resulting in the loss of 90% of his hearing, a fused elbow and only partial use of his right hand. As a combat-wounded Purple Heart recipient, Bob is dedicating his drive to the memory of the 58,000 + men and women who lost their lives in the Vietnam War.
Giles enthusiasm and determination for the thrilling sport of Combined Driving has driven him to the 2014 World Driving Championships in Sandringham, England, June 27-29, 2014. Giles will drive Koos De Ronde’s Solo and Olando.

About Virgina (Boo) Fitch: Virginia (Boo) Fitch is from Pennhook, Va. Fitch grew up fox hunting and showing hunters. She attended Lynchburg College and rode on their intercollegiate riding team as well as the Old Dominion Athletic Conference Team. After graduating, she rode jumpers for a prominent family in Quebec Canada. It was during this time that Fitch developed Rheumatoid Arthritis. It came on suddenly and strongly. Within two years she had a hip replacement at the age of 26. By the year 2000, she was having considerable problems with her feet and ankles and it just so happened that she owned a school horse that drove and had a good friend that competed in Combined Driving. Between the safe horse and her friend she started driving and loved it. After five surgeries and three joint replacements over the course of 10 years from 2000 to 2010, teaching children just became too difficult and she was finding herself competing in Combined driving more often. Fitch has become a prominent competitor in the para-equestrian driving world and she looks forward to her recent appointment as a member of the 2014 Team. Fitch will drive Kiko, a 2003 Irish Sport Horse Mare at the Championships.
For more information about United States Driving for the Disabled please go to www.USDFD.org.
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