Horse Radio Network Features USET Foundation’s Sara Ike and Para-Dressage Rider Marsha Cullen
Press By: Lindsay Y. McCall
Wellington, FL-June 26, 2014- Horse Radio Network’s once-a-month Para-Equestrian Show featured Sara Ike from the United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation and new para-dressage athlete Marsha Cullen.
Lindsay McCall from the United States Para-Equestrian Association (USPEA) hosted the show with co-host Regina Cristo. To listen to episode #265 please visit: http://dressageradio.horseradionetwork.com/2014/06/26/dressage-radio-episode-265-para-dressage-reflecting-on-2014-weg-trials-and-preparing-for-the-future/
About Sara Ike and the USET Foundation: Sara Ike, a New Jersey native, started working for the United States Equestrian Federation in 2003 and served as Team Leader in 2004 at the Vaulting World Championships in Austria. In March 2007, she became the High Performance Director of Eventing and was later promoted to Managing Director of Eventing. Ike has served as the U.S. Eventing Team Leader at the 2008 & 2012 Olympic
Sara Ike from the USET Foundation. Photo taken by Rebecca Walton/Phelps Media Group
Games, 2007 & 2011 Pan American Games, and the 2010 World Equestrian Games.
Ike joined the United States Equestrian Team Foundation (USET Foundation) in January 2014 as the Major Gifts Officer. Her primary role is to focus on fund raising for the
non-Olympic disciplines. Ike’s experience gives her the critical knowledge of the importance of each dollar raised for High Performance teams.
The USET Foundation (www.uset.org) is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that supports the competition, training, coaching, travel and educational needs of America’s developing and high performance horses and athletes in partnership with the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF). The USET Foundation annually gives USEF a multi-million dollar grant to distribute to the High Performance programs. In the last ten years, the USET Foundation has given almost $24 Million dollars to support USEF’s High Performance programs through the generosity of their donors.
About The Jonathan Wentz Memorial Challenge for High Performance Para Dressage
Recently the USET Foundation announced the Jonathan Wentz Memorial Challenge for
Jonathan Wentz and NTEC Richter Scale at the 2012 London Paralympics. Photo (C) Lindsay Yosay McCall
High Performance Para Dressage which was made possible through the generosity of Margaret H. Duprey and The Barnfield Foundation. The Challenge is to raise $800,000. Mrs. Duprey and the Barnfield Foundation have each pledged up to $200,000. They will each match, dollar for dollar, every gift commitment of $4,000 and above made by April 1, 2015.
With a successful Challenge, the funds will provide a solid base of funding and allow a comprehensive program to be established that will have a long term positive effect on our competitive excellence at Paralympic Games and World Equestrian Games.
A large percentage goes to shipping horse’s overseas, but also training, clinics, coac
hing and competition grants.
The Challenge offers an incredible opportunity for those who share a passion and interest in increasing support for these most inspiring and deserving athletes, and their quest to represent this country in international competition.
For more information on the USET Foundation and The Jonathan Wentz Memorial Challenge for High Performance Para Dressage, please call Bonnie B. Jenkins, Executive Director or Sara Ike, Major Gifts Officer at (908) 234-1251.
Rider Spotlight with Marsha Cullen
About Marsha Cullen: Cullen grew up in
Marsha Cullen and Latte at the 2014 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championship. Photo Copyright Susan J Stickle.
Missouri where she began riding at age 5. Cullen rode all types of horses and ponies and made her way into the western discipline before tackling dressage. During her early teen years she began to have a lot of pain in her wrists, hands, feet, ankles, and knees. The joints would swell, get red and stiffen. She suffered from fatigue and had to take frequent naps to make it through the day. In 1977, her mother took her to Dr. Browning in Joplin, Missouri where she was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis at age 16. Over the next four years Cullen lost range of motion and often suffered from painful, swollen joints forcing her to give up participation in track and volleyball. Missouri High School Rodeo became the only sport she could participate in after her diagnoses. Also in her teen years Cullen noticed brown patches of skin that became shiny and thick on her abdomen, arms and legs. In 1987 she was diagnosed with scleroderma, a connective tissue disease in the same family of diseases as rheumatoid arthritis.
Cullen moved from Missouri to Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1980 after marrying her now husband. The two started a family and Cullen went on to graduate college at the University of Tulsa. During her second summer at college, she joined the Green Country Chapter of Oklahoma Dressage Society. While volunteering at the Green Country Dressage Classic she met Lynn Seidemann. Lynn, a two-time Paralympian, was wheeling around in a wheelchair and riding in the competition. “Being a disabled person myself, I was very curious how Lynn was able to do this,” noted Cullen. ” I didn’t think it would ever be possible for me to compete at a recognized show. So I introduced myself and she invited me to a
Marsha Cullen’s horse Latte at the USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championship trot-up with Chef d’ Equipe Kai Handt. Photo by Susan J Stickle.
para-equestrian clinic at Flower Mounds Texas the following February. There I met Jonathan Wentz and Wendy Fryke.”
In 2010, Cullen drove from Tulsa, Oklahoma to Lexington, Kentucky during the WorldEquestrian Games by herself reclassified. Because of her lack of flexibility in her neck and upper back, plus other stiffness in her lower body and loss of range of motion in her joints, she is currently a Grade II para-dressage rider.
In 2014, Marsha Cullen earned qualifying scores for the USEF Para-Equestrian DressageNational Championship held June 2-5, in Gladstone, NJ. Cullen competed with her own Latte. Cullen was also awarded The 2014 Sportsmanship Trophy. The Sportsmanship Trophy is a Perpetual Trophy awarded to a Para-Dressage Athlete competing at the National Championship who best personifies the high standards and virtues of integrity, sportsmanship, honor, courage, team spirit, good temper and unselfishness.
List of Para-Equestrian Radio Shows:
Para-Equestrian Show # 265
Para-Equestrian Show # 259
Para-Equestrian Show #248
Para-Equestrian Show #244
Para-Equestrian Show #235
November 1, 2013- Para-Equestrian Show #231
September 25, 2013- Para-Equestrian Show #226
August 28, 2013- Para-Equestrian Show #222
July 31, 2013- Para-Equestrian Show #218
June 27, 2013-Para-Equestrian Show #213
May 24, 2013-Para-Equestrian Show #208
April 4, 2013-Para-Equestrian Show #204
March 27, 2013-To listen to the the first Para-Equestrian show #200:
Once a month the Dressage Radio Show becomes the Para-Equestrian Show Hosted by Lindsay McCall, of the United States Para-Equestrian Association, focusing on
international FEI discipline Para-Dressage. Although Para-Dressage is the main event, listeners have the opportunity to learn more about the skillful U.S. Para-Driving Team, the Para-Reining discipline, Para-Vaulting, and the future of Para-Jumping. The para-equestrian dressage show will feature a line-up of guests including olympians, paralympians, trainers, coaches, professionals, amateur riders, young riders, and equine enthusiasts. The intention of the radio show is to educate, inform, and entertain listeners on the para-equestrian Dressage discipline.
To learn more about the USPEA please visit www.USPEA.org or e-mail President Hope Hand at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also e-mail the host of the para-equestrian segment Lindsay McCall at Lindsay@uspea.org.
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