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London is Calling the 2012 U.S. Paralympic Equestrian Team

London is Calling the 2012 U.S. Paralympic Equestrian Team
Written by: Lindsay Yosay McCall
Photos by Lindsay Yosay McCall

London, England, United Kingdom-August 20, 2012 –Passports in hand and the final tack box loaded, the United States Paralympic Equestrian Team is on their way to London. Chef d’Equipe Missy Ransehousen and equestrians Rebecca Hart, top ten FEI Paralympian Jonathan Wentz, Donna Ponessa, and Dale Dedrick will shortly accompany their horses when they arrive in the United Kingdom. From the logistics of international travel to the intense competition, the

Aerial view of Greenwich Park showing the test event set up 04/07/2011

Aerial view of Greenwich Park showing the test event set up 04/07/2011

United States Para-Equestrian Dressage Team has a lot to look forward to in the coming weeks.

As the only athlete in the Paralympics that has four legs, these high-performance horses will be traveling first-class aboard a FedEx Express MD-11 with the finest of luxuries. The amenities include, groom accompaniment, social interaction when necessary, their own team veterinarian, and a large box stall for each horse.

Once landed the horses will be stabled in Surrey where they will convene with their riders until August 24th when they make their way to Greenwich Park. The horses, grooms, and trunks will go through a strict screening process, which includes detection canines and a full sweep of all compartments within the lorry and trailer. Horses are allowed to begin arriving at the Greenwich Park Equestrian facilities starting August 24, 2012 with the FEI Horse Inspection on August 29, 2012. Seventy-eight horses are expected to arrive at the Paralympic Stables flying, driving, and arriving by water transportation from 26 nations around the world.

Each nation, their staff, and Chef d’Equipe will promptly get into competition mode as they approach the August 30th 9:00 AM start time for Grade II Team Test in front of the sold-out equestrian venue. For Great Britain this is an opportunity to defend their reigning title. Since the 1996 Paralympics in Atlanta where Para-Dressage was included, Great Britain has won the Gold Team Medal at each Paralympics and in 2010 they earned thirteen medals at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky. Their team includes Lee Pearson who is a nine-time Paralympic Games Gold medalist including the Sydney, Athens and Beijing Paralympics. Pearson’s teammates include veterans Sophie Wells, Debbie Criddle, and Sophie Christiansen. After a successful 2012 year the United States pulled in to fifth place behind number one Great Britain, number two Germany, third ranked Denmark, and number four Canada. The United States hopes to pull into the top three at the 2012 Paralympics to medal both individually and as a team.

Another equestrian that will be defending her individual Gold medal is Lauren Barwick of Canada. At the 2008 Beijing Paralympics Barwick earned a Silver Medal for her Individual Test and a Gold Medal for her outstanding Freestyle. The Canadian team has had a remarkable year as a whole and has put forth their top four Para-Dressage athletes for the London Games. The team: anchored by Chef d’Equipe Elizabeth Quigg, Para-Equestrian Barwick in Grade II, Eleonore Elstone in Grade IV, Ashley Gowanlock in Grade II, and Grade Ia rider Jody Schloss with horse Inspector Rebus.

Lauren Barwick (CAN) and Off to Paris by Lindsay Y McCall

Lauren Barwick (CAN) and Off to Paris by Lindsay Y McCall

Eleonore Elstone (CAN) and Why Not G at 2011 Del Mar CPEDI3* by Lindsay Y McCall

Eleonore Elstone (CAN) and Why Not G at 2011 Del Mar CPEDI3* by Lindsay Y McCall

Ashley Gowanlock (CAN) and Ferdonia 2 by Lindsay Y McCal

Ashley Gowanlock (CAN) and Ferdonia 2 by Lindsay Y McCal

Jody Schloss (CAN) and Inspector Rebus by Lindsay Y McCall

Jody Schloss (CAN) and Inspector Rebus by Lindsay Y McCall

The nominated 78 horse and rider combinations will compete for Team Gold, Silver and Bronze which will be calculated based on the top three percentage scores for each country with mixed Grades. The Team calculation will include the Individual and Team Test scores. There will be five sets of medals for each Grade’s Individual test scores in Ia, Ib, II, III, and IV and five sets of medals for each Grade’s Freestyle Test scores.

Past Paralympian Hope Hand who is also President of the United States Para-Equestrian Association will be on the grounds in London rooting on the team and assisting the team when needed. Hope noted, “I am very proud of our Team and know that they will represent the United States honorably. The riders and horses have just completed a weeklong training camp in preparation of the stiff competition they will be facing in London. I wish them great success along with having the time of their lives. At the conclusion of the Games, they will all walk away as proud, Paralympians, an honor that will be theirs forever.”

THE UNITED STATES PARALYMPIC EQUESTRIAN TEAM
Rebecca Hart, 27, of Unionville, Penn. and Jessica Ransehousen’s Holsteiner gelding Lord Ludger
Jonathan Wentz, 21, of Richardson, Texas and Kai Handt’s 18 year-old NTEC Richter Scale
Donna Ponessa, 51, of New Windsor, N.Y. and Wesley Dunham’s Oldenburg mare Western Rose
Dale Dedrick, 56, of Ann Arbor, Mich. and her 14 year-old grey Hanoverian Bonifatius
Team Staff:
Missy Ransehousen (Unionville, PA)- Chef d’Equipe
Jim Wolf (Lebanon, NJ)- Chef de Mission
Pam Lane (Gladstone, NJ)- Team Leader
Stacey Kent (Cochranville, PA)- Team Veterinarian

Rebecca Hart and Lord Ludger by Lindsay Yosay McCall

Rebecca Hart and Lord Ludger by Lindsay Y McCall

Jonathan Wentz and NTEC Richter Scale by Lindsay Yosay McCall

Jonathan Wentz and NTEC Richter Scale by Lindsay Yosay McCall

Dale Dedrick and Bonifatius by Lindsay Yosay McCall

Dale Dedrick and Bonifatius by Lindsay Y McCall

Donna Ponessa and Western Rose by Lindsay Yosay McCall

Donna Ponessa and Western Rose by Lindsay Y McCall

Information on Live Streaming Paralympic Coverage at Paralympic.org and Television Coverage at NBC Sports Network (information about coverage below was provided by the International Paralympic Committee and was not written by USPEA)

By creating original video content for the US Paralympics YouTube channel, YouTube.com/USParalympics, while also partnering with NBCUniversal and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), US Paralympics will provide the American public with more coverage of the US Paralympic Team than any previous year.

Beginning on 29 August and continuing through the conclusion of the Games on 9 September, US Paralympics will provide 10 daily video highlights packages via its US Paralympics YouTube channel.

In addition to the online content, NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) will air one-hour highlight shows on 4, 5, 6 and 11 September at 7 p.m. EDT. Following the Paralympic Games, on 16 September, NBC will broadcast a 90-minute special from 2-3:30 p.m. EDT. All NBC and NBC Sports Network Paralympic highlight shows and specials will re-air on Universal Sports Network and UniversalSports.com.

During the Games, which start on 29 August, the IPC’s website will have five channels broadcasting live sport each day. Four channels will have English commentary whilst a fifth channel will be available in Spanish.

The website will also feature a revolutionary new SMART player which has been developed by the IPC’s worldwide IT partner Atos. The player uses innovative technology that will enable those watching live swimming and wheelchair basketball on www.paralympic.org to view real-time results tickers, statistics, biographies, news and social media – all in one integrated and synchronized window. It also simplifies the user’s interests and gives specific and relevant results per sport, similar to the ones available to commentators inside the venues.

Direct Link: http://www.youtube.com/paralympicsporttv
U.S. Paralympics website (http://www.usparalympics.org),
U.S. Paralympics Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/usparalympics/)
U.S. Paralympics Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/usparalympics/).

View the Sidelines Magazine Paralympic Blogs Here and keep up to date with the Paralympics:

August 20
Para-Dressage Primer Part 2: How to make the team.
http://sidelinesnews.com/blogs/olympicsidelines/para-dressage-primer-part-2-how-to-make-the-team.html

August 16
Paralympic Summer Update
http://sidelinesnews.com/blogs/olympicsidelines/paralympic-summer-update.html

August 13
Paralympic Dressage Primer by Ellie Brimmer
http://sidelinesnews.com/blogs/olympicsidelines/paralympic-dressage-primer.html

July 30
2012 LONDON PARALYMPIC MEDIA COVERAGE FOR THE UNITED STATES PARA-EQUESTRIAN TEAM
http://sidelinesnews.com/blogs/olympicsidelines/u-s-para-equestrian-dressage-at-london-paralympics.html

2012 Paralympic Equestrian Schedule at Greenwich Park

August 29, 2012
Opening Ceremony
Horse Inspection 10:00 AM -11:30 AM

August 30, 2012
Grade II Mixed Team Test 9:00 AM -12:15 PM
Grade Ib Mixed Team Test 2:00 PM -5:00 PM

August 31, 2012
Grade IV Mixed Team Test 9:00 AM-11:30 AM
Grade III Mixed Team Test 1:15 PM-3:45 PM
Grade Ia Mixed Team Test 3:45 PM-6:15 PM

September 1, 2012
Grade II Mixed Individual Championship Test 9:00 AM – 12:15 PM
Medal Ceremony Individual Championship Grade II 12:30 PM-12:45 PM
Grade Ib Mixed Individual Championship Test 2:30 PM-5:30 PM
Medal Ceremony Individual Championship Grade Ib   5:45 PM -6:00 PM

September 2, 2012
Grade IV Mixed Individual Championship Test 9:00 AM-11:30 AM
Medal Ceremony Individual Championship Grade IV 11:45 AM-12:00 PM
Grade III Mixed Individual Championship Test 1:45 PM-4:14 PM
Grade Ia Mixed Individual Championship Test 4:15 PM-6:45 PM
Medal Ceremony Individual Championship Grade III 7:00 PM-7:15 PM
Medal Ceremony Individual Championship Grade Ia 7:15 PM-7:30 PM

September 3, 2012
Grade II Mixed Individual Freestyle Test 9:00 AM-11:30 AM
Medal Ceremony Individual Freestyle Grade II
Grade Ib Mixed Individual Freestyle Test 2:15 PM-5:00 PM
Medal Ceremony Individual Freestyle Grade Ib 5:15 PM-5:30 PM

September 4, 2012
Grade IV Mixed Individual Freestyle Test 9:00 AM-11:30 AM
Medal Ceremony Individual Freestyle Grade IV 11:45 AM-12:00 PM
Grade III Mixed Individual Freestyle Test 1:45 PM-3:45 PM
Grade Ia Mixed Individual Freestyle Test 3:45 PM-6:00 PM
Medal Ceremony Individual Freestyle Grade III 6:15 PM-6:30 PM
Medal Ceremony Individual Freestyle Grade Ia 6:30 PM-6:45 PM
TEAM MEDAL CEREMONY 6:45 PM-7:15 PM

September 9, 2012
Closing Ceremony

For more information about the United States Equestrian Federation please visit www.USEF.org

For more information about the Para-Equestrians heading to London please visit http://www.fei.org/events/games/paralympic-games/london-2012

To view more about the London 2012 Paralympics please visit the official Paralympic website at http://www.london2012.com/

ABOUT THE EQUESTRIAN PARALYMPICS (courtesy of FEI)
Host nation Great Britain, Germany, Denmark and Canada have qualified the maximum number of riders and will each be represented by a team of four and one individual.

Nine countries – USA, The Netherlands, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Belgium, South Africa, Australia and France – have qualified four riders.

The National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) of Singapore and Mexico, which had originally qualified four riders, returned one qualification slot each and will be represented by three-rider teams. The unused slots were re-allocated to Norway and Israel on the basis of the Individual Para-Equestrian Rankings of athletes not already qualified with a team. As a result, Norway, which had already qualified two individual riders, will be fielding a composite team consisting of three members.

New Zealand and Finland will be represented by two individual riders apiece. Bermuda, Argentina, Japan, Hong Kong and Austria have each been allocated one individual slot.
Three Bipartite Commission invitations have been issued to Thomas Haller of Austria, Lee Frawley of the Virgin Islands and Anita Johnsson of Sweden.

The definite Para-Equestrian entries will be published on 6 August. A total of 78 Para-Equestrian riders will be battling it out for the 11 sets of medals available.

SUMMARY:
26 nations –
ARG, AUS, AUT, BEL, BER, BRA, CAN, DEN, FIN, FRA, GBR, GER, HKG, IRL, ISR, ISV, ITA, JPN, MEX, NED, NOR, NZL, RSA, SIN, SWE, USA

TEAMS
4 nations with 5 riders (team + 1 individual): CAN, DEN, GBR, GER
9 nations with 4 riders (team): AUS, BEL, BRA, FRA, IRL, ITA, NED, RSA, USA
3 nations with 3 riders (team): MEX, NOR, SIN

NATIONS REPRESENTED ONLY BY INDIVIDUALS
2 nations with 2 individuals: FIN, NZL
6 nations with 1 individual: AUT, ARG, BER, ISR, JPN, HKG
3 Bipartite Commission invitations: AUT, ISV, SWE

PHOTO CREDIT: All photographs taken by Lindsay Yosay McCall for the USPEA 2012

All logos and trademarks in this press release are copyright of their respective owners. All references to London 2012 Paralympics, Olympics, or London 2012 are copyright the 2012 London Olympic Games Organizing Committee. All references to Team USA are copyright the United States Olympic Committee.

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