Rancho Valencia “Inspire a Generation” Benefit Party
Honoring Paralympian Jonathan Wentz
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.
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)
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.