Ireland's James Dwyer Wins Three For Three at the Para Equestrian Dressage International

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Ireland's James Dwyer racked up three wins at the Para Equestrian Dressage International held at the Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, USA this weekend, riding his 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Orlando. Dwyer has been resident in the USA since 2004, where he is based with Jessica Ransehousen in Unionville, Philadelphia. “I owe everything to Jessica,” said Dwyer, who also successfully competes Orlando in able bodied shows at the Prix St Georges level. Ransehousen’s daughter Missy is the coach for the US Para Team.

For Dwyer, who is missing his right leg, technique is not about the use of his whip on the right side, but about working almost completely off of his seat. “Jessica has me working from my seat. I may occasionally use the whip by touching the girth where my heel would be, but it is from the seat my horse feels my signals.


Dwyer, who is 38, took first place in the Grade IV Team test, the Grade IV Individual Championship test, and the Grade IV Freestyle Test. A native of Mooncoin, Co Kilkenny, he competed in pony show jumping classes until the age of 16 when he withdrew from competition on medical advice.

Treatment for cancer over the next ten years eventually led to his right leg being amputated in 1997. Three years later Dwyer applied for membership of Para Equestrian Ireland, and after initial competitions in dressage, was trained by Donie McNamara of Limerick, who is also the trainer of two-time National Dressage Champion Laragh Hamilton. Now residing in the USA, Dwyer is aiming for the 2010 Alltech/FEI World Equestrian Games where he hopes to represent his native country of Ireland.




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