Heber, Utah- Lara Oles and Cambry Kaylor, Utah’s only internationally classified Para Equestrians competed at the Sage Creek Equestrian II Dressage Show on Saturday. Both rode well and earned high scores towards their United States Equestrian Federation ranking. While Oles competed on her other horse last year, this was her first time showing the FEI Grade III Para Dressage tests on her new horse, a Canadian Warmblood mare named Bella. Her highest score of the day was a 68.2%, which was good enough to win the high point championship for the adult amateur division.
Kaylor made her debut as a Grade 1B Para Dressage rider, but this was not her horse’s first competition. Kaylor’s horse, Markgards Donnewind, a Danish Warmblood, had competed in many Para Dressage shows in Europe with his previous owner. Kaylor and Donnewind’s first competition together resulted in a score of 62.5%.
Coincidentally, Saturday was the ninth anniversary of the equestrian vaulting accident that severed Kaylor’s spinal cord and left her without the use of her legs. Oles was in a freak skiing accident in 2006 that damaged her spinal cord, leaving her right arm permanently paralyzed and stroke- like symptoms in her right leg.
For both riders the competition at Sage Creek Equestrian provided experience to accomplish their ultimate goal of representing the United States at the 2016 Summer Paralympics to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.