Meet The USEF Para Olympic Equestrian Team for the Rio Paralympic Games


 

The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) has named four athlete-and-horse combinations to the U.S. Paralympic Equestrian Team for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Para-dressage competition at the Paralympic Games will take place September 12-16, 2016, at the Deodoro Olympic Equestrian Center in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
 
The following athlete-and-horse combinations will compose the Team (in alphabetical order):

  • Sydney Collier (Ann Arbor, Mich.), Grade Ib, and Wesley Dunham's Western Rose, a 2003 Oldenburg mare
  • Rebecca Hart (Wellington, Fla.), Grade II, and her own Schroeters Romani, a 2002 Danish Warmblood mare
  • Margaret McIntosh (Reading, Pa.), Grade Ia, and her own Rio Rio, a 2006 Rheinland Pfalz-Saar mare
  • Angela Peavy (Avon, Conn. and Wellington, Fla.), Grade III, and Heather Blitz and Rebecca Reno's Lancelot Warrior, a 2002 Hanoverian gelding
Sydney Collier

Sydney Collier Photo: SusanJStickle.com

Sydney Collier
Born: November 26, 1997
Hometown: Ann Arbor, Michigan

Most Recent Highlights:

• Won the Grade Ib Team and Individual Tests at the Wellington CPEDI3* with Western Rose during week two of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival
• Won the Grade Ib Team Test and Grade Ib Individual Test at the Wellington CPEDI3* with Western Rose during the first week of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival

Sydney Collier began riding at seven-years-old with dreams of competing at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. A routine vision screening altered that goal when the doctor diagnosed her with Wyburn–Mason syndrome, a very rare congenital birth defect affecting less than 0.14% of the world’s population.

In 2007, Collier underwent medical treatments and hospitalizations to get rid of the arteriovenous malformations (AVM) that characterize Wyburn-Mason syndrome. These included multiple-staged CyberKnife radiation treatments and a series of three unplanned brain surgeries. As a result, Collier completely lost the vision in her right eye and suffered a stroke that caused the loss of the use of the left side of her body. Additionally, she endured countless hours of physical and occupational therapy to relearn to walk and use the left side of her body.

Despite her physical difficulties, she continued to ride and train. After attending the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games and meeting Paralympian Jonathan Wentz, Collier became inspired to compete in para-equestrian dressage. At just 16-years-old, Grade Ib competitor Collier made her first appearance as part of a U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) with Willi Wesley. She won the 2014 FEI Against All Odds Award and 2014 USEF Junior Equestrian of the Year award. She capitalized on her WEG experience and won Team and Individual Grade Ib Gold medals at the 2015 Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North with Wentworth. She had the highest cumulative score out of all competitors in the team classification during these championships.

Collier trains with Wes Dunham out of his Woodstock Stables in Millbrook, N.Y.

Major Accomplishments:

2015

• Won the Grade Ib Championship at the USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championship and HDS Deep in the Heart of Texas Show I CPEDI3* with Wentworth
• Team Gold medalist and Individual Grade Ib Gold medalist at the 2015 Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North with Wentworth
• Won the Grade Ib Individual Test and the Grade Ib Freestyle Test at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival CPEDI3* with Wentworth

2014

• Represented the United States at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games with Willi Wesley
• Won the Grade Ib Individual Test and Grade Ib Team Test at the 2014 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships with Willi Wesley
• Won the Grade Ib Individual Test at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival 10 CPEDI3* with Willi Wesley

See all HorsesDaily articles on Sydney Collier

Rebecca Hart and Michael Phelps

Rebecca Hart and Michael Phelps

Rebecca Hart
Born: October 26, 1984
Hometown: Wellington, Florida

Most Recent Highlights:

• Won the Grade II Individual Test with Schroeters Romani at the 2016 Deauville, France CPEDI3*
• Team Gold medalist with Schroeters Romani in the $10,000 CPEDI3* during week two of the 2016 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival; Grade II Individual Champion
• Won the Grade II Team, Individual, and Freestyle Tests with Schroeters Romani during week one of the 2016 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival

Rebecca Hart was born with a rare genetic disease called Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia [HSP], a progressive impairment that causes muscle wasting and paralysis from the middle of the back down.

Hart got involved with the Paralympic movement in 1998 at a regional competition in Atlanta, Ga. It was at that competition that Hart decided she wanted to aim for international competition. Hart purchased her first horse and began to train for national and international competition.

Over the years, she has represented the U.S. at several international events, including the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games and the 2008 and 2012 Paralympic Games. In 2014, she paired with her new mount, Schroeter's Romani. They placed seventh in each of their three tests at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games and won back-to-back USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships in 2014 and 2015. Hart is a seven-time USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Champion.

Hart trains at Cherry Knoll Farm with Missy Ransehousen and Todd Flettrich.

Major Accomplishments:

2015

• Team Gold medalist with Schroeters Romani at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival CPEDI3* and Grade II Individual Champion with Schroeters Romani
• Placed second in the Grade II Team Test and Individual Team Test with Schroeters Romani at the Überherrn,Germany CPEDI3*
• Won the Grade II Team Test with Schroeters Romani at the Hartpury, UK CPEDI3*
• Won the USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championship with Schroeters Romani

2014

• Won the USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championship with Schroeters Romani
• Represented the United States with Schroeters Romani at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games

2012

• Won the USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championship with Lord Ludger
• Placed fifth in the Grade II Freestyle Test with Lord Ludger at the Paralympic Games

2011

• Won the Grade II Freestyle with Lord Ludger at the Great American Insurance Group/USDF Region 8 Dressage Championship
• Won the Grade II Individual Test and Grade II Team Test with Lord Ludger at the Werribee, Australia CPEDI3*

See all HorsesDaily articles on Rebecca Hart

Margaret McIntosh

Margaret McIntosh Photo: SusanJStickle.com

Margaret McIntosh
Born: March 24, 1955
Hometown: Reading, Pennsylvania
Most Recent Highlights:
• Team Gold medalist at the Wellington CPEDI3* during week two of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival with Rio Rio; won the Grade Ia Freestyle
• Individual Grade Ia Champion at the Wellington CPEDI3* during the first week of the 2016 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival with Rio Rio

Margaret “Gigi” McIntosh had a successful able-bodied equestrian career before a fall during the cross-country phase of an eventing competition in 1999 left her with a broken neck. This resulted in incomplete quadriplegia. However, her love of equestrian sport would not keep her down. After working hard to regain her mobility, she made a comeback through para-equestrian dressage as a Grade Ia competitor.

She and her mare, Rio Rio, earned the Reserve National Champion title at the USEF 2014 Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships.

McIntosh is married to her husband, Brian, and they have two children, Charlotte and Cameron.

McIntosh trains with Missy Ransehousen of Blue Hill Farm in Unionville, Pa.

Major Accomplishments:

2015

• Won the Grade Ia Individual Test at the USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championship and HDS Deep in the Heart of Texas Show I CPEDI3* with Rio Rio
• Placed second in the Grade Ia Team Test, Grade Ia Individual Test, and Grade Ia Freestyle at the Waregem, Belgium CPEDI3* with Rio Rio

2014

• USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Reserve Champion with Rio Rio

See all Horsesdaily articles on Magaret McIntosh

Angela Peavy

Angela Peavy Photo: Katrina Hajagos

Angela Peavy
Born: August 12, 1996
Hometown: Avon, Connecticut

Most Recent Highlights:

• Team Gold medalist in the Wellington CPEDI3* during week two of the 2016 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival with Lancelot Warrior; Grade III Individual Champion
• Team Gold medalist and Grade III Individual Champion at the Wellington CPEDI3* during the first week of the 2016 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival with Lancelot Warrior

Prior to birth, Angela “Annie” Peavy suffered a stroke, leaving her paralyzed on the left side of her body. When she was four, she began riding horses as a method of physical therapy. When she was 10, she got her first horse and developed a love for dressage. Peavy and her mother went on “dressage vacations” to Portugal where she took three lessons a day. After she returned home, her friend introduced her to para-equestrian dressage. From there, she started working toward her goal of representing the U.S. across the world.

As a high school sophomore, Grade III athlete Peavy won the 2012 Youth Dressage Festival Championship made up of hundreds of young riders from the U.S. and abroad. Her hard work and dedication landed her a spot on the U.S. Team at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) with mount Ozzy Cooper. Peavy is one of the few para-equestrian athletes who also competes in able-bodied dressage. As a result, after returning from the WEG, the pair won Reserve Champion honors in the FEI Junior Team championship at the Great American/USDF Region 8 Championships.

Peavy trains with Heather Blitz at Cutler Farm in Medfield, Mass.

Major Accomplishments:

2015

• USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage Reserve National Champion in the High Performance division with Ozzy Cooper
• Won the Grade III Team Test and Grade III Individual Test at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival CPEDI3* with Ozzy Cooper

2014

• Represented the United States at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games with Ozzy Cooper
• Grade III Individual Champion at the USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships with Lancelot Warrior
• Won the Grade III Team Test and Grade III Freestyle Test with Ozzy Cooper and the Grade III Individual Test with Lancelot Warrior at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival CPEDI3*

2013

• Team Gold medalist at the Golden State Dressage Classic CPEDI3* with Leandro; Grade III Individual Champion

2012

• Champion of the Lendon Gray’s Youth Dressage Festival with Stuart Little

See all Horsesdaily articles with Angela Peavy

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