Wellington, Florida - Para-Equestrian Dressage riders and their mounts stepped forward for the FEI Veterinary Inspection at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival 10 (AGDF) CPEDI3*. Athletes from the United States of America and Canada were part of the 24 horse/rider combinations. Earning the "Best Dressed Award" of the FEI Trot Up, sponsored and presented by Show Chic, was Deborah Stanitski of the USA. Pressure is on for these riders to perform their very best in front of FEI Para-Equestrian Dressage Ground Jury Kjell Myhre (NOR), Marc Urban (BEL), and Kristi Wysocki (USA) over the March 14-16 weekend. International competition begins at 10:00 a.m. in The Stadium on Friday, March 14, with the Team Test competition. Individual Test occurs Saturday, March 15, followed by the exciting Freestyle competition on Sunday, March 16.
Equestrians will compete within the five Para-Dressage Grades including Grade Ia, Ib, II, III, and IV. On Friday at 6:45 p.m. spectators will enjoy a Para-Dressage demonstration scheduled in the Main Arena prior to the FEI CDI Freestyle. Team members from the USA and Canada will be showcasing their horses including a special performance by wounded U.S. Air Force veteran Derrick Perkins. The AGDF CPEDI3* is one of the final two 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ (WEG) qualifiers held in the U.S. for the United States Para-Dressage athletes.
The first rider in the ring on March 14, is Grade III rider Angela Peavy of Avon, Connecticut and Ozzy Cooper, owned by Rebecca Reno. Peavy, who trains with Heather Blitz, has been gearing up for this CPEDI3*. Armed with two new mounts Peavy noted, "I am very excited to show this weekend. This is my second CPEDI3* but my first with my two new horses. This is a great opportunity to see where my horses are at and where I am at before the USEF Para-Dressage WEG Selection Trials in June."
Following Peavy in Grade III is Elle Wooley (USA) and her own P. Sparrow Socks. Eleanor Brimmer (USA) and her new horse London Swing will enter the ring next, followed by Kate Shoemaker (USA) and Arpeggio, and finally rounding out Grade III will be Peavy once again with the Hanoverian Lancelot Warrior.
USA Chef d'Equipe Kai Handt and Roxanne Trunnell's Nice Touch. Photo by Lindsay
Grade Ia will begin at 11:20 a.m. with Roxanne Trunnell and NTEC Richelieu. Trunnell will be showing two horses including her own Nice Touch. "I am so excited to be here and begin my journey on my gentle giant Richie," said Trunnell. "It's also nice to continue competition with my special girl Touché. Together we will begin our qualifications for WEG."
Grade Ia will also feature U.S. Air Force Veteran Derrick Perkins and NTEC Hans, owned by Kai Handt, and fellow USA rider Laura Goldman and Buckeye. From Canada Paralympian Jody Schloss and Inspector Rebus will be competing in addition to Robyn Andrews and Fancianna.
Canadian Paralympian Ashley Gowanlock and Collegiate Sweet Leilani will initiate the Grade Ib competition which includes Margaret McIntosh (USA) and her new mare Rio Rio, and young rider Sydney Collier (USA). Collier will be riding two horses including NTEC Cuplee, owned by Patricia Mendenhall and Willi Wesley, owned by Victoria Dugan. "I have my two new mounts and I am super excited to show them," smiled Collier. "I am sad that I don't have Wentworth down here but I think these two are going to do him proud and he will definitely be back soon. I want to thank Patricia Mendenhall who has been so awesome in letting me ride her amazing horse. Sadly she couldn't be down in Florida. I also want to thank my trainer Wes Dunham and for everyone that has been a part of this team."
Grade II includes two Paralympians Lauren Barwick of Canada and Rebecca Hart of the U.S.A. Grade II also features Para-Dressage rider Deborah Stanitski and Tiramisu who is excited for their first ever CPEDI3*. Lauren Barwick of Canada will be riding Off To Paris, owned by Equine Canada and her own Ferdonia 2. Rebecca Hart (USA) will be riding Schroeters Romani. Schroeters Romani was recently purchased from prestigious Straight Horse in Denmark in immediate conjunction with Hart's family, Margaret Duprey, Cherry Knoll Farm, Sycamore Station Equine Division, Barbara Summer, The Ruffolo's, and Will and Sandy Kimmel. Hart rides with Missy Ransehousen in Unionville, Penn. and has enjoyed the process of building a new partnership with Schroeters Romani. Hart explained, "Romani settled in beautifully to the Global Dressage Festival venue. This is her first time showing here and our first CPEDI3* together. I want to thank all the sponsors that have made this happen. It has been a huge endeavor and it is great to be here. I am excited to see what she is going to do over the weekend and I am excited to show her off. We are still learning each other and every time we are out there we learn something new. Those teachings will be very valuable in the show ring."