After three days of competition at the Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, IL, Rebecca Hart and Norteassa claimed the title of the United States Equestrian Federation’s (USEF) 2008 National Para Equestrian Championships.
With a final score of 72.473, twenty-four-year-old Hart from Erie, PA couldn’t stop smiling after winning the championship.“I think he (Norteassa) was really good,” said Hart. “He was really focused and was listening to me. I could not have asked for more from him.”
Hart and her 16-year-old Hanoverian gelding bested last year’s winner of the USEF National Para Equestrian Championships, Lynn Seidemann. Seidemann, who is a veteran competitor at Para Equestrian events, including the Paralympics, was Reserve Champion on her mount Phoenix B with a final score of 71.888.
Running concurrently with the Para Equestrian National Championships, six riders including Hart were competing for a spot on the 2008 U.S. Paralympic Equestrian Team. The Paralympic Equestrian Team will be announced later this week. With Hart and Norteassa’s strong showing this past weekend, she has the potential to be asked to represent the U.S. as part of the 2008 Paralympic Team.
“The official announcement comes out Thursday and I’m really, really excited about it and I can’t wait to hear,” said Hart. “I’m feeling pretty confident at this point in time and I think it would be great to represent the United States.”
This would be Hart’s first Paralympics.
In addition, there was a benefit on Saturday evening during the Freestyle portion of the competition in which Jessica Ransehousen explained about Para Equestrian to the many people attending the event and encouraged everyone to support the Paralympic Equestrian Team. Co-owner of Lamplight Equestrian Center Steve Cooper pledged $5,000 and asked for someone to match his generous donation.
For additional information about this championship or Para Equestrian, contact Pam Lane, USEF Director of Para Equestrian and Vaulting, at (908) 326-1153 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.