Lodi, California- Four Para-Equestrian Drivers competed at the Shady Oaks CDE September 18-21, 2014, in Lodi, California. Those athletes included Tracy Bowman competing in Preliminary Single Pony; Ginny Leal competing in Training Level Single Pony; Diane Kastama competing in Preliminary Pair; and Stefanie Putnam who competed in Preliminary Single Horse. The U.S. drivers made an incredible showing among 53 competitors and the support from the spectators, judges, and organizers was overwhelming. Drivers competed in Dressage, Cones, and the exciting Marathon Course over three days.
Tracy Bowman came in sixth place for Dressage, seventh for Marathon, fourth for Cones and fifth in the Preliminary Single Pony Division. Ginny Leal earned the second place accolade for Dressage and Cones and tied for first in the Marathon. Leal also took Reserve Champion for the Training Level Single Pony Division. Diane Kastama came in first for Dressage and Cones in Preliminary Pairs Division. Stefanie Putnam came in second in Dressage, second in Marathon, third in Cones, and first overall in the Preliminary Horse Division out of 14 contestants. Putnam also won the whole Preliminary Division Championship (1st of 32 drivers) as well as the Reserve Championships for the whole Preliminary Division (including Ponies, Horses, and Pairs) for Dressage and Marathon and third in cones for the whole division (out of 32 drivers).
The last few years for the U.S Para-Equestrian Drivers have been outstanding. That includes the most recent 2014 FEI World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships which concluded in June at The Royal Estate in Sandringham, England. The U.S. team earned a Bronze finish with drivers Virginia Fitch, Diane Kastama and Veteran Robert Giles. Giles also garnered a Silver medal at the Championships.
For more information about United States Driving for the Disabled please go to www.USDFD.org.