After the reigning success of the U.S. Teams at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, three U.S. riders have trekked south of the border to catch ride at the Para Equestrian CDI in Mexico City in hopes of raising the U.S. ranking in the FEI standings to secure slots for the 2012 London Paralympics. Five nations will compete at this first ever Mexican CPEDI3* as an Olympic qualifier: Argentina, Mexico, Norway,United States and Venezuela.
Donna Ponessa, Grade 1a, from New Windsor, NY and her trainer Wes Dunham, Jonathan Wentz, Grade 1b, from Richardson, Texas along with trainer Kai Handt and new to the Para Team scene Dr. Dale Dedrick, Grade 2, from Ann Arbor, MI with her trainer Rosiland Kinstler. Handt of NTEC Equestrian Center tried and selected mounts for the riders several weeks ahead of time but horses and riders only had two days to get acquainted.
Hope Hand, President of the USPEA.org is on hand, along with Pam Lane, the USEF Para Coordinator, and reports the venue with a backdrop of mountains looks spectacular and ready to go. Mexico has given a warm welcome to the U.S. Team and all the borrowed horses passed their jog on Wednesday. “It’s One World when it comes to International Competitions,” says Hand.