Lexington, KY - Coming off of a strong performance at the recent Wellington Classic Sunshine Challenge CPEDI3* Team Qualifier for the Paralympics in Wellington, FL USA's Para-Dressage team has earned a spot at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. "It's very exciting," says Chef d'Equipe Missy Ransehousen "I was very pleased with not only the team but with the individuals. They are a good group of people, working hard, and going forward with a good plan in mind." Team USA bounced back from a 2nd place finish at the Gold Coast Opener CPEDI3* and earned an important victory over Canada in the Wellington Classic Sunshine Challenge. Details of the competition are available here.
Though they are excited to be London bound the USA Para-Equestrians won't be taking time off before the games begin. There are two more CPEDI3* events on the schedule, one in Katy, Texas and one San Diego, California, and the Paralympic selection trials in June.
Team USA earned their qualification by virtue of a Second place finish on the FEI Para-Equestrian team rankings list.
An FEI press release detailing the qualifications follows:
TWENTY-THREE NATIONS QUALIFY FOR LONDON 2012 PARALYMPIC GAMES
Para-Dressage riders from 23 nations have qualified to take part in the London 2012 Paralympic Games. The qualification process, which began in October 2010, finished yesterday, 31 January 2012.
As the top three ranked teams at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2010, Great Britain, Germany and Denmark will each be represented by a team of four plus one individual rider. Canada, the top ranked nation on the Para-Equestrian Team ranking list for countries not otherwise qualified, will also receive five qualification slots.
Eleven nations, which qualified through the Para-Equestrian Team ranking list and regional distribution of teams, will be entering teams of four riders. The 11 nations are USA, Netherlands, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Belgium, South Africa, Mexico, Singapore, Australia and France.
New Zealand, Norway and Finland will be represented by two individual riders apiece. Bermuda, Argentina, Japan, Hong Kong and Austria have each been allocated one individual slot.
The three remaining qualification slots will be allocated by Bipartite Commission Invitation issued by the International Paralympic Committee and the FEI. These final qualifications will be announced on 9 April.
The nominated entries will be published on 18 June 2012 and definite entries on 6 August.
A total of 78 Para-Equestrian riders will be battling it out for the 11 sets of medals available in Greenwich Park over six days from 30 August to 4 September.
The detailed qualification list is available here. Additional information on the equestrian events at the London 2012 Paralympic Games can be found on the FEI website (here).