Wayne, IL - The final day of intense competition for the USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships and the USEF Para-Dressage Selection Trials for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ concluded Sunday. Earning both the championship rosette and cooler and the reserve championship rosette and cooler was Rebecca Hart. Hart rode both of her mounts to top honors over the last three days. Hart and Kazan earned the National Championship and Hart and Norteassa earned the reserve championship. Hart was surrounded by top coaches including her trainer and Chef d'Equipe of the USEF Para-Dressage team, Missy Ransehousen; top judges Chris Porterfield (GBR), Lillian Iannone (ARG), and Carlos Lopes (POR); and top competition.
The weekend's competition was a chance for the riders to not only compete among their peers, but to gain experience in front of international judges. The three days of Para-Dressage competition included the team test, individual test and freestyle competition. On Sunday, the freestyle test added the music element to the test where riders showcased their artistic abilities on horseback.
Hart was pleased with both of her horses over the weekend. She noted, "I was really happy with both Kazan and Norteassa. It has been a long week, we had a long drive to get here, the weather changed constantly from storming, to being hot, and then raining, and overall despite those drawbacks both horses were wonderful. They went in there and did their job."
Both of Hart's tests featured music that was exciting, emotional and at times relaxing. Hart challenged herself by featuring additional movements such as canter work which is not required at Grade II. Hart explained, "For Kazan I took the music that Kerri Sowers used for the Young Riders and then we modified it a little for the Para-Test. I love the Manheim Steamroller music and it definitely fit Kazan's personality. Norteassa's, or "Squeaky" as we like to call him, music was the same music we performed to in Hong Kong. I have always liked that music, it fit Norteassa and I thought it was emotional and moving."
Hart had three wonderful days at the Lamplight Equestrian Center and although it is not official yet that she will be going to the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™, (WEG) she looks forward to sticking with her plan as the World Equestrian Games approach. "We have a couple of months to work on a few items," smiled Hart. "When we are home we will continue working on consistency; keeping the horses happy, healthy and fit; and I would love to reproduce this weekend's performance in October in Lexington, KY."
Without the support of everyone involved with the Para-Equestrian discipline this exciting year may not have been possible. "The fact that Para-Equestrians are involved in the World Equestrian Games opens the door for a disabled sport and it is a great opportunity for all disabled athletes out there to get involved," said Hart.
Hart added, "I would like to thank all of my sponsors and supporters including Hagyard Equine Medical Institute; Supracore; Starbucks; Kerri Sowers who generously donated Kazan for me to use; Missy Ransehousen and Blue Hill Farm; Niagra Equissage and Paul Magee, who keeps the ponies backs very happy; and every one else involved. I hope that I have not left any names out because everyone is very important to my horses, my program, and our future."
The next stop on the Para-Equestrian's calendar will be traveling to Lexington, Kentucky for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™. The Para-Dressage competitions will take place in the Covered Arena on the Kentucky Horse Park starting on October 5, 2010 and ending October 8, 2010. Starting on October 5, 2010, the Individual Team Tests are scheduled and riders will compete with their horses for four days ending with Individual Freestyle Tests on October 5, 2010.
2010 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships
PLACING RIDER HORSE TOTAL(%)
1 Rebecca Hart Kazan 69.745
2 Rebecca Hart Norteassa 69.014
3 Robin Brueckmann Raison d'Etre 66.633
4 Laura Goldman Carlingford JD 66.265
5 Susan Treabess Moneypenny 65.763
6 Holly Bergay Grand Ballerina 65.087
7 Jonathon Wentz NTEC Richter Scale 64.999
8 Wendy Fryke Lateran 64.987
9 Jennifer Baker Duel 63.494
10 Mary Jordan Paxton Abbey 61.95
Robin Brueckmann Radetzky 61.83
Kim Decker Dashers Destiny 61.718
Erin Alberda Delectari 61.038
Kathryn Groves Friespruch 61.026
Barbara Grassmyer Mibis 60.573
Mary Jordan Brigadier 59.825
Kim Jones Fascination 58.158
Jonathon Wentz Contigo 56.949
Wendy Shugol Statesman's Larissa 54.388
Elizabeth Pigott Mr. Darcy 52.655
Wendy Shugol Statesman's Audacious 34.733
Long List for the USEF Para-Dressage 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™
Robin Brueckmann and Raison d'Etre
Laura Goldman and Carlingford JD
Susan Treabess and Moneypenny