Saugerties, NY - From the minute an equestrian, family member, spectator, or sponsor stepped onto the grounds of the 2011 NEDA (New England Dressage Association) Fall Festival of Dressage they were met with smiling faces and attentive staff. It was a week of new faces at the Fall Festival of Dressage when the 2011 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships and CPEDI3* event was included in the program and the weekend could not have run smoother. From the ramp donation from Ivy Rock Farms and R+S Country Living to the numerous rider awards to compete for, NEDA went above and beyond for the Para-Equestrians. The United States Para-Equestrian Association would like to thank NEDA and their volunteers for all of their enthusiasm and hard work at the Fall Festival of Dressage in Saugerties, NY September 15-18, 2011.
At 8:00 a.m. each morning the four judges, Anne Prain of France, Kjell Myhre of Norway, and Carlos Lopes of Portugal sat with the scribes watching as the first Para-Equestrian entered the ring each day. Over three day's of competition the Para-Equestrian ring moved flawlessly.
At the end of the week the presentations were made for both the 2011 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships and the top performers in the CPEDI3*. NEDA worked hard to make each ribbon ceremony special for the riders and the spectators.
Many Para-Equestrians earned awards during the Fall Festival of Dressage that were unexpected and generous. fter the jog, Jonathan Wentz and Rebecca Hart both from the United States were presented with awards for the Best Dressed Jogger at the FEI Jog. Each rider received $100 gift certificates compliments of SHO CLOTHES. Winner of the 2011 Trilogy Best Seat Forward award was Wendy Fryke during the weekend events. James Dwyer of Ireland was given a $50 cash award for the highest CPEDI Freestyle donated by Elaine Donogue and unexpected was the Best Foot Forward Award donated by Draper Equine Therapies. The award was presented to trainer Sabine Rijssenbeek for promoting a positive attitude even when no one was watching. Rijssenbeek is not only an international instructor and competitor but she is the trainer of Para-Equestrian Eleanor Brimmer of the U.S.A.
Just outside the FEI barn, was a new structure which was provided by Ivy Rock Farms & R + S Country Living. The brand new ramp was created for equestrians that may need to drive a wheel chair to the top of the ramp to mount their horse or it may be used for a rider that needs assistance getting to the level of their horse. Many Para-Equestrians were grateful for the ramp that now stands as a permanent structure. This ramp will help encourage more Para-Equestrian events, clinics, and international competitions.
The USPEA truly wanted to thank each and every sponsor who donated awards and made the Fall Festival of Dressage possible including NEDA, USEF, the judges, stewards, and many staff members. The largest group of smiling faces at the horse show was the volunteers. When an announcement came over the loudspeaker that runners were needed in the dressage rings, riders, friends, and dressage enthusiasts stepped forward and provided that assistance. It is volunteers like the ones at NEDA who make an event as prestigious as this one, an event to remember.
As the 2011 season comes to a close, the USPEA thanks each competition venue for their assistance in providing facilities that help encourage growth of this international discipline. Within three years the number of Para-Equestrian competitors has tripled due to the support of organizations like NEDA, USEF, Lamplight Equestrian Center, Keenan Productions & Events, and many other associations.