American Para Dressage Rider Hoping for a Miracle by Tuesday, June 30

Monday, June 29, 2009
Posted by bossmare

Erin Alberda (Grade 3) and Delectari made the trip to Chicago in May to compete at the National Para-Equestrian Dressage Championships at the Lamplight Equestrian Center. Her performance improved daily and the pair won the final class of the competition, giving them a fourth place finish overall. It was a long trip for the duo that has been competing in the para program for several years. But now Erin is hoping to make an even longer trip to Norway for the FEI European and Open Para-Equestrian Dressage Championships 2009, August 20-24, and she has only one day left for a miracle.
"After our strong finish at Nationals, I have been encouraged by the US coaches to pursue competing at the Open European Para Dressage Championships, which will take place in Norway in August.  Their hope is that I can get some greater international experience, as well as some more exposure or "face time" with the judges, which may improve my chances of being competitive at next years World Equestrian Games.”

The 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games will be featuring for the first time in FEI history the Para competition in the United States in Lexington Kentucky where America will have the opportunity to shine, and for once not have to travel abroad to participate in this important program.

DressageDaily just heard from Erin who needs to either raise the funds for her own horse to travel, or perhaps as a more practical solution to find a horse in Europe to borrow and compete on. Alberda is a Grade 3 Para rider.  The tests she rides are not complicated, the movements are comparable to US 1st level, but done in more of a 3rd level/FEI frame.  Para riders are able to compete on ponies in international competition, and because of her size a large pony would be a possible option. The competition is a CPEDI4*, so horses/ponies would need passports & be subject to a jog. 

“I would be traveling with Jenny Nell & Marci Bender, who groomed for Erin in Chicago, and for the US Paralympic team in Hong Kong.  “We would of course pay any and all expenses, and be amazingly and incredibly grateful to the owner who would let a virtual stranger from another country show their horse.”

Erin trains with Jenny Nell, Program Director at Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center, one of the oldest and largest therapeutic riding centers in the US.  Little Bit has forged a relationship with USEF, and hosts several Para Equestrian training sessions throughout the year, wherein riders are able to borrow horses (or bring their own) and ride with one of the US Coaches.  And of course, thank you, for your time and consideration, and for any ideas you might have to help!  Please feel free to contact Erin erin.alberda@gmail.com - (206) 396-0510, or Jenny Nell with any questions - programdirector@littlebit.org, (425) 268-9611