Olympic Dressage Riders and Equestrian Community Dressage Para Rider Holly Bergay for Her Olympic Dream

Friday, November 2, 2007

The Holly Bergay Auction is now online at HollyBergay.com! There are many wonderful items like an autographed dressage pad from Steffen Peters, a San Diego Zoo Safari, Stallion breedings, paintings, jewelry, and of course the Debbie McDonald and Steffen Peters lessons!

15-year-old Holly Bergay found out her high placing results at The North American Junior Young Riders' competition could not serve as a qualifying score for her quest to compete in the 2008 Hong Kong Para Olympic Games because she placed 5th in an "able bodied" competition. This meant she must qualify in a Para Qualifying event. Guess where?

In Australia in January, at the Melbourne CPEDI, and RDA National Dressage Championships, January 14th-18th. Bergay thought she had tapped all her resources, when her sponsors and contributors did do much to get her to the NAJYRC, but it was Dressage Olympian, Debbie McDonald to the rescue.

Here is Debbie’s e-mail she sent to those on her mailing list;
Hello Everyone;

I am on a mission here! I am sure by now you have all read about or have been fortunate enough to watch Holly Bergay ride. If not, let me tell you just a little bit about this amazing young lady. I was doing a Young Rider Clinic in Arizona and was told I would be teaching a handicapped girl. My first thoughts were; "I don't know how to teach a handicapped rider?" Holly was born without a full arm and rides with reins looped and uses her elbow joint to hold the reins. After watching her for a minute I knew this kid could ride and had a feel that most of us would dream of having.

Because of her handicap her seat is amazing and the use of her core strength is what we all strive for. Through this clinic I have become a fan of hers and we keep in touch. Early this year she told me that she was going to try out for the Young Riders. Not the handicap but the able bodied! Not only did she make the Young Rider Team but she called me on the first day with a 65%.

I am writing because she was told that she is not qualified for the 2008 Paralympic Team? They will not accept the scores from the able bodied Young Rider Championships. Even though it was international and there were qualified judges they are making her do another qualifier. I find it very ridiculous but that is the rule. So this means that her last chance to qualify for the Paralympics is in Australia on a borrowed horse in January. She needs to get a 60% or better.

I am donating lessons and want to know if any of you would like to join in by donating lessons, product or anything else you can think of, for auction. If you know of anyone that would help this wonderful young girl live her dream please spread the word for this worthwhile effort?

If you ever wanted to feel like you can really make a difference in someone's life this is your chance. Please talk to anyone that might be willing to give even a small amount, it all adds up in the end and we need to send her and her trainer to Australia!

Thank You!
Debbie McDonald

Holly’s Olympic Dream – How You Can Help