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Tina Wentz Elected as President (Interim) and Carole Laulis as Vice President for USPEA

Wednesday, August 17, 2022
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The United States Para-Equestrian Association (USPEA) is excited about its future with para-equestrian sport. In new elections, the board has approved Christina (Tina) Wentz as Interim President and Carole Lee Laulis as Vice President. Adding to an already experienced and professional board for the para-equestrian non-profit. Both these women have been involved in all aspects of the discipline and USPEA for decades from grassroots and therapy work through the Paralympics and high-performance level. The USPEA board also includes Ellie Brimmer as Secretary, Donna Ponessa as Athlete Representative, and Natalie Boyko as Treasurer.

Photo - Christina (Tina) Wentz Interim President USPEA

Tina has been actively involved with USPEA since its start in 2009 serving as Secretary, Vice President and currently Interim President. USPEA Founder Hope Hand recruited her as she was putting together the association and they became close friends over the years as well as  sharing a passion for seeing the sport have greater recognition. Tina has been involved with US Para-Equestrian Sport since 1997 first serving as a US National Classifier and a volunteer. Her involvement was precipitated by both a professional and personal interest to see the sport develop and excel at an International Level. She has served on the USEF International Disciplines Committee, as an FEI International classifier, and currently serves as a member of the USEF Para-Dressage sports committee, Head USEF Para Dressage Selector, and Head PCA for World and Paralympic Games. Her most cherished role was that of “chief assistant” to her son, Paralympian Jonathan Wentz (1990 – 2012). She continues to serve in his memory to continue his goals of advancing US Para Dressage on the world stage.

Carole Lee Laulis has been with Thorncroft Equestrian Center in Malvern, Penn. for over 30 years as the Senior Staff Instructor; Volunteer Coordinator; Path CRTI; USEF Para-dressage silver level coach; Special Olympics Team Pennsylvania Head Coach; and USEF Center of Excellence Coordinator. She wears many hats and is passionate about her students and those aspiring to become para-dressage athletes. Laulis met Hope Hand many years ago when she was introduced by Thorncroft’s former Founder Saunders Dixon and his wife Sallie Dixon. Hand watched her teach and got her involved with Para.

Laulis remembered. “Hope asked me in true Hope style and she was very persistent even after I declined.” 

Hand saw something special in Laulis and in 2010 Hand told Laulis she had a little girl that she wanted Laulis to work with. Now that rider is 22 years old and she is an internationally ranked para-dressage rider.

Laulis added, “Hope and I traveled from Maine to Florida together and I listened and learned about the sport of Para-Dressage. I was hooked on the para-dressage world and loved the trips, the laughs, and cooking for the para-dressage crowd after a long show day. Along with the para-equestrian community, I will keep Hope’s dream going into the future.”

USPEA is looking forward to continuing the mission to help develop, promote, support, and sustain USA Para Dressage Athletes along the pathway of emerging, developing, and elite with a focus on the emerging competing athletes.