US Para Driving Sport Continues to Grow
Sunday, June 2, 2019
The discipline management for Para-Driving at USEquestrian has slowly been moving from Para-Equestrian into combined driving, and is now overseen by the Driving Sport Committee.
Beginning in 2018, Para-Driving athletes were invited to apply for and participate in the Developing and Elite Athlete Programs, which has been very rewarding so far. The next big goal is to support development of the sport.
By following the very successful structure in Para-Dressage, a Selection Panel of experts has been assembled to put together an application process for Para-Driving Centers of Excellence (COE). The panel will include Danielle Aamodt (staff), Diane Kastama (USDFD), Dave Schmutz (Para-Dressage), Stefanie Putnam (Athlete), Anna Koopman (PATH certified), Sarah Armentrout (Veteran rep.), and Sara Schmitt (Para Coach).
The COEs will be promoted by US Equestrian as facilities with the necessary equipment, programs, and therapeutic professionals to introduce Para-Driving to new athletes. Once established, US Equestrian will work with the COEs to further develop programs and competition opportunities, giving new Para-Drivers the chance to develop before experiencing the pressures of entering an open division in a licensed competition.