Utah Para Equestrian Wins at the Idaho Dressage Festival

Wednesday, May 21, 2014
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Lara Oles on Bella along with her trainer, Annie Sweet
Lara Oles on Bella along with her trainer, Annie Sweet
Nampa, Idaho – Lara Oles, Utah’s first internationally classified para equestrian competed at the 10th Annual Idaho Dressage Festival, bringing home two first places and a high point championship. This included a 68.3% in Training Level Test 3, which is a qualifying score for Regionals. Because there were no para classes at the show, Lara competed against able-bodied competitors, so winning both of her classes is remarkable. Lara purchased Bella, her Canadian Warmblood mare, in February of this year. This was their first show together, and they wowed those in attendance. “Bella has been perfectly behaved even though the last time she showed was in 2008. We couldn’t be happier!” said Oles. Lara was in a freak skiing accident in 2006 that damaged her spinal cord, leaving her right arm permanently paralyzed and stroke- like symptoms in her right leg.

Lara and Bella will continue competing throughout the 2014 season and will start riding the International Grade III para dressage tests. Her ultimate goal is to represent the United States at the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.