July 27, 2012–Lexington, KY– The United States Equestrian Federation has named the team for the 2012 Paralympic Games. The four athletes representing the U.S. in London turned heads at the Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championship and Selection Trial held in Gladstone, NJ in June.
The following two U.S. team veterans and two rising stars will compose the team:
Rebecca Hart (Unionville, PA) and Jessica Ransehousen’s Lord Ludger
Jonathan Wentz (Richardson, TX) and Kai Handt’s NTEC Richter Scale
Donna Ponessa (New Windsor, NY) and Wesley Dunham’s Western Rose
Dale Dedrick (Ann Arbor , MI) and her own Bonifatius
Reigning USEF National Champion, Hart makes her second trip to the Paralympic Games after having represented her country at the 2008 Games. The Grade II rider will utilize the experience that earned her national titles in 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012 when she competes in Greenwich Park.
Hart’s teammate from the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, Wentz (Grade 1b) is making his first Paralympic appearance with NTEC Richter Scale. The Southern Methodist University student paired up with the Shire cross gelding to win his first National Championship in 2011 and collect Reserve honors in 2012.
Grade 1b competitor, Ponessa suffers from Devic Disease, a rare form of Multiple Sclerosis, but has not let the disease deter her. In June she earned third place honors at the National Championship and Selection Trial earning her spot to compete in London.
The fourth team member representing the U.S. in London will be Dedrick. Prior to contracting Lupus, Dedrick competed at the Grand Prix level of Dressage and was a successful orthopedic surgeon. In 2011, the Grade II competitor and Bonifatius were the Reserve National Champions and in 2012 they returned to the National Championship, placing fourth.
|Rebecca Hart and Lord Ludger|
|Jon Wentz and NTEC Richter Scale|
|Donna Ponessa and Western Rose|
|Dale Dedrick and Bonifatius|
|Mary Jordan and Sebastian|
August 29, 2012
26 nations -
About United States Para-Equestrian Association:
The USPEA is a network of riders, judges, national federation board members, and equestrian enthusiasts. The association gives athletes the ability to get involved and expand their knowledge and experience in the Para-Equestrian sport. The USPEA encourages para-athletes to participate in all disciplines under the para-equestrian umbrella.
The USPEA is a recognized affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) which serves as the National Governing Body for the equestrian sport. This relationship between the USPEA and USEF is to encourage para-equestrian competitors, leisure riders, coaches, fans and enthusiasts to network and get involved with the entire equestrian sport.
Ultimately the goal of the USPEA is to foster growth in the para-equestrian discipline. From growth in the number of participants to growth as a team, and growth in the experience and knowledge of all involved. From local horse shows to international Olympic Games, the USPEA will provide para-equestrians the knowledge of what they need to succeed. The USPEA connects with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), the United States Dressage Federation (USDF), and USEF which provides Para-Equestrians the top equestrian resources.
In June 2010, the USPEA earned its 501 (c)(3) status which has encouraged supporters to help supply funding to the Para-Equestrian Team as a recognized affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation(USEF).
For more information about the USPEA please visit www.USPEA.org or contact USPEA President: Hope Hand by e-mail: Wheeler966@aol.com or by phone: (610)356-6481.