Rebecca Hart, Annie Peavy, and Will Connell
Watch Paralympic riders Rebecca Hart and Annie Peavy talk about what horses and para-equestrian dressage—a demanding sport that is parallel to dressage for able-bodied riders—mean to them.
About This Video
“Para-dressage” refers to the sport’s status as “parallel” to dressage for able-bodied riders. Rebecca Hart and Annie Peavy, both members of the U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team presented by Deloitte, talk about the high standards of para-dressage and how riding and competing has enhanced their lives. US Equestrian’s director of sport programs Will Connell, who served in the British Army’s Royal Horse Artillery, discusses the sport and dressage’s basis in ancient cavalry battlefield movements.
Video courtesy of Deloitte LLP. Deloitte is proud to be the presenting sponsor of both the U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team and U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships.
- Parallel to Able-Bodied Dressage
- High Standards
- Opportunities to Compete
- Cavalry Tradition
- Ancient Training Methods
About The Expert
Paralympian Rebecca “Becca” Hart began riding at age 10 and has risen to the upper echelon. She was the USEF National Para-Equestrian Champion in 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2014. She has been a member of the U.S. Para-Dressage Team for the Paralympics in 2008 in Hong Kong (where she scored highest among U.S. Para-Equestrian riders), in 2012 in London (where she was Team Captain and the highest-scoring member of the U.S. Para-Dressage Team), and in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro. She also has competed in the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky, and in the 2014 WEG in Normandy, France. In 2015, she was the individual grand champion at the Adequan Global Dressage CPEDI3*, leading the team to champion honors, too. Hart also has served as a youth consultant for the USEF. She was born with a rare progressive genetic disease called familial spastic paraplegia, which can cause partial paralysis and affect joints, muscles, and motor development. As an adult, she is most affected in the muscles and joints below her waist. In addition to riding in para-dressage shows, she also is an experienced competitor at dressage shows for the able-bodied. Hart is based in Unionville, Pennsylvania, and Wellington, Florida.
Annie Peavy was a member of the U.S. Para-Dressage Team at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. In 2015, she was the USEF High Performance National Championships reserve champion with Ozzy Cooper, who also was her partner at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France. Peavy is partially paralyzed on her left side as the result of a stroke she suffered before birth, and she started riding as a form of physical therapy. She is based in Connecticut.
Will Connell is US Equestrian’s Director of Sport Programs, a position he has held since 2014. He administers all aspects of sport programming across the eight international disciplines, nine national disciplines, and 11 breeds recognized by US Equestrian. Prior to joining US Equestrian, Connell was the British Equestrian Federation’s Performance Director. He also was chef d’equipe for the British Young Rider Eventing Team from 1997 to 2001, has served as a British Eventing Steward, and was deputy director of Olympia, the London International Horse Show. Connell served for 17 years in the British Army’s Royal Horse Artillery and was Commanding Officer of the King’s Troop RHA.