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2017 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships Sponsored by Deloitte Gets Underway

by US Equestrian Communications Department | Sep 14, 2017, 8:54 PM EST

Mill Spring, N.C. - This week Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) will host its first-ever para-equestrian dressage competition at the facility, welcoming the Fall Dressage FEI CDI-W & CPEDI3* and USEF National Show, each presented by Adequan® on Friday, September 15, through Sunday, September 17. The FEI CPEDI3* is also the USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships sponsored by Deloitte. 

Para-equestrian sports allow athletes with physical disabilities to excel in equestrian events, and do so by creating a structured and highly competitive environment. Para-dressage is conducted under the same basic rules as able-bodied dressage, but with riders divided into different competition grades based on their physical abilities.

U.S. combinations competing in the Grade I USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championship sponsored by Deloitte include the 2014 Alltech® FEI World Equestrian Games™ competitor Roxanne Trunnell (Rowlett,Texas) and her NTEC Daytona Beach, a 15-year-old Westphalian mare. The combination recently earned top placings in CPEDI3* competitions in Wellington, Fla., and Sacramento, Rancho Murieta, Calif. Trunnell was also a member of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Paralympic Equestrian team. Another member of the 2016 Paralympic team, Margaret McIntosh (Reading, Pa.) and her Heros, a 13-year-old Danish Warmblood mare, round out the Grade I U.S. competitors.

Deborah Stanitski (Charleston, S.C.) and Laurietta Oakleaf (Coatesville, Pa.) will compete for the Grade II USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championship sponsored by Deloitte. Stanitski has a relatively new mount in Anne Yanney’s 19-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare Butterfinger Bonanza. Oakleaf and long-time partner Niekele Fan Busentiz, a 13-year-old Friesian stallion she owns with Laura McGinnis, will take to the ring this weekend looking to add to their eight first-place finishes so far in 2017.

Contesting the Grade III USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championship sponsored by Deloitte are Meghan Benge (Windsor, S.C.) and her own 10-year-old Welsh Pony mare, Zoey. The combination are also avid para-equestrian driving competitors. Two-time Paralympian Rebecca Hart (Wellington, Fla.) will compete with El Corona Texel, Rowan O’Riley’s eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding. Rounding out the U.S. combinations are Riley Garrett (Chester Springs, Pa.) and her own 14-year-old Thoroughbred-cross gelding, Piston.

A large group of U.S. combinations will contest the Grade IV Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championship sponsored by Deloitte. Among them is 2016 Rio de Janeiro Paralympian Angela “Annie” Peavy, (Wellington, Fla.). She will ride tests on Lancelot Warrior, Rebecca Reno and Heather Blitz’s 15-year-old Hanoverian gelding, and Royal Dark Chocolate, Rebecca Reno’s nine-year-old Oldenburg mare. 

Kebbie Cannon (Waxhaw, N.C.) will compete with her own 12-year-old Thoroughbred-cross gelding, Just In Time. Michele Bandinu (Santa Barbara, Calif.) will ride his own eight-year-old Oldenburg gelding Soulman 13, while Pamela Hardin (Evans, Ga.) will ride Quaterjack, the 12-year-old Brandenburg gelding she owns with Kara Hardin, Kasey Hardin, and Rachel Bryant, in competition. Kate Shoemaker (Peoria, Ariz.) will ride Solitaer 40, a 10-year-old Hanoverian stallion that she owns with Craig and Deena Shoemaker. Beth Levine (Fredericktown, Ohio) and Hobby Horse Hill Tec’s 16-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding Miscellaneous will round out the U.S. competitors.

Two U.S. combinations will compete in the Grade V Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championship sponsored by Deloitte. Mary Jordan (Wells, Maine), a 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games competitor, will ride the centerline on her 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding Rubicon 75 and Katie Jackson (Austin, Texas) will ride Julia Handt and Rachel Zent’s 12-year-old Westphalian gelding Royal Dancer. 

The USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage Team presented by Deloitte will consist of Trunnell riding NTEC Daytona Beach, Peavy riding Royal Dark Chocolate, Jackson riding Royal Dancer, and Bandinu riding Soulman 13. 

The CPEDI3* Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships sponsored by Deloitte schedule can be found here. Live streaming for both the FEI CDI-W and FEI CPEDI 3* competitions will be available on USEF Network beginning Friday, September 15, through Sunday, September 17. The live stream is only available to US Equestrian members; however, a special promotional code for viewing is available.

Watch the US Equestrian Learning Center video to learn more about para-equestrian dressage. Plus, follow us on Facebook (@USAParaDressage and @USEFNetwork), Instagram (@USEFNetwork), and Twitter (@USEFNetwork) for all the latest from the competition. 

The USEF International High Performance Programs are generously supported by the USET Foundation, USOC, and USEF Sponsors and Members.