Tryon, N.C. – Roxanne Trunnell (Rowlett, Texas) and Dolton topped the Adequan®/USEF Para Dressage CPEDI3* National Championship after three days of intense competition. With a final cumulative score of 75.247 percent, the duo made their mark at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) to secure top honors in the prestigious championship event. David Botana (Portland, Maine) followed with reserve honors aboard Lord Locksley, after finishing the weekend with a cumulative total of 74.318 percent.
The Adequan®/USEF Para Dressage CPEDI3* National Championship was determined by a total cumulative score of three tests, including the FEI Para Team Test counting for 40 percent, the FEI Para Individual Test also counting for 40 percent, and the FEI Para Freestyle adding the final 20 percent to the overall score.
A member of last year’s U.S. Para Dressage Team for the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018, Trunnell and Dolton, a seven-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Flintewood Farms LLC, have maintained their commitment to improving their scores on the international stage for the past year and accomplished that goal this weekend.
“I feel really good. I haven’t been with Dolton for very long and the partnership is really forming,” she stated.
When asked about her feelings of the overall weekend, Trunnell felt the highlight was the duo’s steadiness and harmony together and said, “I think how consistent he was. He was always marching and relaxed.”
The pair’s ultimate goal is to earn a spot on the U.S. Para Dressage Team for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games next summer and they will now turn their focus on continuing to fine-tune their geometry and rhythm together before making their next CPEDI3* appearance in Wellington, Fla. in early January, noting, “It will be a lot of training and working on accuracy with the geometry.”
Click here to watch the Roxanne Trunnell and Dolton's Freestyle.
David Botana, one of the program’s top emerging riders, is only seventeen, but has quickly formed a strong partnership with Lord Locksley, an 18-year-old Trakhener stallion owned by Margaret Stevens. The pair, who debuted this past winter in Wellington, Fla., concentrated on establishing a stronger bond this summer, as Lord Locksley is a former FEI Grand Prix horse, but has adjusted remarkably well to his new responsibilities.
“It’s a big transition from international Grand Prix stallion to Grade I Para. He’s taken beautifully to it. It’s taken us a while to get into a groove, but now we’re in a perfect balance where he knows that as soon as I put my foot in the stirrup we’re just going to walk, and that’s it,” laughed Botana. “There can be a million things going on and he won’t bat an eye, but when I step a foot away, he goes right back to being a big, old stallion.”
The pair secured some of their highest marks throughout the competition, including an impressive 75.298 percent in the FEI Para Grade I Individual Test yesterday. In an accumulation of their persistent efforts over the summer, Botana said it felt like a “perfect ride.” You can watch their test here.
“We took what we learned from the judges’ comments and what I felt during the test and transitioned it on to the next day. It felt amazing. We really had the perfect ride. It all came together and was amazing,” he explained. “We’ve worked all summer and learned a lot practicing the halt, bending, improving precision, and working on the overall harmony. I think it all really came together.”
Emma Jameson (Spartanburg, S.C.) and Cortesana LA, a 12-year-old Warmblood mare owned by Misha Marshall were presented with the Adequan®/USEF Para Dressage CPEDI1* National Championship in their first-ever competition together.
“This is my first ever CPEDI and I just jumped in with both feet. My horse is absolutely amazing, even when I’m a little bit unsure of what I’m asking her, she knows,” said Jameson. “I’m her first para rider and figuring out the partnership didn’t take very long. From the first lesson, she know exactly what was I was asking for.”
During the weekend, USEF hosted its first national Para-Equestrian Classifier clinic during the USEF Para Dressage National Championship with clinicians Joann Benjamin, PT, HPCS, and Kerri Sowers, PT, DPT, PhD, and who are both U.S. FEI Level 2 and USEF Para-Equestrian Classifiers. Eight clinic attendees learned how to assess athletes, utilize the classification process, and developed their new skills by practicing classification on volunteer athletes.
The weekend also recognized the most recent group of coaches who have successfully completed the Para-Dressage Coach Certificate Program. Each coach was presented with a U.S. Para Dressage Team jacket by the team's Chef d'Equipe Michel Assouline.
Click here to view official results.
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The USEF International High Performance Programs are generously supported by the USET Foundation, USOPC, and USEF sponsors and members.