Mill Spring, N.C. - The 2017 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships sponsored by Deloitte continued Saturday with competitors performing their respective FEI Individual Tests, the second of three tests in the National Championships and the remaining test in the team competition. The Deloitte U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team comprised of
Katie Jackson (Austin, Texas), Michele Bandinu (Santa Barbara, Calif.), Angela “Annie” Peavy (Wellington, Fla.), and Roxanne Trunnell (Rowlett,Texas) came out on top, bringing home the win for the United States with a score of 412.324. Chef d’Equipe and National Advisor Kai Handt led the team in their winning performance.
“We have a pretty new team competing right now, and we have quite a few riders that have new horses and were trying new horses out at this competition,” said Handt. “Overall, it went really well, and we won the team competition by 15%. There is still a lot of work to do figuring little things out, but otherwise, I think things came together very well. We have a very young team – they are turning out to be very fierce competitors. It is coming together very well.”
Saturday’s FEI Individual Test contributed another 40% towards each competitor’s overall scores in the 2017 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships sponsored by Deloitte. The first 40% came from Friday’s FEI Team Test and the remaining 20% will be earned in Sunday’s Freestyle Test.
The day started with the Grade V FEI Individual Test with Jackson and Royal Dancer leading in the Grade V USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championship sponsored by Deloitte. Jackson, riding Julia Handt and Rachel Zent’s 12-year-old Westphalian gelding held on to their lead to win the class with 66.746%, performing a beautiful test. Competing together for only six months, this relatively new partnership turned out a score that proved to be a large contribution to the U.S. team’s success.
“Today’s test was a little more of a challenge,” said Jackson. “It was a great learning experience, though, for Royal Dancer and I to come in and overcome a little bit of him being hesitant in the first part of our test and working through that and finishing on a really good note. I was really pleased that he was still listening to me, still right there with me and able to make some improvements in areas that we were a little bit weak on yesterday. Overall, I am really happy with him and happy with how things are going in general. I am excited for tomorrow’s freestyle as well. I am grateful to Julia and Rachel for allowing me to ride their amazing horse!”
Mary Jordan (Wells, Maine) and her 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding Rubicon 75 kept the second-place position with a score of 65.714%.
Peavy maintained her dominance in the Grade IV FEI Individual Test and lead in the 2017 Grade IV USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championship sponsored by Deloitte. However, her first place on Saturday came on her team horse, Royal Dark Chocolate, Rebecca Reno’s nine-year-old Oldenburg mare, with a score of 70.122%, contributing to the U.S. team’s first-place finish.
Kate Shoemaker (Peoria, Ariz.) and Solitaer 40, a 10-year-old Hanoverian stallion that she owns with Craig and Deena Shoemaker, placed second with a score of 69.350%. Peavy and her other mount, Lancelot Warrior, Rebecca Reno and Heather Blitz’s 15-year-old Hanoverian gelding, scored a 67.480% to place third. View the Grade IV FEI Individual Test results.
In the Grade III FEI Individual Test, two-time Paralympian Rebecca Hart (Wellington, Fla.) with El Corona Texel claimed the victory and maintained their lead in the Grade III USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championship sponsored by Deloitte. Hart and Rowan O’Riley’s eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding scored a 68.275% with a lovely and dominating ride.
Riley Garrett (Chester Springs, Pa.) and her 14-year-old Thoroughbred-cross gelding Piston came in second with a score of 66.716%, while Meghan Benge (Windsor, S.C.) and her 10-year-old Welsh Pony mare Zoey placed third with 62.108%.
Laurietta Oakleaf (Coatesville, Pa.) and her beautiful 13-year-old Friesian stallion Niekele Fan Busentiz maintained their lead in the Grade II USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championship sponsored by Deloitte by winning the Grade II FEI Individual Test with a score of 68.529%. With poise and confidence, this combination put in a graceful performance.
Canada’s Sharon Buffitt and Elektra II and Jason Surnoski and Bella de la Noche placed second and third, respectively, with scores of 66.225% and 64.755%. View the Grade II FEI Individual Test results.
In the Grade I FEI Individual Test, it was a close competition between U.S. athletes Trunnell and Paralympian Margaret McIntosh (Reading, Pa.). In the end, it was Trunnell and her NTEC Daytona Beach, a 15-year-old Westphalian mare, who claimed the top spot with a score of 70.655%. McIntosh and her Heros, a 13-year-old Danish Warmblood mare, were close behind in second with 70.476%.
Canada’s Winona Hartvikson and Ultimo placed third with a score of 69.286%. View the Grade I FEI Individual Test results.
U.S. athlete Robert Bezzeg (Campobello, S.C.) and his 16-year-old Thoroughbred gelding Bedroom Pal contested the Grade V CPEDI1* Team Test, scoring a 60.934%.
The CPEDI3* and USEF 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 continue on Sunday, September 17, beginning at 8 a.m. EST and will be available on USEF Network. 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.