Friday, October 8, 2010

Congratulations Laura!

Laura Goldman finished in an impressive 4th position with a score of 69.9 after her Individual Championship test on Carlingford JD!!

Many thanks to Scott, who is sending me photos from the prior day's schooling.  We'll be sure to put together a full photo album after all the excitement from the event.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Great Results from James!

James called today to give me the final results of his Individual Championship Test.  Notably, the comment that he made was that he & Jessica were quite pleased with his results, and that optimism continued throughout our conversation.

The only real notable mistake came during his extended canter, where he took ownership for a shift in his own position which caused Ben to swap his lead.  He felt the judges didn't score him very high, with a 66%, but he was quite happy with his 5th place overall out of a field of 18 riders!

It was also a fun homecoming for James, with quite a few supporters from the Irish contingent, including Ronan Tynan, the Irish opera singer who sang at opening ceremonies.

Next up for James will be the Grade IV Freestyle on Sunday.

For the full list of results, please click here & check back frequently for our updated photo album.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Para-Dressage Gets Underway at Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games

Lisa Goldman and Carlingford JD

Click on the above photos for details and a high resolution version.

Photographs may be used free of charge only in relation to the PMG press releases they pertain to.
Para-Dressage Gets Underway at Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games

Written by: Lauren R. Giannini
Client: United States Para-Equestrian Association
Release Date: 2010-10-05
Lexington, KY – October 5, 2010 - The unofficial results for the team tests in the Para-Dressage Championships indicate that the top three teams are very close. Great Britain stands in first place on 214.98, with a slim advantage of 2.1 penalty points over second-placed Germany on 212.88. The Netherlands follows in third place on 211.91. The USA is eighth on 198.16. Please remember that these are provisional results. With any luck at all we’ll have confirmation that these are the official results by morning from the company doing the WEG scoring, but that’s another story. Stay tuned.

The highest placed rider for the USA was first-time international competitor Laura Goldman on Carlingford JD, the flashy black and white Irish Sporthorse gelding owned by Trudy Phillips. Classified 1a (most severely disabled, Goldman’s walk test netted a provisional score of 68.706 which put them in third. Great Britain’s Anne Dunham and Teddy scored 71.294 to secure first place, followed by Brazil’s Sergio Froes Rieriro De Oliva and Reliquaia on second with 69.529.

“I thought the test was OK,” said Goldman. “I trained to be very accurate, like my coach taught us to be. I’ve got to tell you, I was scared. Now it’s not scared. I’m amazed at myself. It’s because my horse is fantastic; without him I couldn’t do it. And my coach is really on the ball. I hope the sport grows in this country, and we get as strong as the Europeans.”

Goldman has only ridden Carlingford since the end of May – about 30 times all told before coming to Kentucky for the Games. “I never thought I’d get to this stage. I had to fight to ride and to get people to work with me outside of therapeutic classes,” admitted Goldman. “A lot of people think we’re like a sack of potatoes on a horse, but we’re not. I’ve always, always wanted to show, but I couldn’t. I’m hoping my score will help our team and we’ll move up. I hope I helped.”

Robin Brueckmann partnered with Elly Schobel’s Raison d’Etre and Susan Treabess did the honors aboard Moneypenny, owned by Katy Peterson. Both para-equestrians are classified Grade IV (least disabled). Brueckmann scored 65.750, netting sixth, Treabess earned 63.000 to stand 10th out of the 12 para-equestrians in the division. Michelle George (BEL), fourth to go, set the bar by earning the judges’ approval and 70.687 percent. The next two scores were respectable – 68.875 awarded to Frank Hosman (NED) and 68.500 earned by Henrik Weber Sibbesen (DEN) with the remainder ranging from 66 and change down to the mid-50s.

All things considered, Brueckmann felt very pleased about their test. She started riding the Lexington, KY bred three-quarter Thoroughbred gelding last October. “My trainer Elly Schobel showed him at Grand Prix and I started riding him last October; he’s a very nice horse and I think I maximized what I could get out of him,” said Brueckmann. “He lights up with a crowd. If they’d applauded even louder, he would have been even better.”

Susan Treabess also thought it was a good test, not to mention that the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games also happen to be her first time ever to get her feet wet in international competition.

“My goal was to have a clean test and a nice test and I did that,” said Treabess. “ We have a good harmony together because we have a really good relationship, and I thought this test was typical of that. I’ve been overwhelmed here. This has been a goal of mine for five years, and I’ve been riding this horse for three years to get ready. I show Prix St. Georges/Intermediaire I in able-bodied dressage. The horses have to be about the same level to do this. Really, this is way more competitive than Prix St. Georges in California. You have to have a quality horse to compete here.”

That’s a fact that became more apparent as the day continued. Lee Pearson (GBR) and Gentleman claimed the day’s high score of 73.818 (Grade Ib), with the Grade III leader Hannelore Brenner (GER) aboard Women of the World breathing down their necks on 73.556.

Jonathan Wentz (USA) found himself way down in the standings for Grade II, 15th out of 18 in the class, but his attitude reflected the spirit that prevailed all day in spite of cool temperatures and a not quite warming sun.

“It was really solid! Quite an experience! My whole goal was to have a clean and precise test, and I did that. For the future, we’d like to push the highlights more,” said Wentz. “There was pressure being added to the team at the last minute, but my goal is to support the USA.”

Para-Dressage competition continues with the Individual Championship Tests Wednesday and Thursday. Individual Freestyle will run on Friday and Saturday.

Photo Credit: Laura Goldman on Carlingford JD was the highest place rider for the USA in Tuesday’s para-dressage competition. Photo © 2010 Lauren Giannini. Photo may be used free of charge only in relation to this press release.

2010 Radio Show Episode 119!! Listen Now!!

2010 Radio Show Episode 119 - Jumping Starts and Para Preview

Daily radio coverage of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games continues with the first day of jumping and a preview of Para with Susan Treabess and Missy Ransehousen. Plus Jane Savoie joins us for a few minutes. Listen in...  
2010 Radio Show Episode 119 - Show Notes and Links:

Historical day for Para-Dressage at 2010 Games

Historical day for Para-Dressage at 2010 Games 
Staff Writer
Para-Dressage riders made history Tuesday at the 2010 Games. As they rode their dressage tests, they became the first Para-Equestrian athletes to ever compete in a World Equestrian Games.

“It’s brilliant just to be involved in such a big event,” said Jo Pitt of the British team. “It’s bigger than the Paralympics for us. Just to be beside the other able-bodied athletes is really exciting for us.”para1

As athletes finished their tests and rode out of the arena, their faces reflected the pay-off of competing on the world stage. Some have undergone tremendous struggles to get here, not only with their own limitations, but also with their horses, who have to be just as fit and as trusting as any other horse at the Games.

“I hope other sports come see our sport,” said Lauren Barwick of Canada. “There are a lot of misconceptions.”

The misconceptions Barwick listed included the talent of the riders, fitness of the horses and quality of competition, which she said all measure up to athletes in the other disciplines.

“Once we get on the horse, a lot of time you don’t know what our disability is,” Barwick said.

From afar, you can hardly tell that many of these athletes are disabled. And, similar to other athletes at the Games, the riders are their own worst critics, finishing their tests and discussing what went wrong and what they could improve.

“The fact that Para was included, it feels natural, because it should be included,” said Kaye Marks, a spectator who is involved with the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association.para2

The sport has been gaining recognition since 1996, when it was included in the Paralympic Games. In 2006, Para-Dressage became an FEI regulated sport, meaning that the 2010 Games would mark its debut with the seven other disciplines competing in the World Equestrian Games.

“It feels a bit like the Paralympics,” said Gert Bolmer from The Netherlands. “It is nice to be a part of the whole team. It is really good promotion for our sport.”

Many spectators dotted the stands of the Covered Arena, and some came over just to watch these unique athletes.

“I am sure it has got to be a great accomplishment for them,” said Cathy McCord a visitor from Cynthiana, Ky. “We just watched the jumping, which was awesome, but this is just a whole different feeling. It does give you chill bumps, doesn’t it?”

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Pennsylvania Equestrian Coverage of James

Click on this link for a great article on James in the Pa Equestrian!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

An Update for Ireland

I had a moment this morning to catch up with Jess & James during schooling in the indoor.  For me, this was my first time to really watch James and Jess together in action!  I was able to snap a few photos.....but I apologize for the blurry resolution, but my flash starting smoking during the schooling!!

They did look fantastic & are in great spirits, ready to represent their country.  Tomorrow they will ride their individual test in front of the judges, as a warm up round.  They compete on Thursday, and I would like to ask for anyone to submit photos to me for the blog, as I unfortunately will be returning home.

Please send all photo submissions to

More later on Missy, Becca & the US Team!!  LT

Friday, October 1, 2010

Last Day at the KER!

Missy & the Para crew have been down at the Kentucky Equine Research center (barn entrance pictured above) in Versailles now for 9 days.  They initially went through the team processing & opening ceremonies, and then quickly settled into a daily training routine.  Every training day has been very specific to each horse & rider combination.  Missy’s role as Chef D’Equipe requires that she acts as “captain of the ship”, but many of the riders are here with their dedicated trainers, thus Missy steps in as needed and everyone is working well as a team.
As a side bar comment, the USA Para Olympic riders are allowed 10 total riders as the host country, which consists of 1 team of 4 and 6 individual riders.  There are several different grades for the Para riders; 1a being walk only, up through a Grade 4, which is the most able bodied rider, equivalent to 3rd or 4th level in able bodied competitions.
Yesterday they competitors held a mock show, where they had a dress rehearsal for the competition, braiding & get in full dress.  Janet Foy from Colorado acted as our judge, critiquing their rides & giving them pointers for game day.
Tomorrow the team will be moving to the horse park & schedules will get very specific, so each country gets their alotted practice time in the ring.   Several team supporters will be sending in more pictures, so stay tuned for more updates.

Many thanks to everyone at the Kentucky Equine Research Center for their amazing hospitality!!

To read more about the Para Games, visit the WEG website.