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.