Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Ann Romney Awards Rebecca Hart and Lord Ludger

Ann Romney Awards Rebecca Hart and Lord Ludger 2012 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championship Trophy at USEF Dressage Festival of Champions

Gladstone, NJ -June 26, 2012 - After earning the 2012 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championship title on June 13, 2012, Rebecca Hart, 26, of Unionville, PA, and Lord Ludger, owned by Jessica Ransehousen, were invited back to the United States Equestrian Team Foundation's headquarters at Hamilton Farm. In front of a congregation of press, spectators, and top Olympic Dressage athletes, Hart was awarded the perpetual Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championship trophy from presenter Ann Romney. Romney has been a long supporter of Dressage, as an owner and athlete and she is a spokesperson for Multiple Sclerosis, which is one of the many diagnoses that specific para-equestrian athletes face.

Ann Romney Awards Rebecca Hart and Lord Ludger 2012 US...

Rebecca Hart receiving 2012 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championship award from Ann Romney during the 2012 USEF Dressage Festival of Champions. Photograph taken in Gladstone, NJ (c) Susan Stickle at

In the moment that Rebecca Hart was awarded the 2012 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National championship trophy, she felt honored and humbled to represent the sport she has advocated for since 1998. Hart will add this National Championship to a list of accomplishments that she has achieved since 2003. In 2003 and 2007 she represented the U.S. at the Para-Equestrian World Championships, in 2006, 2008, 2009, and 2010 she won the USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championship and earned the reserve championship in 2010. In 2008 she represented the U.S. at the Beijing Paralympics, and in 2010 she represented the U.S. again at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

Hart expressed, "I have been asked how it feels to have won the National Championship five times. My answer is that it feels great, but I didn't win this alone. It takes a village to compete on this level and this win belongs to everyone who has ever helped me to get this point; From the person who offered the smallest word of encouragement, to family, friends, coaches, and corporate sponsors. I was truly honored to be asked to come back for the awards ceremony and presentation at the able-bodied USEF Grand Prix National Championships and selection trials with Ann Romney. It is fabulous for Dressage to be brought into the limelight and in conjunction, Para-Equestrian Dressage.

Gladstone is steeped in history and to have my sport included in that history is truly special. Mrs. Romney was so gracious as a presenter. It was inspiring to have Mrs. Romney present this award because not only is she herself a fellow equestrian, but she also knows what it means to work with physical challenges."

In 1998, Ann Romney was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. As an alternative to her
mainstream treatments she began participating in Dressage. As with many equestrians, she jumped head first into the equestrian sport and never looked back. In 2005 she earned her USDF Silver Medal and in 2006 her Gold Medal. While working with trainers Jan and Amy Ebeling she developed a desire to achieve the top of the sport. 

In 2012 at the USEF Dressage Festival of Champions her horse Rafalca, co-owned by Amy Ebeling and Beth Meyers, earned the third position with rider Jan Ebeling on the 2012 USEF nominated entries for the United States Olympic Dressage Team.

As Para-Equestrian Dressage and able-bodied Dressage intertwined at historic USET Foundation headquarters in Gladstone, NJ property, spectators began to learn more about the sport of Para-Dressage. Rebecca Hart trains week in and week out while she maintains a full-time job in corporate at the Starbucks Coffee Company. She trains with Para-Dressage Chef d'Equipe and prominent Event rider Missy Ransehousen, alongside Olympian Jessica Ransehousen at Blue Hill Farm. Hart was born with Familial Spastic Paraplegia, a genetic disease that causes muscle wasting and lack of control from the waist down. Her ability to overcome obstacles has transformed her into an award winning international athlete in both Para-Dressage and able-bodied competition. In the future Hart hopes to reach the top of the Dressage discipline. On June 19, 2012 Rebecca Hart was named to the top of USEF Nominated Entry for U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team for the 2012 Paralympics.

Full Para Press Release

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