Friday, August 31, 2012


An excerpt from EN's Friday NEWS & NOTES!

Lots of Paralympic news! All 78 horses passed the first inspection. The four US dressage riders, Rebecca Hart, Jonathan Wentz, Donna Ponessa, and Dale Dedrick are looking sharp. Natasha Baker of Great Britain is sitting pretty in the top spot in the Grade II, but is competing as an individual. Britta Napel, of Germany, and 2008's Individual champion sits in second. US's Rebecca Hart sits in fourth. Dutch rider Petra van de Sande is sitting in sixth in the Grade II and isn't happy she wasn't able to familiarize her horse with the sandbags propped against the dressage arena to keep it in place during story weather. "This time, [familiarization] wasn't done, and I am really annoyed with the organisers," van de Sande said. Though the sandbags may have been a problem for some, the record crowds didn't affect the dressage rides. Probably because the record sold out crowds only filled half the stadium. All 10,000 tickets that were made available were purchased, but the stadium seats 23,000. By lunch time on the second day, the number of spectators in Greenwich will have exceed the total number at Beijing. In carrying on the British medal style, Lee Pearson wants to add three more Paralympic gold medals to the British legacy. [Dressage Daily] [Horsetalk] [Independent] [Telegraph] [Interview with Rebecca Hart] [Mirror-Pearson Interview]

Wednesday, August 29, 2012



Please see the Chronicle article below for a wonderful review of our US team & a list of their competition schedule.  
August 28, 2012

Meet The U.S. Para- Dressage Team

U.S. Equestrian Federation High Performance Director of Para-Equestrian Pam Lane congratulated the team for the 2012 Paralympics including (from left): Dale Dedrick, Donna Ponessa, Jonathan Wentz and Becca Hart. Photo by Lindsay McCall.

Still have Olympic fever? Not to worry, the 2012 London Paralympics kick off today, Aug. 29, with the Opening Ceremonies. Para-dressage starts Aug. 30 with the Grade II and Grade Ib team tests, and the competition runs through Sept. 4. You can find a full schedule of the events on theLondon 2012 website.
Sixteen countries—Great Britain, Germany, Denmark, Canada, the United States, the Netherlands, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Belgium, South Africa, Australia, France, Singapore, Mexico and Norway—will send teams to London. Eleven other countries also earned invitations to send individual competitors.
The U.S. riders spent a week training with Chef d’Equipe Missy Ransehousen at USET Headquarters in Gladstone, N.J., before heading to London. FULL ARTICLE

Friday, August 24, 2012

Irish Paralympic Team's Journey to London

James Dwyer and Orlando appear on a poster outside
the Dublin Airport

The Team Ireland contingent of Blue Hill has had a comfortable, if not relaxing, last week of training in County Wicklow before the start of the Paralympic Games. After flying out of JFK Airport on August 14, Orlando (Ben) and his groom Jessica Brumfield made the journey from Liege, Belgium through England and into Ireland. As always, thank you to Mersant International and James Luck from LG Bloodstock for taking care of Ben's shipping arrangements in the States and overseas.

The main house at Spruce Lodge
James Dwyer joined Ben and Jess in England for the ferry ride to Ireland. There they settled into the beautiful Spruce Lodge training facility in County Wicklow, about an hour and a half outside of Dublin. Owned by Joan Keough, Spruce Lodge boasts a modern twenty stall barn with turnout, three dressage arenas, and spacious outdoor and indoor arenas with excellent footing. Jess, Jessica, and James happily stayed in one of the lovely on-site guest cottages. The Irish team is very thankful to the owners for inviting the Irish Team to hold their final training camp at such a fantastic facility.

Spruce Lodge rhododendrons

 Jessica Ransehousen flew into Dublin on August 18, arriving in Dublin at three in the morning. James's sister and brother in law greeted her at the airport. Jessica was very excited to see the Paralympic banner featuring James and Ben on the streets of Dublin. There was no rest for the weary, with a scheduled early morning jog for the Team horses and an examination by Pat, the Irish Team veterinarian. All of the horses passed with flying colors and the final team is set.

Eilish Byrne/Youri (Grade II)
James Dwyer/Orlando (Grade IV)
Helen Kearney/Mr. Cool (Grade IA)
Gerry Savage/Blues Tip Top Too (Grade IA)
Rosemary Gaffney/Aldham Mill Dubloon (Grade IV)

One of the Spruce Lodge dressage arenas
James has been having excellent rides on Ben and enjoying the beautiful Irish weather, although the indoor arena has been quite useful for the occasional downpour. 

On the penultimate day of camp the riders participated in a relaxed show with a few invited spectators. James rode the team test and Jessica was very pleased with his ride. That night the Irish Team held a special catered dinner with the Irish Equestrian Federation and Paralympic Ireland. Team members and Paralympic hopefuls heard a motivational speaker to prepare them for London and beyond.

Irish Chef d'Equipe, Coach, Riders, and Grooms

Team horses and grooms left Spruce Lodge on the 23rd in the Irish lorry to the ferry. They will rest at Albee's in Lambourn, UK where they can go on the walker before the move into Greenwich Park on the 24th. Riders and coaches flew directly to London where they received their accreditation and (hopefully!) had a restful first night in Athlete Village. Jessica is staying with James's brother in a very nice apartment near the Park where they will be joined by other members of James's family. 
Opening ceremonies for the Games is August 29.


Saturday, August 18, 2012


Team USA at the Selection Trials!
I had a moment to catch up with Missy, during her busy week at Gladstone, prepping the US Paralympic team during the training sessions leading up to their departure.  This week, Missy Ransehousen & the entire US team (Becca Hart, Jonathan Wentz, Donna Ponessa, and Dale Dedrick) were at the USET headquarter in Gladston NJ for training camp which started on Monday 13th.

Team Line Up and Their Coaches:

Rebecca Hart - Missy Ransehousen (PA)
Dale Dedrick-   Ros Kinstler (MI)
Donna Ponessa-  Wes Dunhan (NY)
Jonathan Wentz- Kai Handt (TX)
Mary Jordan - Missy and Jessica Ransehousen (ME) Reserve Rider

USEF - Pam Lane

Hope Hand was there too, to watch & be supportive to the athletes.  She rode in Athens & Sydney, so she graciously gave her time to help the riders in their final days as a team here in the states.

Two of our team riders have experience at this level with Becca having ridden at Hong Kong, and Jonathan & Mary competing in Kentucky at the WEG. 

The main focus this week for these riders was to do team building & bring them all together again at the site of the selection trials so they could work on additional training. Their individual trainers were busy still coaching them under the watchful eye of Missy, who's goal was to bring them together as a team.

Missy, the grooms and Stacy Kent (team vet) and the horses are flying out on Sunday with the horses.  The riders are scheduled to fly out on Tuesday after Missy and crew have settled into their local staging facility on the 20th.  The horses will recover for a couple days and on 24th they move into Greenwich where they have 5 days to get acclimated before the games!!

Thanks to Steph who posted this great link from the Telegraph on our FB page about a guide to the Para games!

For ongoing news throughout the games, check out the coverage from our friends at the USPEA.
The USOC also announced great news that the Para Team will finally get more deserved coverage throughout the games.  See below.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Today the United States Olympic Committee announced broadcast and online coverage plans for the London 2012 Paralympic Games. By creating original video content for the U.S. Paralympics YouTube channel,, while also partnering with NBCUniversal and the International Paralympic Committee, U.S. Paralympics will provide the American public with more coverage of the U.S. Paralympic Team than any previous year.
Beginning on Aug. 29 and continuing through the conclusion of the Games on Sept. 9, U.S. Paralympics will provide 10 daily video highlights packages via its U.S. Paralympics YouTube channel. The videos will chronicle the competition, athlete stories and will also include the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Videos chronicling the lead-up to the Games will also be available in late August.  FULL PRESS RELEASE


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Summer Intern Hannah Hassinger

Hannah and Sweet Kiss
Hannah Hassinger was an intern at BHF over the summer and came to us on the recommendation of her trainer Babsi Neidhart-Clark.  Hannah spent a semester on an exchange program at Hartpury College in England, and attends Delaware Valley College, where she is studying for an animal science degree with a focus in animal nutrition.

Hannah and her horse Sweet Kiss currently compete at second level dressage and also show in the Hunter/Jumper divisions.  We'll miss her so much and wish her the best of luck returning to school this fall.  We hope she comes back often to visit!

Thursday, August 2, 2012


Beau Tango 17.1H 2007 KWPN Gelding by Contango
(Sire of Steffen Peters' Ravel)
Currently jumping 3' courses quietly and schooling first level dressage. Beau hacks quietly alone or in company and happily crosses creeks and goes along roads. Easy and uncomplicated, "Beau" is suitable for dressage or hunter/ jumpers and would be perfect for a tall child or adult.

Sweet and quiet to handle in the barn. No vices or issues.
Photo Album Slideshow