Sunday, September 23, 2012

Plantation Field CIC Update

The horse trials division of the Plantation Field CIC and H.T. finished up on Saturday evening. Jeff Kibbie with Loki and Megan Lynn with Hoosier Daddy both finished well in competitive Intermediate divisions.

Megan and Hoosier have their game faces on before Cross Country

After finishing fourth in the Preliminary division of the American Eventing Championships, Megan and Hoosier traveled from their home in Kentucky to Blue Hill for a week of training to prepare for Plantation. They were rewarded in dressage on Friday with a 27.6 and had a well-ridden show jumping round despite a few rails to sit overnight in tenth place.

Jeff Kibbie and Loki are back in Pennsylvania after a summer of traveling for Jeff's business as a course builder and designer, Equi-Sport Services. Jeff and Loki earned a 41.6 in dressage and maintained their position with two rails down in a very difficult show jumping course.

Megan and Jeff had to wait until 5:15 and 5:30 PM on Saturday to contest the Intermediate XC. Late in the day there was some concern about shadows on the jumps, but storms began to roll in before their rides. Despite the light being a bit dim, the temperature dropped a bit and the rain held off, creating good conditions for their rides. Megan went first and had a superb clear round to finish with a few time penalties in tenth place. Jeff and Loki looked like the seasoned partnership they are to finish double clear and move up eleven positions into sixth place. Congratulations to both pairs!

Megan is traveling back to Kentucky today with her mother and Hoosier. We will miss her and hope she comes back soon!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Carlingford JD

Long time Blue Hill Farm boarder Trudy Phillips recently sold her horse Carlingford JD to a wonderful new home. Although we all miss him, it's great to hear that he is doing well with his new owner. I asked Trudy and Rachel Gross to write a bit about JD and what he means to them.

JD and Grade 1A Para Dressage rider Laura Goldman at the 2010 WEG Selection
Trials and National Championships. Laura and JD went on to compete in the World Equestrian Games.

From Trudy:

JD, the Irish Sport Horse, has a wonderful new home with Jen Smith of Telford, PA.  I am so thrilled that JD will have the opportunity to do what he loves to do which is to compete.  With my own business, I felt that poor JD was being ignored even though Jessica and Missy have been super to find riders for him.  

What an amazing 10 ½ years it has been from exasperating to exhilarating! JD came from Paddy Hughes in Ireland.  Missy saw him and let me know that she had found my next horse.  She told me the only drawback was that he had four white legs.  There was no way that I, working a full time job, would be able to keep those legs clean.  I already had difficulties keeping up with Paddy, a bay, my other horse at Blue Hill.  If she could live with it, I could.  What a shock to Jessica, when he arrived - this multi-color, gypsy, Thelwell pony-like, small horse.  Throughout his tenure at Blue Hill, JD lived up to his initials as Gigi (Margaret) McIntosh fondly nicknamed him “Just Dirty” much to the dismay of Jessica.  Thank heavens for cans of White Spray!  

Despite physical uncleanliness, JD was loved by both Jessica and Missy after we found his niche.  As it is with any young horse, I had to overcome his youthful games.  However, I realized very quickly that he liked company either equine or human.  Once he had a companion, he would do just about anything and without one ... well, let just say, it was questionable as to how long I would stay in the saddle.  How he grew from those earlier years to where he is today as such a solid citizen.  

Originally, he was to be an event horse with his breed of Connemara and Irish Warmblood and his ability to jump, but he had other ideas.  Not only I, but Missy and Hillary Moses discovered that we either won at the horse trials or a no go elimination.  After several extremely frustrating years, his career pathway became dressage and para-equestrian.  

Who would have thought that this little multi-colored dirty pony (even though he’s almost 16 hands) would become a para-equestrian and dressage star?  J competed at 4th level dressage with Rachel Gross, a Blue Hill Working Student, and me.  Both of us managed to have scores in the 60’s and win some classes.

Para-equestrian riders Elizabeth Pigott and Gigi McIntosh successfully competed with JD at their respective levels.  Elizabeth showed him several times at the National Championships and Gigi competed at the 2012 Olympic Selection Trials.  Although she did not make the team, she had only ridden him 2 months.

I was the proudest of JD in 2010, went he competed at the World Equestrian Games (WEG) with one of the USA para-riders.  He exceeded all my expectations by placing 4th overall in the team and individual tests as well 6th after the musical freestyle.  What a gentleman he was with all of the activity!  Nothing seemed to faze him.

Although I miss him terribly, I am so happy that he’s in the area, and that Jen has been so gracious to let me visit him and watch him compete.  Jen has been super!  I receive “picture hellos” from JD all the time as well as updates on his adventures.  I look forward to attending his shows and visiting him.  I wish Jen the best of luck in all of her competitions!

A "picture hello" from JD and Jen!

From Rachel Gross:

JD has been a staple of Blue Hill Farm for many years, he was imported from Ireland as a three year old and has been owned by Trudy Phillips until very recently he was sold to a very loving and appreciative family who will benefit from his ability to teach any rider. When I first came to Blue Hill as a working student, I was given JD to ride and have lessons on.  I had ridden at third level before, but I was definitely a little rough around the edges. JD was the perfect schoolmaster.  Lesson after lesson I was made to ride shoulder-in on the long sides of the ring until I resigned myself that I would never be able to do anything other than shoulder-in for the rest of my life. Then one day it became so easy.  After that, everything was easy. I started showing JD successfully at third level, and by that I mean he won pretty much every class I entered him in, except maybe one or two where we were second.  He won high point at my fourth level debut. He alone is responsible for so much of my education, and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to call him my competition partner for those few years.  Not only is he trained to Prix st George, but he also competed at the WEG in 2010 as a Para-Equestrian horse.  He is the most personable and easygoing all around competitor I've had the pleasure of knowing, and I wish him and his lucky new owner all the best in the world.

JD in his new home

Friday, September 7, 2012

United States Paralympic Equestrian Team Earns Top Scores at Largest Attended Paralympics

United States Paralympic Equestrian Team Earns Top Scores at Largest Attended Paralympics
Contact: Lindsay Yosay McCall

USA Team 2012 Missy Ransehousen, Jon Wentz, Rebecca Hart, Dale Dedrick and Donna Ponessa by Lindsay Yosay McCall
USA Team 2012 (Left to Right, top to bottom) Chef d'Equipe Missy Ransehousen, Jon Wentz, Rebecca Hart, Dale Dedrick and Donna Ponessa photo by Lindsay Yosay McCall

London, England – September 6, 2012 - “It has been exciting to compete at the home of Para-Dressage,” was the phrase echoed among athletes at the 2012 Paralympic Equestrian Games. It was Great Britain that developed Para-Dressage from the grass roots first and created an entire Para-Equestrian culture. It was Great Britain who aligned with their able-bodied Equestrian association, and it was Great Britain who earned Team Gold every year since the first inclusion of Para-Dressage at the 1996 Atlanta Paralympics. The growth within Great Britain is an example of the growth around the world and in the United States for the high performance discipline of Para-Equestrian Dressage. Taking risks, riding infallible tests, and suffering unexpected losses were all pieces to their success at the London Paralympics.

The Great Britain team was noted for saying how impressed they were with the other countries. They explained that everyone really stepped-up their game since the 2008 Paralympics and it was unexpected that they would have to work so hard to earn the Gold.  With teams like the United States clicking the heels of historically supreme athletes, it is only time before the competition becomes more than just an accurate test.

With a sold-out equestrian venue at Greenwich Park in London, the United States fielded a team of four Para-Dressage riders who were chosen within the most successful year for Para-Dressage in history. The team included Chef d’Equipe Missy Ransehousen, equestrians Jonathan Wentz of Richardson, TX; Rebecca Hart of Unionville, Penn.; Donna Ponessa of New Windsor, NY; and Dale Dedrick of Ann Arbor, Mich.. The United States successfully marched down the centerline each day, which was subsequently the Prime Meridian, from August 30-September 4th completing one of the most successful Para-Equestrian years in history.

The first day of Team Test competition for Para-Dressage competitors was a day of nerves, new sights and sounds, and sold-out seats for spectators. Riders had familiarized themselves and their horses with the venue the prior day before competition, but nothing would prepare them for the ambiance and pressure of the first day of competition. Over six days 78 horse and rider combinations from 26 nations would compete at the 2012 London Paralympic Equestrian Games. The ante had been upped since the 2008 Beijing Games and included impressive horses, well-prepared teams, and top scores that were only differentiated by a thousandth of a point at times. The United States had a thrilling week with riders just missing the chance to step onto the podium for a Paralympic Games Medal.

The Team Test was the first competition followed by the Individual Test. Both of these scores were counted and combined towards the Team Overall score. The top three rides of each team would be added together and compared to the other countries for a Team Medal score. The final day of competition included the Freestyle Test to music. Dr. Dale Dedrick was the first U.S. rider in the ring and drew an early spot in the start order on the first day. Her mount Bonifatius was a little uneasy at times but Dedrick took a breath and finished her Grade II Team Test. Dedrick took her notes from the judging panel and used them to create an even better Individual Test. Dedrick noted about her Individual Test, “It was a much more forward and obedient test. We still had a lot of Erik’s, ‘Oh, no what’s happening now?’. But I was much more prepared for it today, I knew he was going to pull and I was ready to attack the minute he tried that and I said, ‘no, no get in there, get in there, get going.’” Dedrick’s last medium trot was the highlight of her Test finishing down centerline to an abrupt halt.

On the final day of competition Dale and Bonifatius put forth their best freestyle and earned their highest score of the week. “It’s just horse showing,” explained Dedrick. “You have good days and bad days. None of us get a lot of opportunities to practice at this level or ride in front of an audience this huge.”

She continued, “The final day was a dedication to my amazing trainer Roz Kinstler, who without her I would not have competed, my groom Meagan Szarek who got a dirty horse sparking white, and to the British people who brilliantly put together a fantastic Paralympics. I am also thankful to Missy our Chef d’Equipe who was that extra-educated eye tweaking items we may have looked over in everyday training.”

Past Paralympian and Captain of the United States Team, Rebecca Hart was second to complete the Team Test in Grade II with Jessica Ransehousen’s Lord Ludger.  The duo performed a 69.095% on the Team Test placing them in the fourth place position overall. When Rebecca entered the arena for her Individual test she explained, “I lost his focus a bit when we were doing our tour but I was able to get him back and refocus on me. I was happy that I was able to take him back from the brink.” Hart focused on the walk during her Individual Test due to the judge’s commenting that she needed a little more impulsion. “I needed a little more in the walk which was the comment on the first day which we tried to remedy, but we just weren’t able to get there, so that was a little disappointing.”

 Jonathan Wentz and Kai Handt’s Richter Scale were the third U.S. pair to ride for the red, white, and blue in Grade Ib. Wentz and Richter Scale scored a 70.364% on the Team Test placing them in the fifth position overall for Grade Ib. Although they had a solid test they were given lower scores than desired on specific elements of his test. When Wentz and NTEC Richter Scale trotted down the Prime Meridian for his Individual Test the pair was energized. Wentz explained, “During the Team Test we got hit for being too conservative but during the Individual Test we went too much the other way and hit too hard on the accelerator. We got way too wobbly in the trot-work but on the walk-work we finally scored the way we were hoping. Unfortunately the trot work hurt us; We did have great turn on the haunches and an accurate halt.”

Wentz ended the week with his most accurate, expressive, and technically difficult Freestyle he had ever performed. Just before the Paralympics Wentz and Kai Handt (trainer and horse owner) went back to the drawing board to develop a new freestyle with new music. “ We wanted something that highlighted each of the movements,” smiled Wentz. “A little more organized, a little more grandiose for Richter. It is the Paralympics and it needed to be perfect. We made it technically difficult with a lot of 10-meter circles and extensions in to a 10 meter circle. An extension into a 10-meter circle is a movement that is really hard to do even for able-bodied riders.”

Jonathan made history for the United States Equestrian Team as the highest placed equestrian athlete while in London. Out of the Show Jumping, Eventing, Dressage Team, and Para-Dressage Team, Wentz earned the highest ranking of all U.S. athletes.

“It’s a dream come true,” noted Wentz. “I started riding horses for therapy at age two then began riding horses for sport. At age 12 I was told that horses were part of the Paralympics and that may be something I would be interested in for the future. From that day on I set a goal and it has taken eight years to get here. It’s an achievement, we are the best in the country, we are blessed to represent our country, especially here in London where the Paralympics movement is huge. Richter was amazing and I want to thank my mom and my trainer/horse owner Kai Handt for getting me here. We came to him, he said he would get me here, and he delivered better than I ever expected. I never thought I would be in the top five at the second largest sporting event in the world.”

Donna Ponessa and Wes Dunham’s horse Western Rose were the last U.S. combination to compete. Donna performed a fifth place Team Test at 70.235% and then completed an Individual Test scoring a 69.200 placing her in sixth in the Grade Ia competition. “We gave it our all but it could have been a lot better,” declared Ponessa. “There was some improvement over the Team Test and some things we didn’t do as well,” said Ponessa. “It’s a learning process.”

Ponessa and Western Rose, owned by Wes Dunham, were the only Grade Ia pair to include trot music within their freestyle. Ponessa commented, “Rosie is a really smart mare and she gets bored with walking. The walk has no natural impulsion to it so I can feed off of the trot work because she is using her back-end. That makes my walk a little more fluid with more impulsion. She has an effortless trot and she is one of the few horses can actually trot on. I also learned a lot from the judge’s comments including the idea that my test is not a race and the accuracy needs to be spot on. I took my trainer Wes Dunham’s advice that faster doesn't not mean bigger; ‘Go for the big without rushing,’ said dunham. At last when I entered that ring Wes looked at me and said, ‘Make this the best ride of your career and enjoy every second of it.’ I was shocked how relaxed I was and how much fun I had in my freestyle.”

The United States had one of their best years in history at the Paralympics. With the intense competition from all of the countries, everyone had to work hard to achieve top scores in front of international FEI judges President Kjell Myhre (NOR), Lillian Iannone (ARG), Freddy Leyman (BEL), Anne Prain (FRA), Gudrun Hofinga (GER), Sarah Rodger (GBR), Carlos Lopes (POR), and Kathy Amos-Jacob (FRA) as the reserve member. Chef d’Equipe Missy Ransehousen touched on how she felt about the U.S. Team, “I think they were quite good. Each of the riders really rode to their best ability. Overall they are going to come out of this as stronger athletes, a stronger country, and come out of this ready to prepare for the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy.”

The United States Paralympic Team finished in seventh place behind Great Britain who earned Gold, Germany for Silver, underdog Ireland who took home the Bronze only tenths of a percentage ahead of fourth place, The Netherlands. Belgium and Denmark would follow for fifth and sixth place with the United States in seventh ahead of Canada and France. This was an important year for Para-Dressage not only because Para-Dressage came full circle but because of the intense competition. Lee Pearson, nine-time, Gold Medal winner who earned both a Silver and Bronze noted, “I really did think 11 medals were possible for our team. I was hoping for all Gold Medals but I didn’t know the game play was at such a high level. I am happy we have the quality and did how we did.”

Deborah Criddle agreed, “The horse power and level has certainly gone up. This is something we are going to have to really look at. Sophie Wells concurred, “The other nations have put a lot of money into their horse power and I think from my point of view most of us brought younger horses to compete here against high-level horses.”

Wells added, "This Games shows the world-class program a lot of us have come through thanks to the funding form U.K. Sports. This is something we need to look at to try and stay ahead of the game.”

With the Paralympic movement coming home Lee Pearson remarked, “It’s been wonderful to have the sport come home. We’ve always been a satellite location where people travel specifically to see us. Location wise, having this Games in the middle of London really shows the amount of equestrianism in our country. Equestrian is a difficult sport, unique, and we work hard, It's been great to be this close to London and show the world our sport. The temporary facility that was created, we would never have dreamed of. We wish we could split this place into five so each of us, Natasha, Sophie (Wells), myself, Deborah, and Sophie (Christansen) could have a piece of this brilliant facility.”

James Dwyer, who competed as one of the four team members for Ireland and earned a 74.4% on his freestyle with Orlando remarked, “It is absolutely super that we won a Bronze Medal. We are over the moon. This is our first team to ever come to the Paralympics and to go home with a bronze medal is amazing; This will be really good for Ireland.  I actually think we are the only Irish Team to receive a Medal at this games so our team that heads to Rio definitely has something to live up to.”

As the Paralympic Summer Games comes to a close this week the memories created and lessons learned will forever impact each one of these Para-Equestrian athletes. The teams will head back to their countries, celebrate their wins and begin preparing for the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Normandy, France. Equestrians from Show Jumping, Eventing, Dressage, Para-Equestrian Dressage, Vaulting, Combined Driving, Endurance, and Reining will compete at the largest Equestrian event in the world August 24-September 7, 2014.

(#)- denotes placing within division

Grade Ia
USA 014 PONESSA Donna WESTERN ROSE 70.235 (5) 69.200 (6) 70.750 (8)
Grade Ib
USA 115 WENTZ Jonathan RICHTER SCALE 70.364 (5) 70.348 (4) 73.000 (5)
Grade II
USA 223 HART Rebecca LORD LUDGER 69.095 (4) 68.286 (11) 73.250 (5)
USA 222 DEDRICK Dale BONIFATIUS 60.286 (19) 64.619 (17) 69.150 (10)

USA - United States 417.528
Number, Name (Last, First), Name of Horse, Grade, Team Test Score, Ind. Championship Test Score, Total Points

115 WENTZ Jonathan, RICHTER SCALE, Grade Ib 70.364, 70.348 140.712
223 HART Rebecca, LORD LUDGER Grade II 69.095, 68.286 137.381
014 PONESSA Donna, WESTERN ROSE, Grade Ia 70.235, 69.200, 139.435
222 DEDRICK Dale, BONIFATIUS Grade II 60.286, 64.619, 124.905
223 HART Rebecca, LORD LUDGER Grade II 69.095, 68.286 137.381



GOLD GBR - Great Britain 


SILVER GER - Germany 

BRONZE IRL – Ireland

Event Name, Grade, Date, 
Medal Ride (Last, First) Horse NPC

Ind. Championship Test Grade Ia 2 SEP 2012 

Ind.Championship Test Grade Ib 1 SEP 2012 

Ind. Championship Test Grade II 1 SEP 2012 

Ind. Championship Test Grade III 2 SEP 2012 

Ind. Championship Test Grade IV 2 SEP 2012 

Freestyle Test Grade Ia 4 SEP 2012 

Freestyle Test Grade Ib 3 SEP 2012 

Freestyle Test Grade II 3 SEP 2012 

Freestyle Test Grade III 4 SEP 2012 

Freestyle Test Grade IV 4 SEP 2012 

Grade Ia COUNTRY, NUMBER, NAME(LAST, First), Horse's Name, TEAM SCORE%, INDIVIDUAL%, FREESTYLE%, Overall ranking

NOTE* Overall Ranking is not reflective of the individual medals or team medals this is just an overall ranking based on all scores.

GBR 005 CHRISTIANSEN Sophie JANEIRO 6 83.765 (1) 82.750 (1) 84.750 (1)
SIN 012 TAN Laurentia RUBEN JAMES 2 74.235 (2) 73.650 (3) 79.000 (2)
IRL 007 KEARNEY Helen MISTER COOL 72.235 (3) 76.700 (2) 78.450 (3)
ITA 009 MORGANTI Sara ROYAL DELIGHT 69.824 (6) 68.650 (8) 73.900 (4)
IRL 008 SAVAGE Geraldine BLUES TIP TOP TOO 68.000 (10) 68.800 (7) 72.300 (5)
LAT 010 SNIKUS Rihards CHARDONNAY 68.118 (9) 70.400 (4) 72.050 (6)
BRA 002 FROES RIBEIRO DE OLIVA Sergio EMILY 71.353 (4) 67.700 (10) 71.150 (7)
USA 014 PONESSA Donna WESTERN ROSE 70.235 (5) 69.200 (6) 70.750 (8)
AUS 001 OAKLEY Rob STATFORD MANTOVANI 57.588 (14) 67.300 (12) 68.550 (9)
SWE 013 JOHNSSON Anita DONAR 67.941 (11) 68.050 (9) 66.800 (10)

AUT 102 PUCH Pepo FINE FEELING 73.636 (2) 75.043 (3) 79.150 (1)
FIN 106 KARJALAINEN Katja ROSIE 70.909 (4) 69.739 (5) 74.250 (2)
GBR 109 PEARSON Lee GENTLEMAN 74.682 (1) 75.391 (2) 74.200 (3)
AUS 101 FORMOSA Joann WORLDWIDE PB 71.955 (3) 75.826 (1) 73.700 (4)
USA 115 WENTZ Jonathan RICHTER SCALE 70.364 (5) 70.348 (4) 73.000 (5)
CAN 105 GOWANLOCK Ashley MAILE 67.955 (8) 69.304 (6) 68.800 (6)
FIN 107 KIVIMAKI Jaana GRIVIS 63.727 (14) 65.957 (10) 68.700 (7)
NOR 111 DOKKAN Jens Lasse LEOPOLD 65.409 (12) 69.000 (7) 68.450 (8)
FRA 108 SALLES Valerie MENZANA D'HULM 69.500 (6) 68.087 (8) 67.900 (9)
BRA 103 FERNANDES ALVES Marcos LUTHENAY DE VERNAY 65.682 (11) 62.609 (14) 67.800 (10)

Grade II
GBR 207 BAKER Natasha CABRAL 76.095 (1) 76.857 (1) 82.800 (1)
GER 208 NAPEL Britta AQUILINA 3 72.571 (2) 76.048 (2) 77.400 (2)
GER 209 TRABERT Angelika ARIVA-AVANTI 67.143 (9) 76.000 (3) 76.150 (3)
IRL 210 BYRNE Eilish YOURI 67.714 (7) 73.429 (5) 75.250 (4)
USA 223 HART Rebecca LORD LUDGER 69.095 (4) 68.286 (11) 73.250 (5)
BEL 203 MINNECI Barbara BARILLA 68.571 (5) 70.095 (8) 73.100 (6)
NED 217 BOLMER Gert VORMAN 66.143 (11) 70.143 (7) 71.650 (7)
CAN 205 BARWICK Lauren OFF TO PARIS 72.095 (3) 71.857 (6) 71.500 (8)
RSA 221 MOLLER Wendy FIRST LADY VAN PRINS 64.429 (13) 66.000 (15) 69.900 (9)
USA 222 DEDRICK Dale BONIFATIUS 60.286 (19) 64.619 (17) 69.150 (10)

Grade III
GER 307 BRENNER Hannelore WOMEN OF THE WORLD 75.741 (1) 73.467 (1) 81.700 (1)
GBR 306 CRIDDLE Deborah LJT AKILLES 72.926 (2) 71.267 (2) 78.550 (2)
DEN 302 DALSKOV Annika AROS A FENRIS 72.889 (3) 71.233 (3) 76.950 (3)
NED 310 VOETS Sanne VEDET PB 72.037 (4) 68.767 (5) 75.400 (4)
DEN 303 SUNESEN Susanne THY'S QUE FAIRE 71.333 (5) 69.700 (4) 73.550 (5)
FRA 304 LETARTRE Jose WARINA 69.370 (6) 67.800 (6) 72.600 (6)
FRA 305 VINCHON Vladimir FLIPPER D'OR 69.333 (7) 67.433 (7) 68.300 (7)
GER 308 ZEIBIG Steffen WALDEMAR 67.667 (8) 66.233 (8) 67.150 (8)
NZL 312 STOCK Rachel RIMINI PARK EMMERICH 65.481 (9) 65.733 (9) 66.850 (9)
ARG 301 GUGLIALMELLI LYNCH Patricio NIRVANA PURE INDULGENCE 59.519 (12) 60.200 (11) 62.050 (10)

Grade IV
BEL 403 GEORGE Michele RAINMAN 72.906 (2) 77.065 (1) 82.100 (1)
GBR 408 WELLS Sophie PINOCCHIO 75.906 (1) 76.323 (2) 81.150 (2)
NED 412 HOSMAR Frank ALPHAVILLE 71.781 (3) 73.097 (3) 78.600 (3)
DEN 406 JORGENSEN Line DI CAPRIO 69.406 (5) 70.258 (5) 76.800 (4)
BEL 404 VERMEULEN Ciska WHOONEY TUNES 66.750 (9) 71.613 (4) 75.000 (5)
IRL 410 DWYER James ORLANDO 69.719 (4) 68.516 (6) 74.400 (6)
FRA 407 BIZET Nathalie RUBICA III 67.281 (8) 67.581 (10) 73.500 (7)
GER 409 WEIFEN Lena DON TURNER 68.281 (7) 67.581 (9) 72.100 (8)
BEL 402 DEKEYZER Ulricke CLEVERBOY VAN D'ABEL 68.625 (6) 68.000 (8) 69.550 (9)
CAN 405 ELSTONE Eleonore ZARENO 66.688 (10) 68.226 (7) 68.750 (10)

Rebecca Hart, 27, of Unionville, Penn. and Jessica Ransehousen's Holsteiner gelding Lord Ludger
Jonathan Wentz, 21, of Richardson, Texas and Kai Handt's 18 year-old NTEC Richter Scale
Donna Ponessa, 51, of New Windsor, N.Y. and Wesley Dunham's Oldenburg mare Western Rose
Dale Dedrick, 56, of Ann Arbor, Mich. and her 14 year-old grey Hanoverian Bonifatius

Team Staff:
Missy Ransehousen (Unionville, PA)- Chef d'Equipe
Jim Wolf (Lebanon, NJ)- Chef de Mission
Pam Lane (Gladstone, NJ)- Team Leader
Stacey Kent (Cochranville, PA)- Team Veterinarian

For more information about the United States Equestrian Federation please visit

For more information about the Para-Equestrians heading to London please visit

To view more about the London 2012 Paralympics please visit the official Paralympic website at

Monday, September 3, 2012


Hart and Wentz Storm to Top Five Placings on First Freestyle Day of the 2012 Paralympic Games

RELEASE: September 3, 2012

Jonathan Wentz and NTEC Richter Scale finished fifth in Monday's Grade1b Freestyle (Shannon Brinkman)
Jonathan Wentz and NTEC Richter Scale finished fifth in Monday's Grade1b Freestyle (Shannon Brinkman)
Greenwich, UK 
- The United States spent much of Monday on the edge of their seats as riders produced top class performances throughout the day at the 2012 Paralympic Games. American riders came within slim margins of vaulting themselves onto the medal podium as they earned their best scores of the week.

Both Rebecca Hart and Jonathan Wentz rode their best tests of the Games to jump to the top of the leaderboard, then saw their totals eclipsed by the final rides in their divisions. Both finished their respective Freestyle Championships in fifth place.

Grade II

Hart (Unionville, PA) entered the main arena on Monday morning with redemption on her mind. The Grade II competitor was determined to earn higher marks then she had in the Individual Test, a performance she had higher expectations for then her 11th place finish. In the Freestyle Test, 27-year-old Hart was able to get the effort she wanted out of Jessica Ransehousen's Lord Ludger. The Oldenburg gelding produced a flowing and active Freestyle, which had an added degree of difficulty by including lateral work to score 73.250%.

Hart was very pleased with her test and the final picture she left for the Ground Jury of Kjell Myhre, Sarah Rodger, Gudrun Hofinga, Freddy Leyman, and Anne Prain.

"It feels great; considering we had some problems in the Individual Championship Test," said Hart. "So it was nice to go in there and remedy some of those and just to leave that impression with the judges at the end of the competition was nice."

The pair performed to the music of "Classical Gas" which suited the rangy gelding very well. Hart also incorporated feedback she has received from the last two tests to up their scores today.

"We thought it [the music] suited the horse; it was calm enough but increased his performance by not getting him too excited," said Hart. "I know the Freestyle well, I love riding the Freestyle. We did take a look at what they [the judges] had to say and we did try to ride to that. The honest fact was that we needed to get the walk freer and more animated, so we tried to do that."

Dale Dedrick (Ann Arbor, MI) also represented the United States in Grade II competition, finishing in 10th place with her own Bonifatius. In Thursday's Team Test the 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding was quite unsettled in the Greenwich Park atmosphere. However competing in their third test on Monday the pair was the picture of quiet confidence.

They rode a fluid Freestyle set the music of "Kitten of the Keys" scoring 69.150%. Like her teammate Dedrick also increased the difficulty of the test by including lateral work.

"I was delighted. It's lovely music and it makes it easy for me to just relax and let the horse trot to the music," said Dedrick of her Freestyle. "I think he likes it too."

Great Britain's Natasha Baker scored her second Individual Gold medal of these Games with Cabral. Germany took Silver and Bronze respectively with Britta Napel and Aquilina 3 and Angelika Trabert and Ariva-Avanti .

Grade 1b

Wentz (Richardson, TX) entered the main arena Monday afternoon with great determination riding Kai Handt's NTEC Richter Scale. The pair set the tone immediately with their bold entrance and kept their energy up in a test that included leg-yields and earned them a 73%. The music which was an homage to music from World War II movies perfectly suited the 18-year-Shire cross gelding.

Wentz was very pleased he was able to remedy some of the issues he experienced earlier in the week.

"The first couple days I dug myself some holes, with some rider errors. But today was absolutely the best performance I could have asked for from my horse," said Wentz. "The way my horse performed, the way I was able to learn from mistakes the first days to put in the test we had today, really makes me happy."

It was an emotional day for the Grade 1b competitor as it was his final appearance with NTEC Richter Scale, a horse that has carried him to his first World Championships, Paralympic Games and National Championship. These games turned out to be a fitting end to their storied career.

"My horse was out of this world today, he's been out of this world this entire time and it's been going great," Wentz paid tribute to not only NTEC Richter Scale but to all the horses at the Paralympic Games.

"The horses give us their all every day, especially with the Paralympic horses and the Paralympic riders it takes a special kind of horse to learn what's going on with the disabilities. So all the horses that are here this week are saints and they all deserve applause."

Pepo Puch of Austria claimed the Gold medal with Fine Feeling, while Finland's Katja Karjalainen and Rosie earned Silver and Great Britain's Lee Pearson and Gentleman won the Bronze medal.

Donna Ponessa (New Windsor, NY) will be the final U.S. competitor of the 2012 Paralympic Games tomorrow afternoon in Grade 1a competition.

For Results and Orders of Go visit;

Follow the 2012 U.S. Para-Equestrian Team here.