July 2014 Issue - page 10

Page 10
July 2014
PENNSYLVANIA EQUESTRIAN
PA Para-Equestrians Finish One/
Two at National Championships
Rebecca Hart, Unionville,
PA, claimed her sixth USEF Pa-
ra-Equestrian Dressage National
Championship June 5 at the
USET Foundation Headquarters
in Gladstone, N.J. over a field of
24 entries.
Hart and her own Schroet-
er's Romani, who she has only
been riding since November after
purchasing the mare in Europe,
closed out the week scoring
76.917 for her Freestyle to finish
on a championship score of
74.642. The two-time Paralym-
pian rode the 11-year-old Danish
Warmblood to her familiar "Clas-
sical Gas" melody, increasing
the level of difficulty by adding
lateral movements.
"When I first rode her, I
knew she was very special," said
the Grade II rider of Schroeter's
Romani. "She was really willing
to work with me, and her body
and my body worked right away,
and mentally we were right in
sync."
Hart, who has enjoyed
seeing the sport of para-equestri-
an dressage grow in the United
States, believes that all the riders
in the program are inspiring each
other to reach new competitive
heights.
"I think that pressure is
always there," said Hart of her
quest to capture her sixth Na-
tional Championship. "To see the
growth (in the sport in the U.S.)
from where it was when I first
started is amazing. The pressure
is always there, but that is a good
thing."
Earning the USEF Pa-
ra-Equestrian Dressage National
Reserve Championship was Mar-
garet McIntosh of Reading, PA
and Rio on a score off 71.582.
The former eventer and her own
eight-year-old Rheindlander
mare performed an up-tempo
Freestyle set to music from "The
King and I" to score 73.500 in
the final Grade 1A test of the
week.
"I came here with very
few expectations and I'm very
satisfied with my horse," said an
excited McIntosh of her second
National Championship appear-
ance. "She is a little green, but
she was great all week and I'm
very happy."
Finishing the championship
in third place were Roxanne
Trunnell (Rowlett, Texas) and her
own 19-year-old Dutch Warm-
blood mare, Nice Touch, on a
total of 71.582.
Hart was the overall victor
in the Grade II Championship
and McIntosh won the overall
Grade 1A championship, while
Trunnell won the Freestyle. Hart
also claimed highest honors in
the individual and team tests held
June 3 and 4.
"The caliber of riding has
gone through the roof," said
Ground Jury member Kristi
Wysocki of the 2014 National
Champion field. "It was very ex-
citing to judge because our riders
are so good."
Following the event, the
USEF named Hart and Schro-
eter’s Romani as the first of 10
horse-and-athlete combinations
listed by ranking on the Short
List for the 2014 Alltech FEI
World Equestrian Games U.S.
Para-Equestrian Dressage Team.
The top four ranked horse-and-
athlete combinations will serve
as the Team and the fifth-ranked
combination will serve as the
self-funded Individual.
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Pennsylvania Equestrian.
Six-Time U.S. Para-Equestrian Champion Rebecca Hart with her
mount Schroeters Romani, her groom Alex Philpin, and Marga-
ret Duprey (co-owner of Schroeters Romani) after winning at the
World Equestrian Games, selection trials and National Champion-
ships in Gladstone NJ, June 4.
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