Articles: Horse News
Ponessa Closes Out 2012 Paralympic Games for U.S.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 4, 2012
By Helen Murray
Greenwich, UK- The Para-Equestrian Dressage portion of the 2012 Paralympic
Games came to a close on Tuesday with Freestyle Test being ridden in Grades
IV, III and 1a. Donna Ponessa was the lone U.S. representative on the day,
performing her Grade 1a Freestyle in front of the Ground Jury of Kjell
Myhre, Lilian Iannone, Gudrun Hofinga, Sarah Rodger and Freddy Leyman.
Ponessa (New Windsor, NY) closed out the 2012 Paralympic Games for the
U.S. in fine style scoring 70.75% with Wesley Dunham's Western Rose. The
pair upped the difficulty
in their test by including trot work. Ponessa also showed her New York roots
selecting a medley of Broadway show tunes to complement the 9-year-old
Oldenburg mare's gaits.
The trot work not only added a degree of difficulty to the test but also
helped keep Western Rose's attention and allowed her to maintain a forward
"Rosie's a really smart mare and she gets bored sometimes with
walking. Because the walk has no natural impulsion to it, I can feed off
some of that because she's using her back end. That actually makes her walk
a lot more forward and more impulsive," said Ponessa. "The trot was placed
in those spots for that reason she also has the most effortless trot."
Ponessa was representing the U.S. for the first time in London and was
inspired by the entire experience.
"I don't know what adjective would describe the experience. It's just been
more than I ever could imagine. I knew it was going to be great but just not
The pair finished in eighth place
In Grade IV competition Michele George and Rainman from Belguim won Gold
with Great Britain's Sophie Wells riding Pinocchio to the Silver medal and
Frank Hosmar and Alphaville from The Netherlands earned the Bronze
medal. Hannelore Brenner and Women of the World won Gold in Grade III
competition, Great Britain's Deborah Criddle and LJT Akilles claimed the
Silver medal, and Annika Dalskov of Denmark with Aros A Fenris won
Silver. In Grade 1a Great Britain's Sophie Christiansen won her third Gold
medal with Janierro 6, Silver went to Singapore's Laurentia Tan, and Ruben
James 2 with Helen Kearney of Ireland clinching Bronze on Mister Cool.
The 2012 Paralympic Games have been proven to be the most successful
Championships for the U.S. Para-Equestrian Team in recent years. The
successful results provided by all the American riders are evidence of the
thriving and growing program.
For Results and Orders of Go visit;
Follow the 2012 U.S. Para-Equestrian Team here.
The vision of the United States Equestrian Federation is to provide
for equestrian sport in the United States of America by promoting the
of excellence from the grassroots to the Olympic Games, based on a
foundation of fair, safe competition and the welfare
of its human and equine athletes