Articles: Press Release
Kastama Wins Individual Gold at the 2006 FEI World Carriage Driving
United States Equestrian Federation, Inc.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 19, 2006
Lexington, KY - With a score of 47.20, Diane Kastama of Arroyo Grande,
CA, won the Grade 1 Individual Gold medal at the 2006 FEI World Carriage
Driving Championships for Drivers with Disabilities in Mensport,
Hellendoorn, The Netherlands. Kastama drove Jasper, her 11-year-old
Welsh Cob gelding. She and her teammate Mary Gray competed alongside
athletes from 60 different countries. The event was held September 6-10
and occurs every two years.
Both members of Team USA 2006 included two team veterans - Kastama and
Gray from North Yarmouth, ME. Gray drove a Norwegian Fjord mare named
Tatum, owned by the National Fjord Stud of Holland. Kastama competed
against 13 individuals from six countries. Members of the Great Britain
team came in second and third individually. In the team competition,
Kastama and Gray came in third with a score of 107.80. Great Britain
took first place with Germany second.
Kastama has competed for the U.S. in 2000, 2002 and 2004. Before
winning the Individual Gold this year, she brought home the Silver
Individual medal in 2002. Last year, serving on the team with Gray and
Gene Hagberg, they scored an overall fifth place.
This year was monumental for the U.S. on many levels. For the first
time, the United States Driving for the Disabled (USDFD) partnered with
the USEF Para-Equestrian High Performance Committee in both the choice
of drivers and in preparing for the competition. Also, for the first
time ever, the team was able to send one of their own horses-Kastama's
Jasper. Gray was able to borrow one of the most famous Norwegian Fjord
stallions in The Netherlands. Previously, U.S. drivers leased or
borrowed horses from the host country during the competition.
The USDFD team has a strong history of bringing home medals with three
Team Bronze medals (1994 non-FEI), two Individual Gold medals (1994
non-FEI), three Individual Silver medals (one in 2002, which was the
first year for pairs non-FEI), and one Individual Bronze for the first
FEI recognized pair competition.
Combined driving is about 30 years old, but is a fast-developing sport.
The first year the United States participated in this international
competition was 1994 in Hartbury, England. The first actual FEI World
Championship was held in 1998 in Wolfsburg, Germany. The USDFD Team USA
athletes have competed in Stadl Paula, Austria; Greven, Germany; and
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As the National Governing Body (NGB) of Equestrian Sport, the United
States Equestrian Federation(r), Inc. (USEF) is the regulatory body for
28 breeds and disciplines, including our country's international teams
competing in the disciplines of dressage, driving, endurance, eventing,
para-equestrian, reining, show jumping and vaulting. With over 87,000
members, it is the country's largest multi-breed organization and
annually license more than 2,800 competitions nationwide. The USEF
governs all aspects of competition, including education and licensing of
all judges, stewards, and technical delegates who officiate shows.
Vision Statement: The vision of United States Equestrian Federation(r)
is to provide leadership for equestrian sport in the United States of
America, promoting the pursuit of excellence from the grassroots to the
Olympic Games, based on a foundation of fair, safe competition and the
welfare of its horses, and embracing this vision, to be the best
national equestrian federation in the world.