Articles: Press Release
US Team Lies Tenth After First Round of Team Competition at 2008
Paralympic Games in Equestrian
United States Equestrian Federation, Inc.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 7, 2008
By Joanie Morris
Hong Kong, China - Team USA faced some formidable competition in the
first round of Team competition at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Hong
Kong. Four riders from each country have ridden one test, and the US
lies 10th on a score of 185.702.
Barbara Grassmyer got the competition rolling for the US riders, putting
in a solid effort with Mibis for a score of 59.231% in the Grade III
Team Test. Grassmyer made the trip from Placerville, CA.
She is confident she can improve her performance in the Individual Test
on Tuesday. The team result is made up of the total of the three best
scores from each nation adding together the Team Test score and the
Individual Test score for each rider.
"I felt it went very well," said Grassmyer, who is 36 years old. "My
horse was a little slower than I wanted. I have to work on that for the
next test on Tuesday. She did very well, I'm very proud of her. I need
to warm her up better, I'm switching bridles and hopefully she will be
better in the snaffle and perform well."
Rebecca Hart and Norteassa were the second US pair of the team, scoring
62.000% in the Grade II Team Test. Norteassa has plenty of movement and
ability but was affected by the atmosphere in the main arena. The
16-year-old Hanoverian mare broke to canter twice in the test which kept
the test from scoring better.
Hart, who at 22 is riding at her first Paralympic Games was pleased with
her performance despite the mistake.
"I was happy with how he went," said Hart, who lives in Erie, PA. "I'm
hoping tomorrow we can improve and move forward. He was very good, a
little excited with the crowds but I was very pleased with him."
Hart gave the entire experience a rave review.
"It has been such an awesome experience to represent the country," said
Hart. "It is fantastic venue - everyone is really supportive and I want
to represent my country well."
The evening session began at 7.15 pm and the lights and the larger
crowds delivered more atmosphere in the main arena. Many of the horses
competing in the evening were more affected by the lights, crowds and
Rhett, ridden by Lynn Seidemann from Coppell, Texas, was one of many
aware of the atmosphere. The 10-year-old KWPN gelding (owned by Kathryn
Groves) recovered fantastically from a big spook near A early on in the
test and Seidemann rode to third place on a score of 64.471%. Seidemann
was given an error of course after making a correction after the spook
but the rest of her test was mistake free.
"The spook rattled me, but I rode my best," said Seidemann who rode the
Ib Team Test. "I'm not sure what he spooked at - the shadows maybe. I'll
be ready for that next time. The rest was pretty good once I recovered
from the spook, everything else was what we wanted. I will be more
prepared on Tuesday, I will calm him toward A and talk to him, tell him
he's a good boy - he likes that."
The final member of the US Team, Robin Brueckmann, rode Radetzky in a
promising performance in the Grade IV Team Test. The relatively
inexperienced horse coped well with the pressure and Brueckmann hopes to
improve her score of 59.214% in the next round.
"I had a great time," said Brueckmann. "I'm very pleased with him. He's
a young horse and it is his first experience with something like this.
He was willing and cooperative, I had hoped for a higher score. He felt
very consistent, he certainly could have been steadier. I'm sorry the
judges weren't as pleased as I was."
The Summerfield, NC rider was pleased that the 7-year-old Trakehner's
effort in such an electric atmosphere as he has been known to be quite
spooky in the past.
"I felt he was very consistent," said Brueckmann. "He was very brave and
I planned my warm-up around the arena so that I didn't have a problem."
Great Britain, who have never been beaten for team gold at the
Paralympic Games in Equestrian have a convincing lead. They are on an
overnight score of 220.470, followed by Germany. Norway sits in the
bronze medal position going into the next round.
Competition kicks off at 7.15 a.m again tomorrow morning. The USEF media
guide is available at:
don't forget to read the blog at http://www.usef.org/TeamUSA/Home.aspx
for all the behind the scenes scoop.
The schedule and results are available on www.equestrian2008.org
, the Paralympic action is also
available on www.universalsports.com .
Please contact Joanie Morris at email@example.com with questions.
The vision of the United States Equestrian Federation(r) 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.