Gladstone, N.J. - A talented field of para-equestrian dressage athletes have flocked to the USET Foundation Headquarters in Gladstone, N.J., this week to stake their claim on a National Title and vie for selection for this summer's 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. The USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championship will host 24 combinations, across all five grades, 14 of which are also contesting the Selection Trial for the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team, which is being run concurrently at the event June 2-5.
At Monday's Horse Inspection, two horses were held for re-inspection on Tuesday morning; Roxanne Trunnell's ride Nice Touch and Mary Jordan's Sebastian.
Five representatives from the Kentucky Equine Research U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team that competed at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games will all compete in Gladstone this week. Rebecca Hart (Unionville, Pa.), Mary Jordan (Wells, Maine), and Susan Treabess (Winters, Calif.) will look to score National Championship honors, in addition to Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games selection, while Kim Decker (Centreville, Va.) and Laura Goldman (Highland Heights, Ohio) will be contesting only the National Championship. Hart, a Paralympian and five-time USEF National Champion, will ride her own Schroeters Romani, while Jordan will once again ride longtime partner Deecie Denison's Sebastian (pending re-inspection on Tuesday morning), and Treabess is set to go down centerline with Kathryn Hill's Kamiakin. Decker and Goldman will ride Paul and Donna Decker's Dasher Destiny and Kristen Ropp's Buckeye, respectively.
Derrick Perkins (Sugar Land, Texas), a U.S. Air Force veteran who was injured while on active duty in 1988, makes his National Championship debut this week and is also among the 15 entries vying for selection. In Gladstone, he will ride Kai Handt's NTEC Hans.
Competition gets underway on Tuesday with all entries completing the FEI Team Test in their respective grades, which will count for 40% of their championship total, and on Wednesday competitors will return to the Dick and Jane Brown Arena to perform the FEI Individual Test for a further 40% of their overall scores. The 2014 champion will be crowned on Thursday as the final 20% of the week's total is earned in the Freestyle tests.