Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023

Newerla Comes Closer To Paralympic Goals After Good Horseman`s Dressage

Keith Newerla has never been out of the United States, but he had better start practicing his Greek. At age 21, Newerla bested nine other riders to win the championship at the Paralympic Games Selection Trials.
Ten riders competed for six places on the short list for the Paralympic Games at the Good Horseman`s Dressage at the Georgia Horse Park, May 1-2, in Conyers, Ga. Performing in the same arena where the Olympic Games were held in 1996, four of these riders will be selected to represent the United States in Athens this summer.

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Keith Newerla has never been out of the United States, but he had better start practicing his Greek. At age 21, Newerla bested nine other riders to win the championship at the Paralympic Games Selection Trials.
Ten riders competed for six places on the short list for the Paralympic Games at the Good Horseman`s Dressage at the Georgia Horse Park, May 1-2, in Conyers, Ga. Performing in the same arena where the Olympic Games were held in 1996, four of these riders will be selected to represent the United States in Athens this summer.
A broadcast journalism major at Minnesota State University in Moorehead, Newerla finds little extra time to devote to riding. But the time that he does have, he dedicates with a passion. This year he has traveled to Pennsylvania to work with coach Missy Ransehousen, to Los Angeles for a judges` seminar, and to various qualifying competitions around the country.
Newerla rode Ballyshannon, a 19-year-old, Connemara gelding. They placed first in the Individual test, fifth in the freestyle and fourth in the Team test.
“When I first came here and started to school him, each ride got better,” he said. “We were getting a rhythm, and I was keeping him accurate and on the bit. I just hoped after the first day that we hadn`t peaked yet.”
His cool competitive demeanor helped Newerla win the championship and land a spot on the short list. “Going to Athens would be the experience of a lifetime,” he said.
Judge Kjell Myher, who also judged at last year`s World Championships in Belgium, said that the riders have improved a lot. “Some of the riders here will be among the best in the world,” he said.
Joan Humphries, also judging, said, “A lot of these riders could ride in open classes and do well.”
Team coach Missy Ransehousen, who is an advanced event rider, has been working with the disabled riders for four years. The goal, she said, is to have her riders ride as closely to able-bodied dressage as possible. “We`re working on the overall quality of their rides throughout,” she said. “I have to adjust and figure out what each rider`s muscles can and can`t do. Trunk control is very important; I have to evaluate that and put enough pressure on that they do it well.”
Working with disabled riders has strengthened Ransehousen`s own goals as a rider. “Watching them, I want to get better,” she said. “I work with pretty amazing people and enjoy it a lot.”
Kathy Groves` freestyle, riding Fleetwood to music from Pirates of the Caribbean, impressed the judges immensely as they scored her for the win.
“With Kathy`s freestyle she should be able to do the finals in the Paralympics,” said Myher.
Groves, of Orlando, Fla., knew it, too–with her final salute she punched the air and gave a cheer. “My horse got pumped up with the music,” she said. “The freestyle was awesome. He was on the money.”
The pair also placed sixth in the Team test and fifth in the Individual test to score the overall reserve championship.
A 17-year-old Dutch Warmblood by Wonida, Fleetwood was imported from the Netherlands by Groves several years ago.She leant him to Trae LaPorte (who rode him to a team gold medal at last year`s North American Young Rider Championships) and now hopes to take him to Athens herself. Having competed at the World Championships in Belgium in 2003, Groves has already tasted international competition and feels ready to do it again. She has been training with Dennis Callin in Raleigh, N.C., to prepare for the challenge.
“Being an Olympic year, everybody`s more serious and as determined as I`ve ever seen them,” she said.
Lynn Seidemann of Dallas, Texas, won the Team test with her 17-year-old Quarter Horse gelding Ryan. Seidemann also has a horse in Belgium with whom she won gold and silver medals at the World Championships last year.
Also a member of the seventh-placed U.S. team at the Paralympic Games in Sydney, Australia in 2000, Seidemann hopes to add Athens to her list of achievements. She feels more pressure this year because of her previous success. “This time the expectations are higher,” she said.
Seidemann, a paraplegic, said that riding has helped to strengthen her stomach muscles, the muscles that support her spine, which were starting to lose development from sitting in a wheelchair.
Robin Brueckmann of Greensboro, N.C., placed third overall in the trials. Her 7-year-old, Hanoverian gelding Richmond was the youngest horse at the competition but not the least experienced. He competed last year in Belgium, winning two golds and a bronze, and was reserve champion in the Breeder`s Cup at Devon (Pa.). He also placed fifth at the Young Horse Championship for 6-year-olds and sixth at the Young Horse Championship for 5-year-olds.
“He`s a great team horse,” said Brueckmann. “He`s very reliable and consistent.”
Brueckmann, an S-rated dressage judge who has competed in open Grand Prix classes, also competed at the Paralympic Games in Sydney in 2000.
“This horse is so exciting,” she said. “He goes above and beyond what I ask of him.”
The final four riders selected to represent the United States will be chosen based on their performance at one more competition prior to the Games. Newerla, seeking international experience, will likely go to a competition in Belgium along with Seidemann; the other riders will attend U.S. shows.
After the team is chosen, those four riders will spend two weeks training in the Netherlands with Ransehousen at the end of August and in early September travel to Athens for the Games.

Conyers, GA`May 1-2.
JUDGES: Joan Humphrey, Barbara Ebner, Jonathan Burton, Mary Fowler, Jessica Ransehousen, Kjell Myhre.
HIGH-SCORE JR./YOUNG RIDER: Rouxletto, Michelle Sheridan, 75.45%.
RES: Finnegan, Emily Copeland, 69.72.
HIGH-SCORE ADULT AMATEUR: Campari, Birgit Macyowsky, 72.22
RES: Southerly, Susan Kirkpatrick, 71.81.
HIGH-SCORE OPEN: Navignon, Jason Canton, 73.33.
RES: Alexis, Anneliese Vogt-Harber, 73.11.
HIGH-SCORE FEI: Magie Noir, Elizabeth Kane, 70.50.
RES: Adam, Holly Spencer, 63.50.
HIGH-SCORE FREESTYLE: Weltkaar, Jodie Kelly, 71.56.
RES: Granolito, Amanda Silver, 64.12.
HIGH-SCORE FEI ADULT AMATEUR: Magie Noir, Elizabeth Kane, 70.50.
HIGH-SCORE PRIX ST. GEORGES: Magie Noir, Elizabeth Kane, 70.50.
ADULT AMATEUR AWARD: Campari, Birgit Macyowsky, 62.35.
Intro., T. A – 1. Patina, C. Nauman, 65.00; 2. Suzi-Q, C. Huegerich, 57.00. Intro., T. B – 1. Patina, 62.85; 2. Suzi-Q, 54.76. Maiden Trg., T. 1 – 1. Stella, M. Frankel, 62.27; 2. Pretty Southern Belle, K. Wright, 57.27. A/A Trg., T. 1 – 1. Southerly, S. Kirkpatrick, 71.81; 2. Swatch, B. Brannan, 70.00; 3. Gentleman In Grey, J. Benford, 58.63. Trg., T. 1, Jr./Y.R. – 1. Rouxletto, 75.45. Maiden Trg., T. 3 – 1. Windsor, B. Wolfe, 62.08; 2. Stella, 58.75; 3. Pretty Southern Belle, 50.00. A/A Trg., T. 3 – 1. Siebe, K. Beall, 70.83; 2. Loriot, A. Laver, 65.00; 3. Southerly, 63.75. Trg., T. 3, Jr./Y.R. – 1. Rouxletto, 61.25; 2. Guinness, K. Spafford, 57.50. Open Trg., T. 3 – 1. Latitude, B. Huegerich, 59.16. Maiden Trg., T. 4 – 1. Windsor, B. Butler, 60.76. GAIG/USDF Qual. & A/A Trg., T. 4 – 1. Loriot, 65.76; 2. Ardent, L. Manuel, 56.92. Trg., T. 4, Jr./Y.R. – 1. Finnegan, 63.84. Open 2nd Level, T. 1 – 1. High Voltage, S. Crews, 62.10; 2. Arbitration, E. Sugier, 61.05. A/A 2nd Level, T. 3 – 1. Konga, L. Gaspar, 65.74; 2. Campari, 61.70. 2nd Level, T. 3, Jr./Y.R. – 1. Nike, J. Ely, 62.12; 2. Aurora Rip-It, A. Chamberlain, 60.00. Open 2nd Level, T. 3 – 1. High Voltage, 61.91. GAIG/USDF Qual. 2nd Level, T. 4, Jr./Y.R. – 1. Fulmer Flashing, L. Silver, 59.41. Open 3rd Level, T. 1 – 1. Alexis, 70.00; 2. Navignon, 66.38; 3. Pam-A-Lam, C. Pritchard, 61.38. GAIG/USDF Qual. & A/A 3rd Level, T. 3 – 1. Fabrice-S, H. Hains, 69.77; 2. Boerne, C. Freligh, 60.44. GAIG/USDF Qual. & Open 3rd Level, T. 3 – 1. Lestera, K. Frazier, 64.00. A/A 4th Level, T. 1 – 1. Worthy Event, P. Gilman, 64.65; 2. Windward, D. Brunson, 56.97. 4th Level, T. 1, Jr./Y.R. – 1. LeBaron, A. Princell, 61.86. Open 4th Level, T. 1 – 1. Navignon, 64.41; 2. Nikko, M. Lewis, 59.76; 3. Follow Me, S. Filley-Fennessey, 58.37. GAIG/USDF Qual. & Open 4th Level, T. 3 – 1. Lestera, 62.82; 2. Navignon, 62.39. GAIG/USDF Qual. & Open PSG – 1. Du Foxpaw, A. Rogers, 56.75; 2. Parnell, E. Sugier, 50.75. GAIG/USDF Qual. & A/A PSG – 1. Magie Noir, 70.50; 2. Freek, S. Brooks, 59.25; 3. Al Manjano, B. Van Dyle, 58.25. Open Int. I – 1. Kir Royal, K. Schisler, 57.25; 2. Parnell, 54.25. GAIG/USDF Qual. & A/A Int. I – 1. Adam, H. Spencer, 59.00. GAIG/USDF Qual. & Open Grand Prix – 1. Idora, L. Dick, 56.04. GAIG/USDF Qual. & Open 1st Level Freestyle – 1. Megaera, E. Lindsey, 62.91. GAIG/USDF Qual. Y.R. Team Test – 1. Milky Way, A. Rogers, 65.44; 2. Weltkaar, J. Kelly, 63.11; 3. Granolito, A. Silver, 62.88. GAIG/USDF Qual. Jr. Team Test – 1. Control, E. Magbee, 65.12. FEI 5-Yr.-Old – 1. Winston, L. Stallings, 2.92; 2. Commonwealth, C. Pritchard, 2.73; 3. Winet, J. Wetterlin, 2.69. FEI 6-Yr.-Old – 1. Pam-A-Lam, 2.12; 2. Cameron de Mesille, S. Newman, 2.09. Intro. Rider Trg., T. 1 – 1. Patina, 63.63. Intro. Rider Trg., T. 2 – 1. Patina, 58.84. Grn. Trg., T. 1 – 1. Stella, 62.27. Grn. Trg., T. 2 – 1. Stella, 63.07. GAIG/USDF Qual. & Open Trg., T. 4 – 1. Ryan, K. Sebben, 63.84; 2. Latitude, 59.23. A/A 1st Level, T. 1 – 1. First Eclipse, J. Berhang-Doggett, 68.14. 1st Level, T. 1, Jr./Y.R. – 1. Merlin, A. Pritchard, 65.55. Open 1st Level, T. 1 – 1 Tie, Wombat, J. Anderson & Fortunado, J. Anderson, 66.66; 3. Swatch, M. Frankel, 62.59. Maiden 1st Level, T. 3 – 1. Ardent, A. Manuel, 65.71; 2. Roscoe, E. Jacobs, 63.42. 1st Level, T. 3, Jr./Y.R. – 1. Merlin, 60.28. Open 1st Level, T. 3 – 1. Fortunado, 65.71; 2. Arbitration, 65.14; 3. Everton H, K. Schisler, 64.28. Maiden 1st Level, T. 4 – 1. Roscoe, 62.22; 2. Ardent, 61.38. GAIG/USDF Qual. & A/A 1st Level, T. 4 – 1. First Eclipse, 66.11. GAIG/USDF Qual. 1st Level, T. 4, Jr./Y.R. – 1. Finnegan, 64.14. GAIG/USDF Qual. & Open 1st Level, T. 4 – 1. Commonwealth, 61.94. A/A 2nd Level, T. 1 – 1. Konga, 63.94; 2. Boerne, 60.00. 2nd Level, T. 1, Jr./Y.R. – 1. Nike, 62.10; 2. Aurora Rip-It, 60.26. Maiden Trg., T. 2 – 1. Windsor, 66.92; 2. Pretty Southern Belle, 58.84. A/A Trg., T. 2 – 1. Swatch, 67.69; 2. Southerly, 67.30; 3. Gentleman In Grey, 63.46. Trg., T. 2, Jr./Y.R. – 1. Guinness, 69.23; 2. John-Paul Parker, A. Tortorigi, 65.38; 3. Rouxletto, 61.92. Open Trg. – 1. Latitude, 66.92. Maiden Trg., T. 4 – 1. Windsor, 67.30. GAIG/USDF Qual. & A/A Trg., T. 4 – 1. Siebe, 68.46; 2. Southerly, 65.76; 3. Loriot, 65.00. GAIG/USDF Qual. Trg., T. 4, Jr./Y.R. – 1. Rouxletto, 66.92; 2. John-Paul Parker, 63.84. GAIG/USDF Qual. & Open Trg., T. 4 – 1. Ryan, 65.00; 2. Latitude, 60.00. A/A 1st Level, T. 2 – 1. First Eclipse, 65.58; 2. Fortunado, D. Brookhouser, 60.29. 1st Level, T. 2, Jr./Y.R. – 1. Merlin, 66.76; 2. Finnegan, 65.00. Open 1st Level, T. 2 – 1. BCF Curly Sue Sparkles, E. Sugier, 58.82. GAIG/USDF Qual. & A/A 1st Level, T. 4 – 1. Campari, 72.22; 2. Roscoe, 68.61; 3. First Eclipse, 68.61. GAIG/USDF Qual. 1st Level, T. 4, Jr./Y.R. – 1. Finnegan, 69.72; 2. Aurora Rip-It, 68.05; 3. Nike, 66.94. GAIG/USDF Qual. & Open 1st Level, T. 4 – 1. Lou Bega, A. Manos, 70.00; 2. Commonwealth, 64.44; 3. Arbitration, 60.55. Maiden 2nd Level, T. 2 – 1. Megaera, 60.00; 2. Everton H, 57.29; 3. Nesterrika, M. Brennan, 49.73. A/A 2nd Level, T. 2 – 1. Pardoes, D. Cravey, 65.94; 2. Wittgenstein, J. Whittaker, 51.35. 2nd Level, T. 2, Jr./Y.R. – 1. Nike, 64.86; 2. Aurora Rip-It, 64.86. Open 2nd Level, T. 2 – 1. Lou Bega, 66.75; 2. High Voltage, 54.86. GAIG/USDF Qual. & A/A 2nd Level, T. 4 – 1. Campari, 62.35; 2. Pardoes, 61.17; 3. Nesterrika, 57.84. GAIG/USDF Qual. 2nd Level, T. 4, Jr./Y.R. – 1. Fulmer Flashing, 50.19. GAIG/USDF Qual. Open 2nd Level, T. 4 – 1. Cameron de Mesille, 61.37; 2. High Voltage, 51.76. A/A 3rd Level, T. 2 – 1. Boerne, 54.04. GAIG/USDF Qual. & A/A 3rd Level, T. 3 – 1. Fabrice-S, 71.77; 2. Worthy Event, 64.44. GAIG/USDF Qual. 3rd Level, T. 3, Jr./Y.R. – 1. Fulmer Flashing, 55.55. GAIG/USDF Qual. & Open 3rd Level, T. 3 – 1. Navignon, 73.33; 2. Alexis, 73.11; 3. Cameron de Mesille, 60.88. Open 4th Level, T. 2 – 1. Navignon, 67.20; 2. Lestera, 62.55. A/A 4th Level, T. 2 – 1. Worthy Event, 65.11; 2. Windward, 62.32. 4th Level, T. 2, Jr./Y.R. – 1. LeBaron, 62.09. GAIG/USDF Qual. & Open PSG – 1. Du Foxpaw, 60.75; 2. Parnell, 53.25. GAIG/USDF Qual. & A/A PSG – 1. Al Manjano, B. Van Dyle, 52.75. GAIG/UDSF Qual. & Open Int. I – 1. Kir Royal, 60.00; 2. Parnell, 52.25. GAIG/USDF Qual. & A/A Int. I – 1. Adam, 63.50; 2. Jinius, C. Pridemore, 57.25. GAIG/USDF Qual. & Open Grand Prix – 1. Idora, 51.66. GAIG/UDSF Qual. Y.R. PSG – 1. Milky Way, 63.50; 2. Samanta 28, K. Redmond, 63.00; 3. Granolito, 30.25. GAIG/USDF Qual. FEI Jr. Indiv. Test – 1. Control, 63.07. GAIG/USDF Qual. FEI Y.R. Freestyle Test – 1. Weltkaar, 71.56; 2. Granolito, 64.12. FEI 5-Yr.-Old – 1. Winet, 2.73; 2. Winston, 2.69; 3. Siebe, 2.57. FEI 6-Yr.-Old – 1. Pam-A-Lam, 2.06. IPEC Grade I, T. 9B – 1. Ballyshannon, K. Newerla, 68.94; 2. Ryan, L. Seidemann, 65.00. IPEC Grade III, T. 36 – 1. Innsbruck, B. Grassmyer, 66.00; 2. Lego, R. Hart, 65.80. IPEC Grade IV, T. 53 – 1. Richmond, R. Brueckmann, 65.48; 2. Fleetwood, K. Groves, 63.87; 3. Dancer O, K. Cannon, 62.74. IPEC Grade II, T. 26 – 1. Ryan O`Riley, M. O`Callaghan, 56.36; 2. ESQ Zaheena, D. Lewin, 55.45; 3. Sir Lancelot, C. Ruiz, 43.18. IPEC Grade I Freestyle – 1. Ballyshannon, 65.62; 2. Ryan, 64.84. IPEC Grade II Freestyle – 1. ESQ Zaheena, 59.30; 2. Ryan O`Riley, 51.25; 3. Sir Lancelot, 51.25. IPEC Grade III Freestyle – 1. Innsbruck, 68.19; 2. Lego, 65.13. IPEC Grade IV Freestyle – 1. Fleetwood, 70.34; 2. Richmond, 67.27. IPEC Grade I, T. 8B – 1. Ryan, 67.89; 2. Ballyshannon, 67.10. IPEC Grade III, T. 35 – 1. Lego, 67.69; 2. Innsbruck, 63.65. IPEC Grade IV, T. 52 – 1. Richmond, 67.67; 2. Dancer O, 65.89; 3. Fleetwood, 64.82. IPEC Grade II, T. 25 – 1. Ryan O`Riley, 60.71; 2. ESQ Zaheena, 58.81; 3. Sir Lancelot, 47.85.

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Paralympic Selection Trial
HIGH-SCORE DISABLED RIDER: Ballyshannnon, Keith Newerla, 68.94.
RES: Ryan, Lynn Seidemann, 67.89.
Indiv. Chmp. – 1. Ballyshannon, K. Newerla, 68.94%; 2. Innsburck, B. Grassmyer, 66.00; 3. Lego, R. Hart, 65.80. Freestyle – 1. Fleetwood, K. Groves, 70.34; 2. Innsbruck, 68.19; 3. Richmond, R. Brueckmann, 67.27; 3. Dancer O, 66.02. Team Test – 1. Ryan, L. Seidemann, 67.89; 2. Lego, 67.69; 3. Richmond, 67.67. Overall NDSAChmp. – 1. Ballyshannon, 67.24; 2. Fleetwood, 66.64; 3. Richmond, 66.63.

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