The 2022 Ecco FEI Dressage World Championships Herning2022 have come to a close. Riders and horses from the US put in phenomenal performances, and our para dressage team brought home the hardware, with a team bronze, individual bronze, and individual silver medal!
The medal drought for the USA at the Ecco FEI World Championships Herning 2022 ended August 11 when Paralympian and 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) para-dressage bronze and silver medalist Rebecca Hart ascended the podium to accept another bronze, this time for her Grade III Individual test.
My first and only horse came to me through a series of incredibly lucky and unlikely events. For anyone who was ever a fan of the classic horse girl book/movie National Velvet, you might read this and notice the shocking similarities. At the age of twelve all I wanted to do was eat, sleep, and breathe horses.
I discovered the sport of para dressage at age 11, when I searched the internet to see if there were riders with a disability out there, and to my pleasant surprise, there were. I watched riders like Rebecca Hart and Roxanne Trunnell give their all in the ring with their horses. I had waited 17 years for a chance to chase my dream after persistently asking my parents for lessons, and I was so excited.
I had gone on an inn-to-inn weeklong trail riding trek. On the second day, the horse I was riding tripped violently, falling on top of me, at the beach on the water's edge. I fell in the water, and I could feel it up to my ears while lying immobile with my head held still by another rider, waiting for the helicopter to airlift me to Galway University Hospital. Another French doctor rider, a cardiologist, also tended to me, and they saved my life.