*When I read this story on Dressage Daily it broke my heart. I know two of these riders personally. Rebecca Heart I interviewed for my blog last year and Jon Wentz came to my area a few years ago for a clinic and needed help so my Therapeutic Riding Center at the time was able to help him find a horse and I was lucky enough to be assigned to help him out. He is a REALLY good rider. The mare he was lent was not so nice so on one of the clinic days we figured I would get on her to warm her up and really get after her so maybe she would be better for Jon. He gave me a mini lesson and he was great! He really knows his stuff. Plus his Mom works with and loves horses so I know that whatever horse they are lent will get TONS of TLC. I really wish that Phoenix could go WEGs, but even if he could I know that he is not the right horse for Jon. Jon is very tall (he was over 6 feet when I met him and that was years ago) and with his CP he needs a thinner horse also. If anyone knows of a horse that can be borrowed please contact these very deserving riders. Not only will you being a good deed, but think of how cool it will be to see a horse you know in all sorts of magazines as the winner of WEGs! I know that these riders have what it takes to win, we need to pull together as a horse community and help them out!*
Here is the full article from DressageDaily
Help three outstanding and inspiring, young American para-equestrians ride at this year’s Alltech 2010 World Equestrian Games.
Dressage legend Robert Dover has appealed for help, specifically for horses, for Becca Hart, Holly Bergay, and Jonathan Wenz. These three athletes are all in training for the World Equestrian Games, but their horses’ fitness is now in question, and they are searching for new mounts to make their dreams come true. Can you help them, and can they help you? Do you own a suitable dressage horse and have you always dreamed of watching it go at the World Equestrian Games? Becca, Holly or James could make that happen for you.
Robert Dover, who has competed in 6 consecutive Olympics for the US Dressage Team, as well as 4 World Championship Teams and earned more honors than any other US dressage rider, stepped in and wrote about Jonathan, Holly and Becca’s predicament on his website, Doversworld.com.
When Robert Dover recently met Jonathan Wentz, 19, he felt compelled to help him. Jonathan has cerebral palsy, and it is his dream to represent the USA at the 2010 Alltech WEG in Lexington, Kentucky. He combines being a full time student at SMU with working off his board at the barn. In May last year he competed in his first CPEDI 3*, para-equestrian international dressage competition and first Para-Equestrian National Championships where he ranked 7th nationally, and received qualifying scores from both tests, earning his certificate of capability for the Games. Last weekend Jonathan and his horse Richter Scale made the thirty-something hour trip from Texas to Del Mar, California to compete at Dressage Affaire, only to find that sadly, his horse was not sound upon arrival.
Becca Hart, 25, was born with a rare genetic disease called Familial Spastic Paraplegia (FSP). As an adult, it primarily affects her muscles and joints from the waist down. Becca started riding at the age of 10, and has been the National Paralympic Champion in 2006, 2008, and 2009. In 2008, she was a member of the US Paralympic Equestrian Team competing in Hong Kong with her horse Norteassa, and took 4th place in the freestyle.
Becca is a full time student at Pennsylvania State and when she graduates hopes to become a forensic accountant. She is currently working for U.S. Para-Equestrian Team Coach Missy Ransehousen at Blue Hill Farm where she keeps her horse, as well as moonlighting as a barista at Starbucks.
Holly Bergay is just 17 years old, and was born without her left hand. Like Becca, she has competed through Prix St Georges level Dressage. She has also competed at the North American Young Riders’ Championships and now it is her dream to ride at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Holly trains in California with Debbie McDonald and Sarah Dodge and is also in need of a mount for the games..
The 2010 Radio show read about these riders’ predicament on Doversworld, and has dedicated this week’s show to them. Robert Dover, Canadian Dressage Team Coach, is our special guest, and we are joined by Becca, Holly and Jonathan. They deserve a chance to ride at the Games, and we would love to help them get there. They all need Dressage trained horses, so please rack your brains and put your heads together to see what you can do to help these three amazing young riders achieve their ambitions and represent the USA at the Alltech FEI 2010 World Equestrian Games.
If you have a horse, or know of a horse that might be suitable, please contact the 2010 Radio Show, Robert Dover, or one of the riders.