Para-Equestrian Competitors’ and Trainers’ Educational Opportunities Announced

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, February 17, 2009

          February 17, 2009 (Lexington, KY) - The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) will be hosting a Para-Equestrian Dressage Training Session March 18-19, 2009 at Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center in Woodinville, WA. The training session is designed to help riders with various disabilities learn more about competing in dressage at the national and international levels. US Assistant Para Equestrian Team Coach, Sharon Schneidman, will be conducting the training session. For more information, visit the USEF Web site or contact Pam Lane, USEF International High Performance Director of ParaEquestrian & Vaulting.
          Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding Center in Chagrin Falls, OH, is hosting two concurrent workshops, a Para Equestrian Trainer's Symposium and a Classification Workshop for Equestrians with Disabilities on April 18-19, 2009. The Symposium will educate dressage trainers, therapeutic riding instructors, and program auditors about para-equestrian rider development, the classification system, rider eligibility, adaptive equipment, and national and international competitions and resources.
          The program's instructor is Jennifer Nell, Program Director of Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center and coach of para-equestrian dressage riders. This symposium is open to trainers, therapeutic riding instructors, interested riders and parents, and program administrators.
          The Classification Workshop is designed to educate and certify physical therapists or physicians in the FEI Classification System for riders with disabilities. This system is the internationally accepted system for FEI and USEF Para Equestrian (PE) competitions, including the World Games and Paralympics. Classification ensures fair equestrian competition by creating a functional profile so that riders compete against others of similar ability.
          The instructor for the Classification Workshop is Joann Benjamin, PT, HPCS, USEF Classification Coordinator and FEI International Classifier. For more information, see the USEF Web site or contact Teresa Morris.
          Para Equestrian competition provides riders with disabilities the opportunity to compete in dressage competitions at all levels, from local shows to the Paralympic Games. Para-Equestrian Dressage will be included for the first time at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, to be held in Lexington, KY in September of 2010.

Founded in 1973, the United States Dressage Federation is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to education, recognition of achievement, and promotion of dressage. For more information about USDF membership or programs, visit, email, or call (859) 971-2277.