North Carolina

Para-Dressage Athletes Ready to Compete in Tryon this Weekend

13 Sep, 2019

Twenty-eight horses arrived at the Tryon International Equestrian Center at Tryon Resort in Mill Spring, N.C. Para-Dressage Equestrians from The United States of America, Canada, Mexico, and South Africa jogged their horses in preparation for the 2019 Tryon Fall Dressage CPEDI3* Presented by Adequan® and the USEF Para Equestrian Dressage National Champion Award. Riders will compete over the weekend of September 13-15, for both international and national United States accolades.

With the help of sponsors like Adequan® these international events would not be possible. Representing Adequan® is Director of Strategic Partnerships, Allyn Mann. "This is an amazing group of people and horses," stated Mann. "It's not so much what happens to you in life but what you do with what happens that matters. All of these athletes exemplify that. In all my years of being around the para-dressage teams there has never been so much energy and excitement. This is only the beginning. I am eager for the future with the partnership of the U.S. Para-Dressage program and Tryon Equestrian."

Mann has enjoyed being involved with the para-dressage sport for over ten years. He noted, "Thinking back to those days I remember listening to the athletes and their dreams. One was Jonathan Wentz. Jonathan was an amazing human being and we had the most enjoyable conversations about his journey and dreams. He thrilled me. Even though he is no longer with us his dream lives on. (International athlete Jon Wentz passed in 2012) I feel that many times you don't know where your path is going to take you and as you journey on it becomes clear. It's amazing to be a part of all this and I especially enjoy seeing all these new emerging athletes."

New national rider Erika Wager of New York is an equestrian that has made her transition into the para-dressage world and will be riding this weekend. Wager rode race horses for a living (including at prominent tracks such as Saratoga and Belmont) but two years ago had an accident resulting in a spinal cord injury. Wager recalled, "I remember sitting in the hospital bed researching how I could start riding again. I found para-dressage, I found a barn to ride at, I got a lift to get on the horse, and I began to try and regain my balance. I am so thankful to my brother who has been my biggest supporter through beginning this process. I am thrilled to be riding at Tryon this weekend and working with my coach Susanne Hamilton (coach of international athlete David Botana) and I look forward to showing my horse Clifton Zander."

United States Para-Equestrian Association Mission Statement: To Help Develop, Promote, Support, and Sustain all USA Para Equestrian Athletes for Regional, National, and International Competition with a focus on Paralympic Equestrian Sport.

United States Para-Equestrian Association Vision Statement: The vision of the United States Para Equestrian Association (USPEA) is to provide leadership for equestrian sport in the United States of America for athletes with an eligible physical impairment, promoting the pursuit of excellence from the grass roots to the Paralympic Games, based on a foundation of fair, safe competition and the welfare of its horses, and embracing this vision, to be the best national Para Equestrian Association in the world.
About USPEA: The United States Para-Equestrian Association (USPEA) includes every recognized equestrian discipline that is practiced by athletes with an eligible physical impairment with a focus on Paralympic Equestrian Sports. . The USPEA is a network of current and past athletes, owners, officials, event organizers, and equestrian enthusiasts. The Association assists athletes to get involved and expand their knowledge and experience in the Disciplines of Para-Equestrian.

USPEA was created to fill a need to assist Para Equestrian disciplines when they came under the governance of the FEI.  While Para Equestrian disciplines were originally segregated, they now are integrated in international sport.  As each individual Para Equestrian discipline develops, it is USPEA's mission to always serve as an advisory resource with the ultimate goal that the established able-bodied discipline affiliate will integrate within their organization.

In 2010, the USPEA earned its 501 (c)(3) status and became a recognized International affiliate association of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) working together to grow the FEI recognized disciplines by helping to provide press, educational information, symposiums and competition opportunities for athletes with eligible physical impairments.

For more information about the USPEA please visit or contact USPEA President: Hope Hand by e-mail: or by phone: (610)356-6481.

The USPEA is a USEF Recognized National Affiliate. The USEF International High Performance Programs are generously supported by the USET Foundation, USOC, and USEF Sponsors and Members. For more information please visit US Equestrian at 


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