U.S. Rider Lara Oles and Bella Earn Para-Dressage FEI Championship at Thunderbird CPEDI3* in British Columbia

Posted by By at 13 June, at 18 : 33 PM Print

Langley, B.C., Canada – June 13, 2016 – FEI Para-Dressage rider Lara Oles (Heber City, Utah) and her Canadian Warmblood, Bella dominated Grade III at the Thunderbird CPEDI3* in British Columbia. Hosted by Equine Canada, this international Para-Dressage
competition took place at the beautiful Thunderbird Show Park in Langley, June 9-12, 2016. Ten horse and rider combinations from the USA and Canada rode under ground jury members President Kjell Myrhe, FEI 5* (NOR); Jennifer Maynard FEI 4* (CAN), and Christel Carlson FEI 3* (USA). For USA athlete Lara Oles and her bay mare the Thunderbird CPEDI3* was the competition they needed to showcase their partnership that has been growing over the past year. Oles had a hard decision to make whether to attend the 2016 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships/ Paralympic Selection Trials sponsored by Deloitte in Michigan, or gain international ranking in Canada. Over three days Oles and Bella wowed the judges with their tests scoring a 70.219% in the Team Test, a 71.463% in the Individual Championship Test, and a 70.333% in their Freestyle. Oles was the highest overall scoring rider of the Thunderbird CPEDI3* in addition to her clean sweep to earn the Grade III Championship.

Lara Oles (USA) and Bella at the Thunderbird CPEDI3 in British Columbia. Photo by Totem Photographics – Steve Charles

Lara Oles (USA) and Bella at the Thunderbird CPEDI3 in British Columbia. Photo by Totem Photographics – Steve Charles

Despite some inclement weather and an electric atmosphere Oles and Bella had an incredible show including a visit from Bella’s breeder Michael Rabe. Oles commented, “After a great first day in the Team Test it was exciting to meet Bella’s breeder Michael Rabe from British Columbia. He drove four hours to watch us ride and it was great to get to know him and hear stories about Bella’s dam (Le Gunz), sire (Bonaparte), and siblings. It was an added bonus that he saw us perform in the Individual Test earning our highest score of the whole show. During that test we rode through the rain to earn a 71.5%. On the final day, Bella stayed consistent even with a few moments of tension in the Freestyle, and scored a 70.3%.”

Oles added, “I want to thank Sage Creek Equestrian and the Challenged Athletes Foundation because without their generous financial assistance we would not have been able to continue training or afford to attend the Thunderbird CPEDI3*. I also want to thank our sponsors including Theraplate for keeping Bella in top competition form. She is an elite athlete and we want to keep her feeling good. CEECOACH for improving our training experience and Arista Equestrian for making me look good.”

Lara Oles (USA) and Bella at the Thunderbird CPEDI3* in British Columbia June 9-12, 2016 (Photo by Dan Oles)

Lara Oles (USA) and Bella at the Thunderbird CPEDI3* in British Columbia June 9-12, 2016 (Photo by Dan Oles)

Oles concluded, “All in all, it was a great show. I am so glad to have another CPEDI3* under my belt. I am hoping our scores will bump me up in the FEI Para-Dressage rider standings. I am very proud of my entire team including Bella and I want to thank my trainer and coach Annie Sweet for working so hard with Bella and me to get us this far, and of course my husband Dan who does everything from driving the truck and organizing the gear, to braiding Bella’s mane and keeping us on schedule. We couldn’t do it without him. We have been able to accomplish an amazing amount in the past few years. We have very limited funding and bought Bella at a stable down the street in Heber City, Utah, but still have been able to earn competitive scores for the rankings. We hope to be able to continue training and improving all the way up to the 2018 World Equestrian Games selection trials. I would love to have a shot at earning a spot on the United States Equestrian Team.”

Results from the June 9-12, 2016, Thunderbird CPEDI3* in British Columbia

June 10, 2016 Team Test

Grade Ia Team Test
1. Robyn Andrews and Fancianna (CAN) 66.812%

Grade Ib Team Test
1. Ashley Gowanlock and Ashley Gowanlock (CAN) 67.867%
2. Jason Surnoski and Daytrader (CAN) 66.133%

Grade II Team Test
1. Sarah Cummings and R. Abba (CAN) 65.490%
2. Jennifer McKenzie and Lexington Star Bright (CAN) 61.618%

Grade III Team Test
1. Lara Oles and Bella (USA) 70.219%
2. Tristiana Allwood and Ben D’oro (CAN) 62.237%
3. Catherine Bridges and Santiago (CAN) 48.904%

Grade IV Team Test
1. Eleonore Elstone and Silas (CAN) 66.032%
2. Kourteney Lappan and Beckham (CAN) 56.667%

June 11, 2016 Individual Test

Grade Ia Individual Test
1. Robyn Andrews and Fancianna (CAN) 69.420%

Grade Ib Individual Test
1. Ashley Gowanlock and Ashley Gowanlock (CAN) 67.126%
2. Jason Surnoski and Daytrader (CAN) 63.908%

Grade II Individual Test
1. Sarah Cummings and R. Abba (CAN) 66.286%
2. Jennifer McKenzie and Lexington Star Bright (CAN) 60.524%

Grade III Individual Test
1. Lara Oles and Bella (USA) 71.463%
2. Tristiana Allwood and Ben D’oro (CAN) 67.114%
3. Catherine Bridges and Santiago (CAN) 53.130%

Grade IV Individual Test
1. Eleonore Elstone and Silas (CAN) 65.198%
2. Kourteney Lappan and Beckham (CAN) 58.294%

June 12, 2016 Freestyle Test

Grade Ia Freestyle Test
1. Robyn Andrews and Fancianna (CAN) 70.333%

Grade Ib Freestyle Test
1. Ashley Gowanlock and Ashley Gowanlock (CAN) 70.167%
2. Jason Surnoski and Daytrader (CAN) 64.583%

Grade II Freestyle Test
1. Sarah Cummings and R. Abba (CAN) 69.167%
2. Jennifer McKenzie and Lexington Star Bright (CAN) 64.000%

Grade III Freestyle Test
1. Lara Oles and Bella (USA) 70.333%
2. Tristiana Allwood and Ben D’oro (CAN) 69.667%

Grade IV Freestyle Test
1. Eleonore Elstone and Silas (CAN) 68.750%

About the United States Para-Equestrian Association:

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 www.USPEA.org or contact USPEA President: Hope Hand by e-mail: hope@uspea.org or by phone: (610)356-6481.

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