Wellington, Fla. – January 24, 2016 – Rebecca Hart and Schroeter’s Romani (Grade II) demonstrated their consistency throughout the second week of the the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival $10,000 CPEDI3*, sponsored by Mission Control and Mane Stream. They put in three beautiful rides to help Team USA once again dominate the competition, winning the event and qualifying the U.S. Team for the Rio de Janeiro Paralympics through the last of the two-week Para-Equestrian Dressage Tour, the final opportunity in the United States to qualify for Games. Despite deluge, ring changes, tremendous gusts and a landing helicopter, Hart and Schroeter’s Romani earned their second championship of the season, paving the road to Rio as both an individual and part of Team USA.
Hart opened the competition with a solid ride in the Grade II, securing a first day lead for Team USA. Torrential downpour had already caused the riders to change rings and schedules, and despite the inclement weather Hart moved ahead with Romani unruffled. They rode to the score of 72.108 percent for the Team Test in front of the FEI ground jury of Sarah Leitch (GBR), Marc Urban (BEL), and Dr. Jan Holger Holtschmit (GER).
Day two proved no easier for the international competitors, testing them at every turn with raging winds. During Hart’s Individual Test, a helicopter landed only yards away from the main arena at The Stadium. The two-time Paralympian did not lose focus, completing her ride and scoring the second-day cumulative percentage of 73.048.
"It was a good week here, despite some challenging conditions,” Hart said. “I was really happy with this weekend, because it shows that basically the entire plan that Todd Flettrich, Margaret Duprey and the team at Cherry Knoll Farm has created to get us to Rio, that plan is working.”
Hart continued, “It has been super to see us grow as a pair. If we would have had a helicopter land during our ride 8 months ago, it would have been a completely different picture. The fact that, through the work with Todd, building the relationship and laying the foundation, we created a really strong partnership that can withstand those unexpected challenges.”
Hart and her horse Shoroeter’s Romani, owned by Rebecca Hart in conjunction with Margaret Duprey, Cherry Knoll Farm, Barbara Summer, and William and Sandy Kimmel, made several changes after their summer tour, including riding without stirrups to minimize the spasms incurred by her genetic disease, Familial Spastic Paraplegia (FSP). They also went back to the drawing board for their Freestyle, which they debuted only two weeks prior during the first leg of the 2016 Para-Equestrian Dressage Tour. They completed the Freestyle with good remarks and the score of 75.250 percent.
Hart concluded, “I believe that the new music and freestyle is going to work super, and I'm really happy about it. I am also really excited to see what the future holds."