Two-time Paralympian Rebecca Hart Showcases Schroeters Romani with Solid Scores at WEG 2014

03-Sep-2014

Caen, France – September 3, 2014 – Rebecca Hart and her own Schroeters Romani, owned in conjunction with Cherry Knoll Farm, have quickly become an unstoppable partnership. The pair led the Grade II para-dressage ranks in the United States, and they closed out the para-dressage competition during the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 with solid scores and an outstanding freestyle debut.

From the first day Hart laid eyes on Romani, she knew that the 12-year-old Danish Warmblood mare was the one for her.

“She was the first horse I ever saw size me up,” Hart laughed. “I walked into the barn, and she looked me up and down, sighed and it seemed as though she was saying, ‘Okay, you walk funny, I can handle that.’”

Since fall of 2013, the pair has exceeded all expectations. A newly formed syndicate purchased the mare with Margaret Duprey and Cherry Knoll Farm, Sycamore Station Equine Division, Barbara Summer, The Ruffolo's, and Will and Sandy Kimmel as shareholders. Hart took several weeks to feel out her competition during the spring with competitions in Europe, mentally and physically preparing herself for the world’s most highly coveted championship.

In mid-August, the five para-equestrians selected as part of the U.S. team traveled to Europe to train together and prepare for the five days of competition at WEG. With over 100 horses and 19 nations, the contingent was up against the powerhouses of the para-world. The young team, brimming with potential, laid down solid scores, with Hart leading the way for the U.S.

On the first day of competition, Hart rode Romani to a solid score of 67.971 percent. She admitted that the atmosphere seemed very big, especially for the mare’s first world championship. During the Individual Championships the two-time Paralympian earned the score of 67.486 percent, proving consistent and qualifying for the following day’s Freestyle.

“She felt it when we went in. What I was really happy about was how she focused and came back to me. I was really happy with that ride,” Hart expressed. “We are a new partnership, and you don’t always have that trust there yet. We have come a long way since November, and to be in France representing our country is such an honor and so huge. She is a young horse, she is a talented horse, and I look forward to continuing our partnership.”

The world champion rider debuted her all-new freestyle named “Journey,” an apropos title for their new voyage together. The judges awarded Hart positive artistic and technical marks, and she ended in seventh place. Margaret Duprey of Cherry Knoll Farm was on site to watch the pair from the ‘kiss and cry’ as they debuted their all-new freestyle choreographed by Marlene Whittaker. 

“She was definitely enthusiastic; she loves this music,” said Hart. “In the future I'm hopeful for a little more power. Her enthusiasm was definitely appreciated, but next time, hopefully have a little more controlled enthusiasm.”

Hart’s Grade II Freestyle choreography was set to music that she claims Romani chose. The tempo of the song required the pair to be on point at all times, otherwise they would fall off of the music, increasing the technical requirements to execute the choreography perfectly.

Hart now has her sights set on the United States European Spring Tour to gain more experience. Her support system of owners, including Duprey as well as her trainers Missy Rasenhousen and Todd Flettrich, guarantees the brilliant duo a bright career in para-dressage as they look towards the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. For more information on Cherry Knoll Farm please visit www.cheryknollfarminc.com.