I am a dedicated high performance athlete who happens to have Cerebral Palsy. On November 15, 1991 I was born prematurely weighing just over 2 lbs to a single, teenage mother. At 18 months, I was diagnosed with my disability. It affects my gait, coordination, strength, flexibility, and muscle tone which can cause muscle and joint pain but not my desire to succeed.
My love for horses touches all facets of my life, including my educational and career goals. I work tirelessly to make my goals a reality! This year I graduated with Honors and a Bachelor's of Science in Animal Science with an emphasis is Equine Science from the University of California, Davis. I will continue my education there as I pursue a Master's Degree in Equine Exercise Physiology with a research focus on dressage horses.
I am involved with the Neonatal Foal Intensive Care Unit at the UC Davis Veterinary Hospital as well.
When I was 8 years old, I started taking riding lessons and was instantly hooked! I fell in love with the equestrian sport and felt an indescribable connection with the horses that has never faded.
At 13, I started showing on the Arabian Horse Association circuit. Through this, I found dressage and knew that it was the discipline for me!
I began competing in Para-Dressage in 2013. I compete in both Para-Dressage and able-bodied dressage.
In a sport where subtlety and lightness of aids are extremely important having muscle spasticity may seem disadvantageous. But for me, it's a challenge that I embrace and it motivates me to be a top international competitor!
I am a Grade III Para-Dressage rider and 2014/2015 USEF Reserve National Champion for my grade. I was the USA Team Alternate for the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™.
My equine partner is Binero, a 15 year old Danish Warmblood Gelding. Together we have been working to achieve the dream of competing on the world stage and representing the United States in international competition.
Recently, Binero and I have qualified to compete at the 2017 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships in Tryon, NC which is this September! This is not only a national competition but is at the same venue where the 2018 World Equestrian Games (WEG) will take place. By competing at this event, we will be well prepared for a coveted position on the 2018 WEG US Para-Dressage Team!
Behind every international athlete is a great team of supporters! With the numerous financial demands, I could not continue to pursue these amazing opportunities and achieve success without support!
Please consider contributing to our fundraising campaign. My goal is to raise $7,000 to help exclusively with the travel costs to the competition!
For more information and to learn more please visit my website - Team Ashleigh
Thank you for your support!
~Ashleigh & Binero
- Hanna Hildmann
- Suzanne Mifsud
- Vickie Thornburg Splain