Horses have always been in my life and they always will be, and since I was young, a goal of mine has been to represent my county as a member of the U.S. Equestrian Team. In October, 2007 I had to make some goal modifications after an ATV accident left me with spinal cord and brain injuries. My life is different now, and my riding discipline has change from Eventing to Para Dressage, but my desire to ride for my country at the Olympics and World Games remains a primary focus. Together with my horse, Guata (Gigi), an eleven-year-old KWPN, I have moved a step closer as I've been selected as a reserve rider for the Tokyo Paralympics.
As a reserve pair, Gigi and I will travel to Aachen, Germany to quarantine and train with the team in preparation for Tokyo, and will potentially be called up to compete should a team member be unable. While the United States Equestrian Team covers travel, board and lodging expenses for Gigi and me, there are countless costs that are not covered, including: day fees for my critical support crew and our travel to and from team points of departure and arrival, horse shipping expenses prior to team departure and after return to the U.S., and increased training and therapeutic expenses related competing at the Olympic level—the list is long and costly!
The U.S. Para Dressage Team is currently #1 in world rankings, so to be a reserve combination is a huge honor and accomplishment. Please consider helping me to fund my Team goal and the successful competitive partnership that Gigi and I have proven we are are capable of.