Lara Oles Para Equestrian
I am looking for funding to help support this endeavor. Become a part of Team LOPE, any amount can help, and you can share in all our successes. I am open to accepting business sponsorships as well.
Thank you in advance for any help you can provide!
My name is Lara Oles and I am a Para Equestrian. I was in a freak skiing accident in 2006 that damaged my spinal cord, leaving my right arm permanently paralyzed and stroke- like symptoms in my right leg. My goal is to represent the United States on the Para DressageTeam.
If you are like me, before my accident I thought that the Paralympics were named because the athletes are paralyzed; but there are many other physical impairments that can classify someone as a Paralympian. In fact, "para" comes from the Greek preposition meaning "beside or alongside", illustrating that the Paralympics are parallel to the Olympics, and the two movements exist side-by-side.
I took dressage and jumping lessons in high school, but most of my riding was in the woods and orchards, or on the dunes and beaches of Michigan. My first horse after college in 1991, was a thoroughbred off the track and I had big plans for him in dressage. We trained at a Dressage barn in Wisconsin and had some initial successes at schooling shows. Unfortunately, he went lame within a year and I got so poor and discouraged trying to heal him, I decided to stick with trail riding for the next 18 years.
In the fall of 2010, I attended the World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky and watched the Para Dressage freestyle competition. Those amazing athletes inspired me to try dressage again. I started out taking therapuetic riding lessons, then in 2012 I began training with Annie Sweet at the Sage Creek Equestrian Center in Heber City, Utah. My husband Dan and I both applied and took new jobs in Salt Lake City. We move from Wyoming so that I could train 5 days a week with the goal of making the United State Para Dressage Team.
In November 2015, my horse Bella and I placed in the Top Ten at the Para Dressage Nationals.
Montreal is a better end goal anyway, since there is no financial help to get the U.S. Para Dressage Riders to the Paralympics. They estimated that it was going to cost me around $50,000 to get to Rio if I did make the Team. Needless to say we could not afford that. Bella and I will keep improving over the next 2 years, and if we make the Team it will cost a lot less to get to Montreal. We still won't make it without financial assistance, become an important part of our Team and help us get to the 2018 World Equestrian Games!
This is the next step in the process for the 2016 Paralympic Selection try outs. There is still a long road ahead and your donation will help us keep moving forward.
Please visit www.lope.org for more information.
Wish us luck and please help offset some of the costs. Thank you for your support.