Four athlete-horse combinations named for the US para-dressage team in Tokyo


US Equestrian has announced that its four-person Paralympic dressage team will compete in the Games.

The four athlete-horse combinations are Beatrice de Lavalette and Clarc, Rebecca Hart and El Corona Texel, Kate Shoemaker and Solitaer 40, and Roxanne Trunnell on Dolton.

Two other combinations were named as team substitutes – Sydney Collier and All in One, and Charlotte Merle-Smith on Guata.

Following the individual tests on August 27 at the Games, three combinations will be selected to participate in the team competition.

De Lavalette, 22, has been competing in Category I with the United States Para-Dressage Team since January 2020.

After losing both legs in the 2016 Brussels airport bombing, De Lavalette returned to horseback riding five months later.

She is currently a student at the University of San Diego and also works as a motivational speaker.

Hart, 36, will compete in his fourth consecutive Paralympic Games.

Born with a genetic condition called hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP), Hart first became involved in para-dressage in 1998.

On board El Corona Texel, Hart won 11 first places in Category III in 13 tests.

When not competing, Hart strives to raise awareness of HSP.

Shoemaker, who turns 34 just before the Games start, has competed with the U.S. team since 2018.

It contributes to grade IV due to white matter lesions resulting from periventricular ischemia, leading to motor control dysfunction.

Shoemaker won all competitions entered in the first half of 2021, earning him his selection for Tokyo.

Trunnell, 36, will return to the Paralympics for a second appearance.

The world’s top ranked para-dressage rider, Trunnell is a two-time member of the US team for the world championships.

A former able-bodied dressage competitor, Trunnell contracted a virus in 2009 that caused swelling in the brain and required the use of a wheelchair.

Trunnell made his way to step up in para dressage again in 2012 and is currently competing in Category I.

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