Blue Hill Farm

Para Equestrians


The Para Equestrian program at Blue Hill Farm is an integral part of our program. Both Missy and Jessica have dedicated a large part of their professional riding careers to this impressive group of riders. Missy was the team’s devoted coach for the three Olympics, even setting aside her own Beijing Olympic Team bid to honor her commitment to the Paralympics squad.

All of the students who ride with Missy & Jessica at Blue Hill Farm are considered an extension of their family, and for a full list of all their accomplishments, please see below!




Margaret "Gigi" McIntosh
DOB March 24, 1955
Riding for 50 years!

Horse: Rio Rio
2006 RPSI Mare

Gigi broke her neck in the spring of 1999 while riding in an event, resulting in incomplete quadriplegia.

Initially paralyzed from the chest down, she is eternally grateful for having the opportunity to regain her mobility!

Gigi had extensive riding experience before her accident working in the 70's & 80's in working student and barn manager positions for May and Denny Emerson, Gunnar Ostergaard and Ellin Dixon and George Theodorescu in Sassenberg, West Germany.

From 1987 through 1999 Gigi evented several lovely horses with lots of help from Bruce Davidson, culminating in completing the CCI*** and CCI**** at Rolex Kentucky 3-Day in 1997 and 1998!

Six months after her accident, she started to ride with Jane Cory, the owner of the Cort Center for Therapeutic Riding at Pleasant Hollow Farm in Pleasant Valley, PA.

She began training with Missy and Jessica Ransehousen prior to the 2010 WEG and has been part of the Blue Hill Farm family ever since. 2012 was a whirlwind of qualifications for the London 2012 selection trials, including successful trips at back-to-back CPEDI ***s in Wellington, FL, as well as shows at Morven Park and Dressage at Saratoga.

Looking forward to International competition, Margaret purchased Rio Rio, a lovely RPSI mare with the ultimate goal of competing with her at the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy. The qualifying trials were held in Wellington, FL in March, before Gigi and Rio Rio went to European trip in April and May to polish their competitive experience for the final USEF selection trials. Gigi and Rio had a very successful go at the Selection Trials, earning the Reserve Champion National Title, but unfortunately being withheld from the WEG team due to a para re-classification issue from 1b to 1a.

In typical Gigi manner, she has forged on from this disappointment with her eye on qualifying for the 2016 Para-lympic team and has a very successful string of winter competitions in Wellington!!  Read more about Gigi on her website.

 



Becca Hart
DOB -1984
Discipline: Para & Able-Bodied Dressage
Horses: Schroeter's Romani

Rebecca Hart, was born with a rare progressive genetic disease called Familial Spastic Paraplegia (FSP). As an adult, it primarily affects her muscles and joints from the waist down, causing partial paralysis and severe spasticity. As a child, FSP caused her to have difficulty gaining strength in her upper body and it slowed all her motor development. Rebecca began riding at the age of 10 years old, and she found that her place was in the saddle.

Rebecca was the USEF National Para-Equestrian Champion in 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2012, 2014. In 2008, she was a member of the United States Paralympic Equestrian team, competing in Hong Kong with her horse, Norteassa, and taking 4th place in the freestyle. In 2010, she and Norteassa competed at the World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Lexington, KY. Rebecca retired Norteassa after the WEG.

She rode Jessica and Missy Ransehousen's Lord Ludger for the 2012 show season. Rebecca and 'LoLu' had a very successful partnership winning the Wellington Sunshine Classic CPEDI3* in Florida and the 2012 National Para-Equestrian Championships and selection trials. The pair was named as a member of 2012 United States Paralympic Team, competing in London. Rebecca was the Team Captain and highest scoring U.S team member at the 2012 London Paralympics.

In late 2014, Schroeter's Romani, a Grand Prix Danish Warmblood, was purchased for Rebecca. Rebecca and Romani were the National Champions in 2014, were named to the 2014 World Equestrian Games this August in Normandy, France, and won the 2015 Global/Adequan CPEDI3* in Florida. Becca and Romani will set their sites on a European Tour in 2015 and then the 2016 Paralympic games in Rio!

Becca now trains full time in Wellington with our friend and Blue Hill Farm prodigee Todd Flettrich and Cherry Knoll Farm. Visit Becca's website.


Photo Credit Susan J Stickle.

 

 


Elizabeth & Mr. DarcyElizabeth Piggot
DOB: 1986
Riding for 17 years
Discipline: Para Equestrian Dressage- Grade II

Elizabeth started riding as a supplemental form of physical therapy.  Her physical disability made it difficult for her to even sit astride on a horse at first but with time and lots of stretching, she made progress.  Eventually her riding abilities improved to where she was able to go to local horse shows.  It wasn’t until she competed and won champion of her division at the Devon Horse Show’s Handicapped Riders Event (2000) that she was bitten by the competition bug.  Riding in the Dixon Oval for the first time will do that to anyone.   (Photo credit Jen Cain)

Elizabeth was introduced to Missy in 2005 and has been riding with her ever since.  In 2007, Missy helped her acquire her first horse, Mr. Darcy, from Holland.  Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy have been working tirelessly for the past two years to get to know one another and work better as a team. They completed their first show season in the summer of 2009 and did quite well.  A highlight was receiving an 83% for riding a Grade II Championship Test. 

In 2009 Elizabeth competed at her first National Championships/CPEDI 3* on the mount Carlingford’s JD who she graciously borrowed from Trudy Phillips.  They placed 5th nationally and were awarded the rider's certificate of capability to compete for the US selection trials for the 2010 World Equestrian Games.

Elizabeth is currently pursuing her degree as a pharmacist and the crew at BHF looks forward to her return to Para competition in the near future!

 


James DwyerJames Dwyer

DOB - 1970
Riding for 25 years
James visited Blue Hill Farm in 2001 and has been living at Blue Hill Farm full time since October 2003. 
Discipline & Riding Level - Para Equestrian Grade IV, Dressage  Abled Bodied Prix St George and Intermediare 1.
Horse - Orlando (Ben), 14 yr, 16.2h, Dutch Warmblood.

James came to Blue Hill Farm from Ireland with lots of determination, persistence and talent.  He rides daily with Jessica, is a Grade IV and has attended 2 World Championships.  

In 2008 James competed in six Prix St. George able body tests, all were against competitors without handicaps. He won 3 and placed 2nd in two others! In 2009 he moved up to the Intermediare 1 level and won at his first show with a 68.9%.  At the 2009 Para Equestrian Dressage National Championships &  International CPEDI3* held at Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, IL, he won all the grade IV tests (Team test, Individual Test, and Freestyle Test).



James DwyerDuring 2010 James rode in his first abled bodied CDI3* at Palm Beach Dressage Derby and placed 15th out of 30 competitors with 66.40%. He received his certificate of capability to compete at the WEG, and represented Ireland at the 2010 Alltech/FEI World Equestrian games in Lexington KY., as well as the 2012 Irish Paralympic team in London!!

JAMES OFFICIALLY MAKES THE 2012 IRISH PARALYMPIC TEAM!!!

To see James' multiple Chronicle articles, click here!

Para Equestrian Photography Courtesy of Mary Phelps!

During the spring of 2013 James made the tough decision to move back to Europe to continue his competitive pursuits, get engaged and to start his own training facility. We're going to miss you James!!

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