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Rebecca Hart Named NDSA Athlete Of The Month For March

Kingston, RI—April 8, 2003—Rebecca Hart of Erie, PA, has been named National Disability Sports Alliance (NDSA) Athlete of the Month for March 2003.

Hart, whose legs have some paralysis due to spastic familia paraplegia, competes in the equestrian sport of Dressage which challenges horse and rider to strive for precision and harmony through a test of required patterns and movement.

"Dressage is very personal,” Hart explained. “The precision and intensity require your whole being mentally and physically. You enter a little world with just you and the horse alone; and in that world you have the opportunity to have a personal conversation, demanding the best of each other from bell to bell. And best of all, it's really, really fun," she added.

The high school senior rode at the NDSA Dressage Judges’ Forum in Winter Garden, FL in March. She earned scores of 65.20 on the Championship test, and a 75.83 on the freestyle, which judges described as 'a medal winning' ride. She also impressed the judges as a good competitor, strong athlete and a good ambassador for the sport, especially for young riders.

Hart is currently ranked 5th on the NDSA-Equestrian Advanced Rider List, and is vying for a spot on the 2003 World Championship Team. She has posted impressive scores in a number of competitions over the years. She was Reserve Champion the past two years at the NDSA Championship held at the United States Equestrian Team Olympic Training Center, and was Reserve Champion in the Mills Team Challenge at the 2002 North American Young Riders Championships. Hart also placed 5th overall in the 2002 Belgium Open Championship. She attended the International Academy for Equestrian Studies in Warendorf, Germany, in 2001.

Each month in an effort to recognize and reward stellar achievements, acts of enrichment, or meritorious participation by athletes with a physical disability, NDSA has proudly instituted the Athlete of the Month Award Program. As NDSA Athlete of the Month, Hart will receive a certificate from NDSA citing her achievement.

The National Disability Sports Alliance is responsible for the conduct and administration of approved sports in the United States. NDSA formulates the rules, implements policies and procedures, conducts national championships in twelve sports, disseminates safety and sports medicine information and selects athletes to represent the United States in international competition. NDSA is a CBO (Community Based Organization) member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).

For more information on NDSA please contact (401) 792-7130 or visit the NDSA website at



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