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Groves Wins First-Ever National Disability Sports Alliance I.P.E.C Grade IV Championship

Kingston, RI—October 7, 2003—Kathryn Groves of Winter Garden, FL, and Freek won the first-ever National Disability Sports Alliance (NDSA) International Paralympic Equestrian Committee (I.P.E.C) Grade IV Championship for riders with physical disabilities. The Championship, which consisted of an Individual Championship Competition and a Musical Freestyle Competition, was held as part of Dressage at Devon, September 23-28, in Devon, PA.

Groves, who was a member of the U.S team that took sixth place at the 2003 I.P.E.C Dressage World Championships in Moorsele, Belgium, this past September, finished on top in both the Individual Championship as well as the Musical Freestyle to earn Championship honors with an overall score of 67.942%. Robin Brueckmann, of Summerfield, NC, on Richmond who also competed at the 2003 I.P.E.C World Championships, took second overall in the Grade IV Championship with a combined score of 66.401%.
In the Individual Championship Competition on September 26, where riders performed a standard Grade IV dressage test that consisted of lateral work as well as movements at the walk, trot, and canter, Groves tied for first place with Brueckmann. Both riders earned scores of 63.763%. Kebbie Cannon and Dancer O finished in third place with a score of 62.796%.
In the second phase of competition, the Musical Freestyle, which was held on September 28, Groves turned in the top performance posting a score of 72.121%. Cannon finished second with a score of 69.773% just edging out Brueckmann who earned a slightly lower score of 69.015%. In this phase of competition, riders are allowed to include more difficult movements. Groves’ winning ride included temp changes, as well as half-canter pirouettes.

The NDSA IPEC Grade IV Championship held at Dressage at Devon is one of several events put on by NDSA for riders with physical disabilities. Each June, the Bayer/USET Festival of Champions hosts an NDSA Championship for riders in all of the IPEC Grades. The Mills Team Challenge, held each August as part of the North American Young Riders’ Championships, presented by State Line Tack, is a competition in which riders with disabilities compete together with able-bodied young riders in a special team competition. Additionally, the NDSA supports many clinics at various locations throughout the year, including forums on judging dressage riders with physical disabilities.

NDSA is also responsible for fielding this country’s teams for recognized international events for riders with disabilities including the World Championships and the Paralympic Games, which will be held in Athens, Greece in September 2004 just after the Olympic Games.

The NDSA is the national governing body for equestrian sport for riders with disabilities. The non-profit organization is responsible for the development and selection of riders for national championships and international competitions, including World Championships and the Paralympic Games, and provides training, competition and advocacy for riders of all levels with physical disabilities. For more information about NDSA and opportunities to support the programs, please visit our website at or contact Denise Avolio at (914) 949-8166 or


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