By: Sophia Wilbourn
Don’t go anywhere! The Tokyo Olympics might be over, but the Paralympics are just getting started, and Team USA is shining brightly.
After the first day of Para Dressage competition, the world’s number one ranked Para Dressage athlete, Roxanne Trunnell of Richland, Washington, won the grade I dressage individual test event at the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020. She is the first American rider to win a Paralympic medal in Para Dressage since 2004 and also the first to win gold since Vicki Sweigart did so in 1996. Trunnell is the third woman to ever win a dressage gold medal for Team USA at either the Olympic or Paralympic Games.
This is not Trunnell’s first Paralympic Games. She first competed in 2016, and has only become more skilled since then. This time around, she and her 9-year-old partner Dolton scored an 81.464 percent at Tokyo’s Equestrian Park, dashing the dreams of number two in the world, Latvia’s Rihards Snikus, who scored an 80.179 percent.
To keep her head in the game, Trunnell said she didn't look at the other scores before riding so that she could just go out and do her best.
“I rode as well as I hoped to today,” she said. “Dolton is a great horse. He really seemed to be thrilled to be just with me, the whole test. I'm really proud of him. It feels good to have a Paralympic gold medal, we've been working for this for a while.”
Photo courtesy of Trunnell’s Facebook.
Later in the evening, Rebecca Hart of Erie, Pennsylvania, who is competing in her fourth consecutive Paralympic Games, scored a 69.853 (11th place) in the grade III individual test dressage event. She rode her 12-year-old horse El Corona Texel. In 2016, Hart finished 9th in the event in Rio, was 11th in London in 2012, and 12th in Beijing in 2008.
In other news, the US Team has won their first ever Team medal in Para Dressage.
Read the full story at StreamHorseTV.
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