August 30, 2012 -- Competition at the 2012 FEI World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships for Singles commenced Thursday at the Outdoor Brabant in Breda, The Netherlands. All three competitors on the U.S. Team successfully completed their dressage tests and the team sits in 4th place on a score of 124.0
Veteran Diane Kastama's 57.40 was the best score of the day for the Americans and it has her tied for 13th individually. Kastama (Arroyo Grande, CA), who is driving the de Ronde's KWPN Ruby R Van Stalle De Maurik, is tied with Great Britian's Mick Ward.
Driving Ben Honsbeek's KWPN gelding Night, Pam Johnson (Pleasant Hill, MO) earned a 66.60 and sits in 19th place.
Karen Gorham (Burnet, TX), a relative newcomer on the international para-driving scene, picked up a penalty while driving the Family De Bryne's New Forest Pony Rozendaal's Solomon and finished with a score of 75.00. She is currently in 21st place and will be the first driver out on the marathon course on Saturday.
2008 and 2010 team champions, The Netherlands and Germany respectively, dominated the team and individual competitions. Nine of the top ten individual scores, including all of the top eight, went to a German or Dutch competitor. Belgium's Bert Vermeir was the only driver from a country other than those two to place in the top ten. He currently sits in 9th place.
The Netherland's Jacques Poppen is the overall individual leader on the strength of his 37.00 dressage test score.
With a score of 75.4 the Netherlands leads the team competition. Germany is 2nd with 95.0 and Great Britain 3rd with 114.2.
The FEI World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships for Singles is being held in conjunction with the Dutch national four-in-hand driving championship. Dutch national four-in-hand competitors will perform their dressage tests on Friday so it will be a day off of competition for the Para-Equestrian drivers.
Para-driving competition will resume Saturday with the marathon phase and conclude Sunday with cones.
You can find results from the FEI World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships for Singles here.
The order-of-go for the marathon phase is online here.
Follow U.S. Para-Equestrian teams here.