The United States Equestrian Team Foundation
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By: Lindsay Y. McCall

Annie Peavy and Royal Dark Chocolate at the 2017 Adequan Global Dressage Festival CPEDI3*. (Photo: Lindsay Y. McCall)

Annie Peavy and Royal Dark Chocolate at the 2017 Adequan Global Dressage Festival CPEDI3*. (Photo: Lindsay Y. McCall)

Avon, Conn. – Aug. 9, 2017 – 2016 USA Paralympian and 2014 World Equestrian Games athlete Annie Peavy (Avon, Connecticut) and Paralympic teammate Margaret “Gigi” McIntosh (Reading, Pennsylvania) headed to Europe this summer to compete in two international para-dressage competitions. Peavy rode at the Hartpury Festival of Dressage CPEDI3* July 5–9 with her Paralympic mount Lancelot Warrior and her new partner Royal Dark Chocolate. Peavy and her horses had an outstanding first show in Hartpury, giving them a valuable education of what to expect at Bishop Burton CPEDI3* July 25–29. McIntosh joined the trio at Bishop Burton with her new, 13-year-old Danish Warmblood mare, Heros. Both equestrians had top finishes. Peavy brought home the Grade IV championship, earning a first in the Team Test on Lancelot Warrior with a 68.325 percent and second with Royal Dark Chocolate, earning a 68.275 percent. Peavy came back the second day for the Grade IV Individual Test, earning a 70.049 percent for first place with Royal Dark Chocolate and garnering second with Lancelot Warrior with a 68.415 percent. Peavy and Royal Dark Chocolate dominated the Grade IV Freestyle, earning a 72.3 percent for the blue. McIntosh took home fifth place in the Grade I Team Test with a 63.964 percent, a third place in the Grade I Individual with a 64.536 percent and a second place in the Freestyle with 68 percent. The FEI ground jury at the Bishop Burton CPEDI3* held at Bishop Burton College in Bishop Burton, East Riding of Yorkshire, England, included Sue Petty GBR 3*, Jane McGarrell Groves GBR 3*, Bo Ahans SWE 4*, David Schmutz USA 4* and Wendy Barker AUS 4*. Peavy and McIntosh will join USA para-dressage athletes from around the country in September at the USEF Para Equestrian Dressage National Championship, sponsored by Deloitte, Sept. 14–17 at Tryon International Equestrian Center in Tryon, North Carolina, site of the 2018 World Equestrian Games.

With so many medaling athletes based in Europe, traveling overseas to compete can be very beneficial for a United States rider. Not only does the rider compete alongside their international counterparts, but they are seen by more international judges in international venues. These, along with other elements, can prepare our horses and riders for future competition at world events. Peavy came out of Hartpury learning more about her new horse Royal Dark Chocolate and strengthening her relationship with both horses. Peavy commented, “Bishop Burton’s CPEDI3* was a great finish for me. It was the first time I won a competition in England. Both Lance and Cocoa gave me their best. Cocoa is still a fairly new partnership and with each competition our connection and my love of riding her grows. She has such a kind heart and is always willing in the arena. It felt great to represent America and I am happy to finish in a top position. I could not have done this without my generous parents, Ed Peavy and Rebecca Reno. I’m so thankful to have my trainer, Heather Blitz, for bringing me to the top and my super groom, Alex Philpin, for caring to Lance and Cocoa.”

Heros with Margaret McIntosh

Heros with Margaret McIntosh

For Peavy’s teammate, McIntosh, Bishop Burton was the first time she competed with her new horse, Heros, in international para-dressage competition. After hearing a resounding endorsement of horse-hunting talent Michel Assouline’s wife and classical dressage trainer, Mette, who found both British Grade I team horses, McIntosh asked Mette to help her find a Grade I horse. McIntosh and her USA trainer, Missy Ransehousen, met Mette in Denmark in May where they found Heros. McIntosh trained with Mette at her farm in Colne Engaine, Essex, U.K., for the month of July before heading to the CPEDI3* at Bishop Burton. McIntosh explained, “By the time of Bishop, I had Heros for less than one month, I had no idea what to expect at our first show. I managed to make every common mistake in our first outing, going off course, pausing to poop and whinnying. Our subsequent tests showed steady improvements, culminating in a lovely Freestyle for second place behind London Paralympic medal winner, Laurentia Tan. Despite my mistakes, our new USA team coach, Michel Assouline, liked what he saw in the first test, stating, ‘The pieces are all there.’ He and Missy [Ransehousen] were both delighted with our Freestyle performance and we are all looking forward to the CPEDI3* in Tryon in September.”

Margaret McIntosh at the Bishop Burton Arena with her groom Ellen Beardsley, Michel Assouline, Missy Ransehousen and her daughter, Charlotte McIntosh Tarr.

Margaret McIntosh at the Bishop Burton Arena with her groom Ellen Beardsley, Michel Assouline, Missy Ransehousen and her daughter, Charlotte McIntosh Tarr.

McIntosh added, “I want to thank Missy and Jessica Ransehousen, Mette and Michel Assouline, Charlotte McIntosh, Ellen Beardsley, Alex Philpin and Becky Reno for all of their great help in making this wonderful trip happen.”

Both riders and their horses will head to Tryon, North Carolina, in September for the USEF Para Equestrian Dressage National Championship, sponsored by Deloitte, Sept. 14–17, at Tryon International Equestrian Center, site of the 2018 World Equestrian Games.

About the United States Para-Equestrian Association:

The United States Para-Equestrian Association (USPEA) includes every recognized equestrian discipline that is practiced by athletes with an eligible physical impairment with a focus on Paralympic equestrian sports. The USPEA is a network of current and past athletes, owners, officials, event organizers and equestrian enthusiasts. The association assists athletes to get involved and expand their knowledge and experience in the disciplines of para-equestrian.

USPEA was created to fill a need to assist para-equestrian disciplines when they came under the governance of the FEI. While para-equestrian disciplines were originally segregated, they now are integrated in international sport. As each individual para-equestrian discipline develops, it is USPEA’s mission to always serve as an advisory resource with the ultimate goal that the established able-bodied discipline affiliate will integrate within their organization.

In 2010, the USPEA earned its 501(c)(3) status and became a recognized international affiliate association of US Equestrian, working together to grow the FEI-recognized disciplines by helping to provide press, educational information, symposiums and competition opportunities for athletes with eligible physical impairments.

For more information about the USPEA, please visit or contact USPEA President Hope Hand by e-mail at or by phone at 610-356-6481.

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