Para-Equestrian Developing Driver Clinic a Roaring Success

by USDFD on October 22, 2013

Para-Equestrian Developing Driver Clinic a Roaring Success

Lodi, Calif. – October 21, 2013- United States Driving for the Disabled presented another exciting clinic for Para-Drivers October 9-13, 2013. Held during the the Shady Oaks Combined Driving Event (CDE) in Lodi, Calif., six Para-Equestrian drivers were given the opportunity to clinic with top professionals during the same weekend as their competition. Clinicians included Fritz Grupe, who represented USA in the FEI World Pairs and is host and builder of California’s premier Combined Driving event Shady Oaks; Drew Callahan, Advanced Driver and Driving and Dressage trainer and coach based in Scottsdale, Ariz.; and

Diane Kastama, Rupert and George Tony Adams on the back
Diane Kastama (left) and Tony Adams with horses Rupert and George photo by Sherry Stewart

Diane Kastama, World Champion in Para-Equestrian Driving Grade 1 and Advanced Combined Driving Single and Pair competitor. The clinic included private instruction in Dressage, Cones, and Hazards in addition to group course walks to discuss speed, options, and how to approach tricky sets on the hazard course. The clinic was free to United States Driving for the Disabled members.

The Para-Equestrian drivers that participated included Stefanie Putnam (Grade 1) driving Lazlo, a Holstiener owned by Anke Magnusson in Training Single Horse; Ginny Leal (Grade 2) driving her own Halflinger Dancer in Training Single Horse; Judy Smith (Grade 1) driving Access Adventure’s pair of Percherons in Training Horse Pair;  Tracy Bowman (Grade 1) driving her own Bella, a Welsh Cob at Preliminary Single Pony; Anne Hansen driving her own Zorro a Saddlebred Friesen cross at Intermediate Single Horse; and Diane Kastama (Grade 1) driving her own pair of Welsh Cobs, Rupert and George at Advanced Pair Horse.

All drivers were competing in open classes and divisions during the Shady Oaks CDE. On Wednesday, Oct. 9, Drew Callahan gave individual schooling dressage lessons to the competitors as they arrived. Callahan continued on Oct. 10, with the remaining para-equestrians after his own Intermediate test. All participants raved about the assistance they were given and they were thrilled to have had the opportunity to recieve extra instruction.  Friday afternoon, Advanced Pair driver and host of Shady Oaks, Fritz Grupe, took all participants through the hazard course helping each driver with their chosen route. After everyone went through, Fritz and Diane Kastama went back and walked the hazards with the Advanced routes in mind. Saturday afternoon, the cones course opened for walking and Drew Callahan met with Para-Equestrian drivers and answered any questions the drivers may have had about the course.

For more information about this or future clinics please contact Diane Kastama at


Stefanie  Putnam, Lazlo, Scott Monroe
Stefanie Putnam (left) and Scott Monroe (right) with Lazio photo by Sherry Stewart
Ginny Leal, Dancer,
Ginny Leal and Dancer photo by Sherry Stewart
Tracy Bowman, Bella, Jolie Wentworth on back step.
Tracy Bowman with horse Bella and Jolie Wentworth on back step. Photo by Sherry Stewart
Anne Hansen, Zorro  husband Bob Hansen on the back.
Anne Hansen and horse Zorro and husband Bob Hansen on the back. Photo by Sherry Stewart
Judy Smith Percherons
Judy Smith driving Access Adventure’s pair of Percherons. Photo by Sherry Stewart

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