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Long Island Riders to Compete at Inner Vision Championships for Riders with a Disability

HUNTINGTON, NY- July 5, 2002- Three Long Island equestrians will compete at the Inner Vision Championships for Riders with a Disability (IVC) July 9-11 at Willow Tree Farm at Caumsett State Historic Park in Huntington, NY.

Maryellen King of Uniondale, NY, is a Grade I rider, the most physically impaired of all grades. Competing at the Walk only, King has been riding for ten years. In 1999, she was the United States Cerebral Palsy Athletic Association’s (USCPAA) Reserve Hi-Point rider for Grade I. The Inner Vision Championships will be her first international competition.

Joining King at the Inner Vision Championships will be Keith Newerla of Seaford, NY. The 19-year-old Grade II rider, who attends Southwest State University in Marshall, MN on a Wheelchair Basketball scholarship, has been competing in equestrian events at the local, regional and national level for the past 9 years. He has been named to the U.S. team for the Mills Team Challenge, a dressage competition for young riders with disabilities, at the North American Young Riders’ Championships in Wadsworth, IL, in August.

Jennifer Clayton, from Huntington, NY, also plans to compete at the Inner Vision Championships. Clayton has been blind from diabetes for five years, and started riding in

2000. She has competed in Pennsylvania and at the Long Island Invitational Horse Show for Riders with Disabilities, and has given riding demonstrations using "living letters" where people help blind riders be aware of where they are in the competition arena. Clayton will be competing in the novice division.

Unlike any other equestrian event, the upcoming Inner Vision Championships for Riders with a Disability (IVC) challenges physically impaired and able-bodied riders to experience competition from the other’s point of view.

Top riders from 6 countries will also participate in the Inner Visions Championships, an unprecedented dressage competition that has been approved and recognized by the International Paralympic Equestrian Committee (IPEC). Riders from Canada, Great Britain, Germany, Israel, Japan and the United States will compete in team and individual events.

A highlight will be the compulsory freestyle competition featuring individual tests designed by each rider and set to music. These gifted equestrians, performing tests written specifically for riders with disabilities, have only three days to train with borrowed horses assigned to them by a “draw” on July 9.

Training sessions will be held July 9-11, with a warm-up competition on July 12. Individual championship competition will begin at 8 a.m., Saturday, July 13, followed by musical freestyle competition at 1 p.m. Admission is free and the public is invited.

The IVC is co-hosted by the National Disability Sports Alliance (NDSA) and Pal-O-Mine Equestrian, Inc. Both are 501(c)3 organizations.

NDSA is responsible for the development and selection of riders for national championship and international competitions, including the Paralympic Games. It provides training, competition and advocacy for riders with physical disabilities.

Pal-O-Mine Equestrian Inc. is a therapeutic riding program located in Huntington, NY, that provides therapeutic, recreational and competitive horseback riding opportunities for people with physical, emotional and cognitive disabilities

For more information on the Championships, contact Denise Avolio at (914) 949-8166 or or Lisa A. Gatti, competition manager, at (631) 427-6105 or

The website address for the Inner Vision Championships is

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