The para dressage rider finds the Olympic mount at the Global Dressage Festival
While US Para Dressage Team rider Beatrice De Lavalette has competed nationally since her Paralympic debut in Tokyo last August, her Paralympic steed Clarc made her first ring appearance this week at CPEDI3* FEI Para Team Test Grade II and it ended in victory for the pair.
Their connection was on full display as judges Carlos Lopes of Portugal at E, Adrienne Pot of the United States at C and Anne Prain of France at M unanimously placed De Beatrice and Clarc in the lead with an overall score of 72.848%. For Beatrice, the leg yields were the most impressive part of their test.
“He felt really good,” she said of the 15-year-old KWPN gelding, who is by Dreamcatcher and a Lord Sinclair I mare. “His leg returns were perfect. He’s really good at moving laterally since I work with him a lot on that at home.
Now that they have represented the United States on the biggest stage, Beatrice relishes the opportunity to continue being selected for the teams.
“It was already an honor to represent the United States as an individual runner at the Paralympic Games. It’s so big, so you really feel the importance of representing your country. To be able to continue doing that is great. It’s such a feeling,” she said.
Béatrice and Clarc, owned by Elizabeth De Lavalette and Nicolas De Lavalette, had only been paired since October 2020 when they made their nine-month run to the Paralympic Games. This intense time together and their experience at the Games created a strong partnership, and they learned a lot from each other.
“I had the chance to open the whole competition [in Tokyo], because I was the first to go. It was stress added to more stress,” recalls Béatrice. “The two days [of competition] were great and we learned a lot during these two days.
“Now he’s just a love bug. He’s so sweet. He’s so eager to work and learn, and he’s just such a good boy. I couldn’t be more proud of him.
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