The US Equestrian Federation (USEF) is holding this year’s national finals and the team selection trials for its Para-equestrian riders in Gladstone, NJ starting on the June 12, 2012. Barbara Adside, along with 23 other riders, has been invited.
If she wins, she will compete in the 2012 Summer Paralympics Games in London, UK. Barbara is more than excited about this opportunity: “I’m the only one from the United States that has been chosen to qualify and go to this trial to get on the U.S. Paralympics equestrian team. Most of the people that are on there, I’d say 99% of them, have been doing this for like 17 or 20 years trying to get there. I have been doing this maybe 6 months, if that. In my competitions I have won mostly first place awards and that’s what has got me where I’m at.”
To prepare herself for the trials, Barbara works with a coach from Uruguay, training six hours a day. The horse she is working with, “Pegasus”, is coming to New Jersey with her. “He’s a pretty little boy. He is valiant, which is a big deal. Usually they are harder to ride, they are wilder”, says Barbara.
Despite all the excitement, Barbara cannot hide the fact that she is a little nervous: “My chances are probably slim, that’s the way I feel. But I felt that way as far as even being qualified. Because a lot of the odds were against me, I mean totally against me. Everything from financial issues to my experience. Usually it takes people at least seven to ten years to qualify.”
When I ask Barbara if the fact that the odds are against her make her try and work even harder, she says: “Yes, absolutely. I love what I’m doing. I love working with the horses”.