Evaluation of Deborah McAlexander Para-Dressage Equestrian
Rachel Zent Handt, North Texas Equestrian Center
April 26, 2019
”Deborah McAlexander is one of our stand out new Para-Dressage riders. She is legally blind, and classified as a Grade V rider. Deborah had previous equestrian experiences, but first learned about the Paralympics on August 12, 2018, during a trail ride from another rider. Deborah did her research on Para-Dressage, and traveled to Texas to ride and train with Kai Handt in March, 2019. Kai Handt is the former USEF Para-Dressage Chef d’Equipe, personal high performance trainer and instructor, as well as the only USEF recognized Para Dressage Coach at the Master Level in the United States. He also owns and operates the USEF Center of Excellence, North Texas Equestrian Center. Deborah committed herself to becoming the best Para-Dressage rider that she could be March 17, 2019 during an Emerging Athlete Seminar and Talent Search held by Kai Handt and hosted at NTEC.
Deborah went to her first ever dressage show on April 5, 2019, a recognized USDF show, and received consistent scores above 67%, with a high score of 72.18%. She qualified for regional championships, and earned multiple first and second placings. She purchased Cornet Noir, the horse she borrowed to ride at that show, on April 18, 2019, and they have already registered for additional USDF recognized shows, with even bigger dreams for the future.
Deborah has faced many obstacles due to her disability with determination, has had a professional music career, and has been a motivational speaker. Deborah has inspired and touched many people in her new riding community, and to quote her, “Victory is not about the color of the ribbon, medal, or position one reaches in life. It’s about the adversities, obstacles, and failures overcome while trying to achieve the victory.”