American Equus Welcomes Para Dressage Athlete Alyssa Cleland to Chosen Rider Roster
|Gilbert, Ariz.- Jan. 7, 2019 – American Equus is excited to welcome Para-Dressage rider, Alyssa Cleland, to their list of well-respected Chosen Riders. Cleland is a Grade V Para-Dressage rider with dreams of being named to the 2024 Los Angeles Para-Olympics. American Equus is looking forward to engineering stirrups that can support Alyssa’s disability and help her to compete as effectively as possible.
Cleland was born in Ukraine with a rare condition called Paraxial Tibial Hemimelia, which effects one-in-a-million people. The rare condition left her without a tibia on her right leg. After being adopted into the United States, Alyssa was fitted for a prosthetic limb and has been an active and tenacious athlete.
After taking her first Para-Dressage lesson just one year ago, Cleland has progressed quickly and made the decision to move from her home in Oklahoma to Texas so that she could train full-time on her mount NTEC Daytona Beach. Most recently she competed in the Southwest Dressage Championships where she earned a 5th place finish.
Para-Dressage follows many of the same rules as traditional Dressage. The sport was developed to allow disabled equestrian the opportunity to compete at a high level, without the restriction of their disabilities. Athletes are divided into different competition grades based on their functional abilities and are tasked with completing tests based on those grades.
“The founding vision of American Equus was to help riders ride more effectively and I am very excited to partner with Alyssa and use our background in engineering to help her achieve her goals as a para-dressage rider,” remarked David Shano, founder of American Equus.
Based in Gilbert, Arizona, American Equus produces stirrups and spurs out of lightweight and durable aluminum alloy. Completely customizable, with hand-polished finishes, American Equus products are the perfect mixture of equestrian tradition and 21st century production technology, design and function. The company designs and manufactures equipment suitable for all equestrian disciplines including hunter/jumper, dressage, polo, western and racing. American Equus is also currently the only company to produce stirrups and spurs completely in the United States.
“When it comes to riding horses we rely heavily on cues given with our legs and seat. As an amputee, I ride without my prosthetic, which means I only have one leg to give cues with. It’s difficult to ask your horse to do something when your stirrups are not secure or it is difficult to keep your leg in the right place,” states Cleland. “The first day I started using American Equus stirrups I noticed a difference. I didn’t have any difficulty with my stirrups and it made me feel 100% more confident, as I was able to give clear cues to Daytona and she responded immediately. These stirrups are magnificent and I would recommend them to anyone and everyone! The added bonus is that you will get compliments on how fabulous they look!”