North Salem, NY – September 17, 2019 – In their first CPEDI together, U.S. Paralympic rider Sydney Collier and her new horse All In One placed fifth overall in the Adequan®/USEF Para Dressage CPEDI3* National Championship in Tryon, NC, on September 13-15. They also served on the U.S. Para Dressage team that won the Nations Cup over the Canadian team.
“All In One blew away all our wildest expectations,” said Collier. “We all knew it was in him, but seeing how consistent he was in such a big, electric atmosphere was great. Every day, I went into the warm-up ring with exactly the same horse. That’s key, because some horses come out completely different on different days. He’s completely embraced his job and enjoys it. It’s a more special partnership than I can describe with words.”
Collier and All In One, or “Alle,” placed third in both the Grade 1 Team Test and the Grade 1 Individual Test with scores of 71.00% and 71.60%, then claimed fourth place in the Grade 1 Freestyle with a score of 72.72%. Her combined scores put her into fifth place overall in the National Championship standings, which included riders from all five para grades.
Top U.S. show jumper Georgina Bloomberg purchased All In One in July to help support Collier in her goal to be selected for the U.S. team at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games. Collier, 21, has represented the United States at the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games in Caen, France, and the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, where she finished seventh individually riding Western Rose. In 2014, she won the Against All Odds award from the FEI.
“It’s fantastic to see Sydney doing so well with All In One,” said Bloomberg. “I’m extremely proud to be part of her journey. There’s no one who loves representing the United States more than Sydney. She’s always in red, white, and blue, and I’m thrilled she was able to help the U.S. Para Dressage team secure a victory in addition to having such a great show as an individual.”
“I want to say a huge thank you to Georgina for helping make this opportunity come into my life,” Collier said. “Without her, I wouldn’t have Alle. It was very special being down there and getting texts from her as she’s [competing at the American Gold Cup]. She always says, ‘Good luck!’ and is cheering me on. I just feel so lucky to have the team that I have now, because I think we’re on the perfect track toward 2020.
“All of the winding turns brought us here to this moment. Even though my path wasn’t straight this year by any means—it was very windy and at times that can get very discouraging—it led me to Alle. He’s my unicorn. He went into that ring and put his heart on the line as much as I did,” said Collier. “It makes me even more excited for the future, because if we’re in fifth place overall at our very first competition, just think how much we can solidify our partnership before January.”
Collier plans to spend the fall riding with her trainer, Wes Dunham, in Millbrook, NY, fine-tuning the details of her performances with Alle. “I really want to work on my geometry,” she said. “Even though it has improved, I want to work on getting it even more spot-on than it was in Tryon. I really need to step up to Alle’s incredible talent and be the best rider I can be for him. I’m going to be getting fit and spending all my time doing school, being in the gym, and riding. It’s going to be a fun couple of months.” Collier and Alle will show next in Wellington, FL, at CPEDI3* competitions at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival on January 8-12 and 22-26.
“This was a very good opportunity for me to get more familiar with Alle in a show environment and then go home and work on the things we observed,” said Collier. “My trainer and my whole team go home from these competitions invigorated and wanting to polish everything, so there’s just that much more spark under us now. The two shows in Florida are where Alle and I are planning to be in the top three.”
Collier is combining her riding career with pursuing a degree in communications online through DeVry University. She was awarded a full scholarship through the Athlete Career Education program of the United States Olympic Committee. “I want to give back by becoming a disability rights and para-sport advocate,” she said.
Collier rides at the Grade I para-equestrian dressage level, in which the tests are performed at the walk only. She began riding as able-bodied at the age of seven but switched to para-equestrian at age 11 after being diagnosed with the rare Wyburn Mason Syndrome. The congenital birth defect caused tumors and a massive stroke and subsequent brain surgery left her with limited use of the left side of her body, completely blind in her right eye, and three-quarters blind in her left eye. Collier’s hometown is Ann Arbor, MI, but she lives in Stanfordville, NY, in order to train with Wes Dunham at Woodstock Stables in Millbrook, NY.
An animal lover from an early age, Georgina Bloomberg has combined a career in international show jumping with extensive philanthropic work with animal welfare and The Rider’s Closet, an organization she founded to help provide underprivileged riders with clothes and equipment. Bloomberg, who also co-authored four young adult novels about the horse show world, is based in New York City, NY; North Salem, NY; and Wellington, FL.