Paraequestrian Genevieve rides to her goalJune 12, 2022
Written by Genevieve Rohner
Photos by Deborah Hickey
For the last five years, I have been the youngest U.S. classified Para Dressage competitor. When I competed in March of this year, I became the youngest in the world (by about three years). My competitors in the international competition were the most recent gold and bronze medalists from the Tokyo Paralympics last year. Making the 2024 team would make me the youngest ever to compete in Paralympic dressage.
In the 2021 season, I achieved a national ranking as the USDF Year-End Para Grade IV Reserve Champion, earning an average score from all competitions of 68.5%. The person in first place is the Tokyo bronze medalist, Kate Shoemaker, who is also my coach. She is very supportive of me despite that we are competitors. I really look up to her. This year (2022) I want to qualify for my first national championships. Currently I am on the USEF Para Emerging Athletes list, and I want to earn scores to qualify for the next level, Development Athlete List.
In addition to riding, I also earned my D level in Pony Club, and I’m starting to work on my C level certification. Last season I spent 60 hours volunteering locally at a ranch for kids that helps them with psychotherapy in conjunction with horses. I took care of the horses and animals (goats, chickens and ducks), the stalls and got to exercise the horses. I also volunteered 15 hours with my school and got certified in the National Junior Honor Society.
– Genevieve Rohner
I have been working toward my big goals for almost a decade now. This sets me apart from other kids my age. Most of my friends don’t really understand what I do. But one day maybe they will. My motto is, “There’s no guarantee I’ll make the team or medal, but someone will, so why not try!”
“Thanks for support GoHawkeye!”
2021 USDF Rider Recognition (Riding/Academic/Volunteering)
2021 USEF Region 5 Youth Sporstman Award Nominee (Riding/Academic/Volunteering)
2021 UDS Ellen Walker Jr/YR Sportsmanship Award
2019 Utah Dressage Society, Para Jr/Yr Champion
2019 Utah Dressage Society, Jr/Yr Scholarship winner
2019 Sage Creek Equestrian Para Riders Award of Athletic Excellence (67.5%)
2019 UDS Ellen Walker Jr/YR Sportsmanship Award
Academic/Service/Other Awards & Achievements
2021 National Junior Honor Society
2021 U.S. Pony Club – D3 Rating
2018 – 2021 USEF Interscholastic Athlete Lettering recipient
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