London was an incredible experience for Jonathan and one he will not forget. He had the honor of representing
the USA at the 2012 Paralympics. Jonathan competed against the best para dressage riders, met athletes from around
the world, was honored at the White House with other Olympic and Paralympic athletes, had the privilege
of riding NTEC Richter Scale, and tried his best to bring home a medal! Although just short of the medals
Jonathan and Richter, coached and trained by Kai Handt, placed higher than any other US Equestrian at the 2012
Olympics and Paralympics!
At age twenty-one Jonathan was able to fulfill a dream with a very special horse, NTEC Richter Scale, owned by
Kai Handt. Richter, an 18 year old 17.2 hand Shire Cross with a heart of gold, is always willing to give his all, only
asking in return to be given a few carrots, sugar cubes and apples! Jonathan along with trainer and coach Kai Handt, and groom
Rachel Campbell, traveled first to Gladstone, NJ, for a week long Paralympic
Training Camp at the USET headquarters. The next stop was Surrey, England, and Andrew Gouldís barn for four days of training before
moving into Greenwich Park on the 24th of August.
Although the stadium was imposing and filled with spectators, Richter was unfazed by its grandeur both during
his tests and when serving as a companion horse to the other three USA horses during their tests. Kai had Richter
looking great, showing that their training program at home leading up to London was paying off. Jonathan rode with
determination and confidence putting in accurate tests and trying to maximize Richterís walk and trot work and
adjust to the judgeís comments after each test.
NTEC Richter proved all his critics wrong and made all his supporters proud as he put in consistent tests each
day. Jonathan and Richter held nothing back earning a 70.364% and 5th place in the Team test, a 70.348% and 4th
place in the Individual Test, and a 73% in the Freestyle placing 5th.
Kai specifically found Richter Scale for Jonathan in February 2009, after Jonathan approached him in the
winter of 2008 about becoming his coach, sponsor, and trainer for the Paralympics!
Kai and Jonathan quickly went to work preparing for their first USEF Para Equestrian National Championships
in May where Jonathan and Richter placed 7th overall.
In 2010 Jonathan, under Kaiís coaching and training, competed at nine USDF/USEF recognized shows, one CPEDI3*,
and the USEF National Championships where he qualified for the 2010 World Equestrian Games (WEG). Jonathan went on to compete as a
member of the USA Team that placed 7th. Jonathan's experience at WEG fueled his dream of representing the USA
in London as well as his competitive drive.
Toward this end Jonathan, in 2011, competed in three CPEDI3*s as a member of the USA Team and won the 2011 USEF
Para Dressage National Championships with NTEC Richter Scale. He was also the 10th ranked rider on the FEI World
Individual Ranking list which is the highest rank a US rider has ever achieved. Jonathan accomplished all
these milestones under Kai's coaching. Jonathan also had the privilege of
competing with NTEC Jabriel, owned by Dr. Rachel Zent, as a second horse who taught him invaluable lessons.
Dr. Rachel was not only a horse sponsor, but she also served as an invaluable team member at all the shows,
helping out in numerous ways!
January 2012 Jonathan rode NTEC Richter Scale and NTEC Jabriel as a member of the USA Team at two CPEDI3*s in
Florida and helped to secure a USA Team spot at the 2012 London Paralympics. In June 2012, he competed in the
USEF US Para Equestrian Dressage National Championships and the 2012 Paralympic USA Selection Trials. Jonathan placed second
with NTEC Richter Scale and sixth with Silvano, a horse owned by Dr. Michele Miles and secured both a team spot and a first
alternate spot for the 2012 London Paralympics.
London was an invaluable learning experience and an opportunity to go up against the best in the world and
give them a run for their money. This accomplishment would not have been possible without Kaiís sponsorship, coaching and
training, horse sponsors Rachel Zent and Michele Miles, groom Rachel Campbell, as well as all of his supporters at North
Texas Equestrian Center and across Region 9!
London has also fueled Jonathanís commitment and determination to compete in the 2014 World Equestrian
Games in Normandy and the 2016 Paralympics in Rio where he will continue his medal quest for the USA!