Bio - Adria Di Maria

Allow me to introduce myself, Adria Di Maria, and the exciting world of Para-equestrian dressage, a sport which has been developing over the past 25 years. Athletes are classified according to their level of disability and compete on a national and international level. I contracted Polio in 1955, and as a result have significant weakness in both of my legs.

My goal is simple: I plan on being the best challenged rider I can be. This means being not only a member of our proud US Para-equestrian Team, but also a respected and contributing member of the community. As a Para-equestrian competitor, I hope to become an ambassador for the disabled athlete and to the world community in the specialty of Para Dressage at the Paralympics in 2012/ England.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Check out the new video on my blog.... a tribute to my beloved horse, Pan Pan.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I have been falling down on my blog...for which I apologize. But sometimes life gets in the way for even an equestrians passion. This is the wonderful gelding I will be leasing... Habakatz. He is a 14year old TB and has done well in First Level competition. He is a good boy and loves his carrots. We are working on feeling the connection and the power of the outside rein.
Starting to research lodging in Kentucky for the WEG in October. Although not participating, it is a fantastic opportunity to meet and watch para riders from all over the world!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Local Physically Challenged Athlete Awarded Funding Grant to Make her Athletic Dreams Come True

Adria Di Maria embraces her dream to shine in the world of equestrians dressage despite her life long battle with Polio and its unfortunate affects. Her dream is to become a successful equestrian paralympian and to ultimately represent the United States internationally. Adria’s philosophy is “it is the ability that counts...not the disability”. Adria is passionate about this journey and will do everything possible to reach her goal. Her greatest challenge is not her disability, although it is very real, but the funds to make becoming a Paralympic equestrian happen.

It is the mission of the Challenged Athlete Foundation to provide opportunities and support to people with physical disabilities so they can pursue active lifestyles through competitive athletics. It is CAF’s vision to be recognized as a leader in the movement through which physical challenged athletes are accepted and respected at the same level as able body athletes.

If you would like to support this special woman in her quest to represent the United States at the state, national and international dressage competitions for people with disabilities, please join Challenged Athletes Foundation
and send your tax deductible donations to:
Scholarship fund for Adria Di Maria
REINS P.O. box 1283 Bonsall, CA 92003

Thursday, April 1, 2010

World Games 2010

Para Dressage:If you want to watch history in the making, be sure to see the Para Dressage competition. Para Dressage is making its World Equestrian Games debut at the 2010 Games. The discipline showcases physically disabled riders performing at a World Championship level.
Riders are assessed by mobility, strength and coordination to establish their classification profile. Their classification profile divides them in Grades, ranging from Grade I (most impaired) to Grade IV (least impaired). Classification is necessary so the athletes are judged on their skills regardless of their disability.
Para-Dressage riders will compete in individual and team events, including the crowd pleasing Musical Freestyle.
For more information about Para Dressage and to purchase tickets, go to

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Clinic with Debbie McDonald

Had a wonderful opportunity to watch a professional dressage rider explain the subtleties of riding dressage. Also, meet some of the other para riders from around the country. Couldn't work the details of bring a horse but..... next time.

Attending a workshop tomorrow about the Balimo Method. This is a concept that improves balance, feeling and timing while riding a horse through unmounted exercises. I am determined!

Monday, March 15, 2010

2010 Del Mar Show
by Kathy Beal

Show manager Kim Keenan Stordahl proves her visionary capabilities once again as the sixth annual Dressage Affaire, CDI, opened Friday, March 12, with its traditional CDI3*YJ along with its first annual CPEDI3*(Para Equestrian CDI). This means that the 2010 show offers CDI classes for para-equestrians alongside those offered to able-bodied equestrians. Keenan was excited that nine para-equestrians had entered the show. The Para classes had international Para Judge Hanneke Gerritsen (NED) and th weekend also includead a para clinic with Debbie McDonald. Many of these para riders perform on borrowed horses, and many of their horses, as well as the other CDI riders’ horses must travel considerable distance to compete. Unfortunately, some horses did not pass the jog. This is a great disappointment to any competitor, but as Para Judge Hanneke Gerritsen stated “It is of the utmost importance that we compete on healthy horses. Unfortunately, some horses did not pass the jog. One of the para-competitor’s horses had traveled 36 hours to compete and was unsound when jogged out. This made the rider horseless, but because para-riders can qualify on various horses, one rider did borrow a horse. "I was so proud of Jonathan Wentz for going forward and borrowing a horse that he had never ridden and competing anyway." Hanneke who traveled from Holland to officiate for the CPEDI3 also judges Para Equestrian events worldwide. She will be president of the Para Equestrian Ground Jury at the Alltech/FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky this fall. “The para-riders must attain a 60% at a CPEDI3* in order to be eligible to compete at WEG. Then the national federation decides which riders will represent the country” Hanneke said. There has been considerable growth in the participation of para-equestrians in international events especially since they have come under the umbrella of the FEI.