Lexington, Ky. – Carlisle Academy, New England’s premier integrative riding school, has received a federal grant of $52,100 from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Adaptive Sports Program. This grant was awarded in partnership with the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH) to increase and expand para-equestrian sport opportunities to disabled veterans and their coaches at the community, regional, and national levels.
The USEF and the United States Para-Equestrian Association (USPEA) recently designated Carlisle Academy as one of three International Para-Equestrian Dressage Centers of Excellence for fostering growth in para-equestrian dressage.
“This grant is a testament to the success of Carlisle Academy and the vision of Sarah Armentrout and all who work with her,” said Will Connell, USEF Director of Sport. “Equestrian has so much to offer those with disabilities, whether it be therapeutic or the opportunity to excel as an elite athlete on the international stage. As a former member the British Armed Forces, I have complete admiration for, and fully support, those that seek to provide opportunities for our disabled veterans. This grant will expand opportunities for veterans and I hope will allow more to experience all the noble horse has to offer.”
Carlisle Academy has been a long-time leader in its field and offers a range of equine-assisted therapy and sport programs. Since 2008, the Academy has provided services to disabled veterans, and this grant will expand on these offerings to build a national coaching and training pathway for eligible veterans to pursue their Paralympic sport dreams.
“We are thrilled to receive this grant which will allow us to bridge the therapeutic horsemanship
and para-equestrian communities, while creating greater access for veterans and their coaches to these growing adaptive sports,” said Sarah Armentrout, Head of School at Carlisle Academy. “I would like to thank our congressional leaders, U.S. Senator Susan M. Collins, U.S. Senator Angus S. King Jr., and U.S. Representative Chellie Pingree for their ongoing support.”
Carlisle Academy has invested considerable resources in para-equestrian experts who complement its staff of therapists and instructors to help athletes and their coaches lay the foundation for success in para-dressage and para-driving. Clive Milkins, Paralympic Coach from the United Kingdom with over 20 years dedicated to the sport of para-dressage is on staff at the Academy, actively training athletes, coaches, and their horses from the grassroots through high-performance levels. Scott Monroe, a carriage driving national champion and PATH Level 2 Therapeutic Driving Instructor is an affiliate coach for driving clinics and lessons. As a veteran who served in the U.S. Marine Corps, Monroe has a keen interest in working with wounded service men and women to develop their competition skills in Para-Driving.
“Carlisle Academy is staffed with highly trained and enthusiastic personnel who are respectful, caring, creative, and accommodating of the varied needs and concerns that many veterans have,” said Amy L. Marcotte, Team Leader, Sanford Vet Center and a veteran. “Many veterans have reported back to us that through participation in the Carlisle Academy programs, they have found a sense of purpose and connectedness to others. To date, we have received nothing but positive feedback from our veterans and their family members.”