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Scott Monroe's role at the championship was that of team coach. But this was not the first time he's worked with Stefanie; not only has Monroe been Stefanie's trainer for several years, but he also owned and showed Shadow for many years.

Stefanie’s disability – she is paralyzed from the chest down – requires that someone sit beside her in the carriage. At the championship, that person was Monroe. He holds the whip and works the brake, and, if necessary, uses the reins. “My job is to keep her and Shadow safe.”

“Riding with her is fantastic,” explains Monroe. “She’s receptive, open and talented. She takes direction immediately. She understands it; she understands the concept. She understands the feel. Where we feel it through our fingers, she feels it through her shoulders. That’s the amazing part. Too much contact, too little correction – she can do all that – all through her shoulders.”

“I wish that every student that I worked with was as enthusiastic, and dedicated and understood as well as Stef. Always ready to work, happy, what more could you ask for in a student? She's a great partner. And I see her as a partner more than a student/teacher. She is at least my equal.

"I treat her as a regular able-bodied person, and she loves that. She was a very competitive rider – captain of her polo team in college – so she has strong equestrian skills." Scott calls Stefanie "Captain." When he started working with her, and they went to shows, many people were telling her what to do. He pulled her aside and told her "You are the driver. You are the captain of this ship. You drive this ship – you tell them what you want them to do.”

Stefanie wants to go faster, so Monroe has worked with her to up the speed gradually, first cantering in and out of obstacles, then cantering inside them, galloping out. He has helped her become the “captain of her ship” – taking charge of the team of people that are needed to help her.

This is Shadow’s (Bethesda After Dark) second career. With Monroe, Shadow won three USEF National Championships and competed internationally at two World Singles Championships. He knows Shadow and knows that he is not a ‘push-button' horse.

“Stefanie is at least my equal,” says Monroe, “more than any Advanced driver in this country." We complain – but she just does it.”

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