Diane Kastama, Arroyo Grande, CA, Grade I.
In 1991 a car crash left Diane paralyzed from the waist down. Although a lifelong horse person and dressage enthusiast, riding without the use of her legs was not much fun. She soon turned to driven dressage and then the exciting sport of combined driving. Her relatives and friends thought she was crazy for taking on a sport that involves sitting atop a tall carriage, pulled by a horse going "hell-bent" for speed.
Diane started competing with her home bred Appaloos's but now Diane competes with a pair of Section D Welsh Cobs, Rupert and George. She drives them single, pair and tandem. She competes against able-bodied drivers all over the western United States and occasionally on the east coast at the Intermediate and Advanced levels.
Diane has demonstrated her skills and been an ambassador for the sport at Rolex, Kentucky, Horse Expo in Sacramento, the Night of the Horse in Del Mar, The Equine Affair and various therapeutic horse programs throughout California. She also participated in the closing ceremonies at the 2006 World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany.
Diane is always willing to share her skills and knowledge and bring driving to the forefront of equine sports. Diane has been very succesful in international Para-Equestrian competition, coming home with an Individual Silver and Team Bronze driving a borrowed Welsh Cob Stallion in 2002 Greven, Germany. In 2004 she place 5th with a borrowed Welsh Cob in Endinburg, Scotland. In 2006 she came home with Individual Gold driving her own Welsh Cob gelding Jasper. In 2008 Diane earned Individual Bronze and Team Silver driving Jasper once again.