Normandy, FRA, - For the second day in a row, Canada's Lauren Barwick had a podium finish for her Freestyle Test during the last day of para-dressage competition on Friday, August 29, at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy, FRA. Barwick of Aldergrove, BC, earned the silver medal riding Equine Canada's 13-year-old Oldenburg mare, Off to Paris, in the Grade II Freestyle Test. Barwick followed through on her prediction that she and her talented mare had a great Freestyle and were going to be a medal threat at the games. The pair received a fantastic score 76.250% for the sliver.
"It's very gratifying to be a double medallist here for Canada, and it just feels like we are on track for Brazil. We have two more years to prepare, and I feel that my mare is really settleing in to her job," said Barwick, who also won individual bronze yesterday for her Individual Championship Test. "My mare was super. We are going to build on her performances her today."
"To be 0.1% away from a gold medal makes me feel like, in my mind, my mare performed like a gold medal champion today," added Barwick, who, on top of great overall performance scores, also received high marks for harmony, inventiveness and music for her Freestyle.
Canadian teammate, Roberta Sheffield, who resides in Bourne, Lincolnshire, UK, also rode a lovely Freestyle Test for Grade III and finished just out of the medals in fourth place with a score of 70.200% riding Bindro T, Evelyn Little's eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding.
"This is my first big championships--my first major Games--riding for Canada, and my goal here was to get through to the Freestyle and get it done, and we did it," said Sheffield. "I'm so pleased that we put in a good performance. My horse is only eight years old and in his first year of international competition, and I have only been riding him since March, so I could not be more thrilled with how we did at these Games. I have had a fantastic experience here at WEG."
In addition to the medals and great results in the ring, the Canadian Team finished in eighth place out of 19 nations in the strongest field ever contested at a para-equestrian competition.
"We are really pleased with Lauren's ride. She was just 0.1% away from gold, but that is the sport. Canada is going home with silver and bronze medals," said Mary Longden, team coach. "Roberta has also done very well. This is her first big international competition and she had great rides to get into the Final."
"Today has proved to be a thrilling end to our WEG experience. We are absolutely overjoyed with Lauren's performance and her horse. We will take that medal silver with great pride," said Elizabeth Quigg, the chef d'équipe. "Roberta's performance was one of her best. We are delighted with the overall performance of our whole team at these Games and we are looking forward to Brazil."
"I have been coaching the Canadian Para-Dressage Team for seven years and this is the best year we have had with everybody. We really worked hard after London to get everything organized, and it really came together here. I want to say thank you to everyone on our team--from Jennifer our vet to our incredible grooms--who came together to make this an unforgettable and enjoyable experience," said Andrea Taylor, team coach.
"It is an incredible accomplishment for Lauren to win her second medal today amongst such strong international competition. She is an athlete, who is not only a stellar equestrian but also an accomplished horse woman, and all of that came through in a beautiful Freestyle Test today," said Amie O'Shaughnessy, Director of Para-Equestrian. "We are also immensely proud of Roberta who was so close to the podium at her first major games."
"Performances are at the forefront of every games, but beyond that, this team has been built on perseverance, integrity and commitment by so many skilled individuals," noted O'Shaughnessy.
The Canadian Para-Equestrian Team wishes to thank the organizing committee of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014. The team is also grateful to Own the Podium for their performance support and to High Pro Feeds as the official team sponsor.
"The whole team including the vets, grooms, administration staff and my co-coach have just been fantastic. I'd like to extend my appreciation to Amie O'Shaughnessy--this has been a really great experience," added Longden.
Leading the Canadian Para-Equestrian Team at the Games is Amie O'Shaughnessy, Director of Para-Equestrian; Mary Longden, team coach; Andrea Taylor, team coach; Dr. Jennifer Miller, team vet; and Elizabeth Quigg, chef d'équipe. The full team complement also includes Kerry-Anne Bourne, Lauren Massey and Emma Hale as grooms; Diana Andrews, Laura Dixon and Justine Bowers as athlete support; Sue McTavish as coach/groom; Caroline Archambault as RMT; and Anna Johnson, Para-Equestrian Coordinator.
Para-Equestrian Canada would like to thank its sponsors High Pro, Adequan, Centurion Equipment, Tipperary Equestrian, Bioniche Animal Health / Vetoquinol Canada and Bates Tack Shop.
For a complete schedule of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014, as well as full information and results, visit www.normandy2014.com.
For a full list of Canadians competing at the Games, rider bios and more, visit www.equinecanada.ca/cet or download the new Equine Canada Mobile App - EquineCAN!
Live broadcasts of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 will be available for viewing at through FEI TV.
The FEI World Equestrian Games are held every four years, in the middle of the Olympic cycle. The inaugural Games were hosted in Stockholm (SWE) in 1990. Since then, the Games have been staged in The Hague (NED) in 1994, Rome (ITA) in 1998, Jerez (ESP) in 2002, Aachen (GER) in 2006 and Lexington (USA) in 2010.