Ashburn, Ontario—Canada claimed victory today over the United States in the Team competition at the WindReach International CPEDI3*. Spectators took advantage of the beautiful weather to watch Canadian Team members Lauren Barwick of Aldergrove, BC, Eleonore Elstone of Langley, BC, Ashley Gowanlock of Langley, BC, and Jennifer McKenzie of Maple Ridge, BC secure the top spot in the Team portion of the competition.
“We are very pleased with all of the Canadian performances today, and are particularly proud to win the Team competition on home soil,” said Elizabeth Quigg-Robinson, Chef d’équipe for the Canadian Para-Equestrian Team. “This has been a great event to promote the sport of Para-Dressage as well as prepare riders for the upcoming World Equestrian Games.”
The highest Canadian score of the day was again achieved by Lauren Barwick of Aldergrove, BC with a score of 67.460% on her Paralympic horse Maile in the Grade 2 class.
“I am very proud of my mare. She came into the ring in great form,” said Barwick, a Gold and Silver medalist from the 2008 Paralympic Games. “There were some rider errors on my part, but I am looking forward to competing in the Freestyle Test tomorrow, which will be a lot fun.”
Other notable Canadian performances included another win from Ashley Gowanlock of Langley, BC who took top place in the Grade 1b Individual Test with a score of 65.217% riding Donnymaskell owned by Sandy (Alexander) Mitchell; a second place finish from Tara Kowalski of Vancouver, BC in the Grade 1a Individual Test with a score of 63.833% riding MJ Fatal Attraction owned by Philippa Keegan and Rachael Tipper; and a first place finish from Eleonore Elstone of Langley, BC riding Why Not G owned by Kelleigh Kulcsar in the Grade 4 Individual Test with a score of 67.204%.
The top three results from each class were as follows:
Grade 1a Individual Test:
1st-Laura Goldman (USA) riding Carlingfurd JD owned by Trudy Phillips with 72.167%
2nd-Tara Kowalski (Vancouver, BC, CAN) riding MJ Fatal Attraction owned by Philippa Keegan and Rachael Tipper with 63.833%
3rd-Kim Decker of (USA) riding Dashers Destiny owned by Paul Decker with 62.667%
Grade 1b Individual Test:
1st-Ashley Gowanlock (Langley, BC, CAN) riding Donneymaskell owned by Sandy (Alexander) Mitchell with 65.217%
2nd-Rosie Fahey (AUS) riding Narhan’s Gift owned by Laura Austin with 60.725%
3rd-Laurietta Oakleaf (USA) riding Niekele fan Busenitz owned Joanne Bosma with 59.420%
Grade 2 Individual Test:
1st-Lauren Barwick (Aldergrove, BC, CAN) riding Maile owned by Lauren Barwick with 67.460%
2nd-Rebecca Hart (USA) riding Kazan owned by Kerri Sowers with 66.825%
3rd-Jennifer McKenzie (Maple Ridge, BC, CAN) riding Sunbury Lodge Voodoo with 65.873%
Grade 3 Individual Test:
1st-Erin Alberda (USA) riding Collo 5 owned by Peter Gray with 64.667%
2nd-Yu-Jen Sun (Chinese Taipei) riding Legacy owned by Jacqueline Norman with 56.111%
3rd-Beth Levine (USA) riding Cinnamon Girl owned by Lauren Adam with 42.000%
Grade 4 Individual Test:
1st-Eleonore Elstone (Langley, BC, CAN) riding Why Not G owned by Kelleigh Kulscar with 67.204%
2nd-James Dwyer (IRE) riding Orlando owned by James Dwyer with 66.022%
3rd-Eleonore Elstone (Langley, BC, CAN) riding Lutke owned by Terry Bianco with 60.323%
Tomorrow will be the final day of the event, with 39 entries competing in the Freestyle Tests from Australia, Bermuda, Chinese Taipei, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, the United States and Canada.
WindReach Farm is a 109-acre property located northeast of Toronto in Ashburn, Ontario. The farm is the life-long dream of founder Sandy Mitchell, an equestrian enthusiast born with cerebral palsy, and is designed to cater specifically to individuals with disabilities.
About WindReach Farm
Located at 312 Townline Road in Ashburn, Ontario, Canada, WindReach Farm is a fully wheelchair accessible working farm and registered charity. For the past twenty years, WindReach Farm has welcomed more than 20,000 visitors with physical and/or intellectual disabilities annually and continues to work with nearly 350 community organizations that include group homes, hospitals, schools and rest homes. Since 1992, WindReach Farm has offered three main programs: the Visitors program, the Work Experience program, and the Accommodation program.
In 2003, WindReach Farm’s founder, Mr. Mitchell, constructed a fully accessible stable and riding arena, with the objective of providing recreational riding opportunities for individuals with a disability, as well as the ability to host Para-Equestrian competitions.
In 2004, WindReach Farm hosted the first Canadian Open Paralympic Qualifier for Para-Dressage with resounding success, providing many Canadian riders with the opportunity to qualify for the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece.
In 2005, a therapeutic riding program was introduced at WindReach Farm, enabling individuals with disabilities from the Durham region and surrounding areas to do something that many able-bodied children will never have the opportunity to experience - learn to ride, care for, and develop a bond with a horse. www.windreachfarm.org.
About Para-Equestrian Canada
Para-Equestrian Canada is the Equine Canada committee responsible for developing programs for athletes with a physical disability, and implementing the Para-Dressage high performance program. Para-Equestrian is one of Canada’s most successful international disciplines, achieving an individual gold medal and an individual silver medal at the 2008 Paralympic Games, as well as two individual bronze medals at the 2004 Paralympic Games.
About Para-Equestrian Sport
Para-Equestrian sport provides riders with a physical disability the opportunity to compete against other riders with similar abilities. Riders are given a “Grade” based on their functional ability, and are judged on their riding skill against other athletes of the same Grade. There are five grades of competitions in dressage, with Grade IA representing the more severely impaired riders, and Grade IV representing the least severely impaired riders. Many Para-Equestrian athletes also compete alongside able-bodied competitors in Equine Canada competitions. At the grass roots level, Para-Equestrian encompasses a number of different disciplines, while the international stream focuses only on Para-Dressage. For more information, please visit www.equinecanada.ca/para-equestrian.
About Equine Canada
Equine Canada is Canada’s national governing body for equestrianism. A member-driven, charitable institution, it is the executive branch of the Canadian Equestrian Team, and the national authority for equestrian competition; the national voice for recreational riders; and the national association for equine welfare, breeding, and industry. Equine Canada is recognised by the Government of Canada, the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), and the Canadian Olympic Committee as the national organisation representing equestrian sport and equine interests. For more information about Equine Canada, please visit www.equinecanada.ca.
Photo: Para Canadian Team members Lauren Barwick of Aldergrove, BC, Eleonore Elstone of Langley, BC, Ashley Gowanlock of Langley, BC, and Jennifer McKenzie of Maple Ridge, BC secured the top spot in the Team portion of the competition at the WindReach International CPEDI3* on May 29, 2010. Photo Credit—Mary White of Lone Oak Equine Photography