Canada's Olympic Dressage Team Heading to Athens
After the completion of the Grand Prix test at the Blainville CDI*** on July 1, Canada's Olympic dressage team was selected and announced. Canada's team for the 2004 Olympics is as follows:
Rider - Horse - Owner - Final Qualifying Score
Leslie Reid – Mark - Deryol Andrews - bye
Cindy Ishoy – Proton - Cindy Ishoy - 68.599
Belinda Trussell – Royan II - Belinda Trussell - 68.325
Ashley Holzer – Imperioso - Ashley Holzer - 67.588
Evi Strasser and Quantum Tyme are the reserves. Strasser, who will be representing Canada at the 2004 World Championships for Young Horses in Germany, will be taking Quantum Tyme with her in order to train and compete in several European competitions. They will be accessible to the Team should they be needed as a reserve.
The judges had to hold onto their hats and score sheets as high wind ripped through Blainville Equestrian Park during the Grand Prix test that formed the final of Canada's Olympic selection trials. The FEI panel consisted of Linda Zang (O) USA, Hanne Valentin (O) DEN, Angelika Frömming (I) GER, Lorraine MacDonald (I) CAN and Lisette Vega de Purcell (I) DOM.
First to compete was Evi Strasser and Quantum Tyme, who went down centre line in fourth position out of the five candidates. Quantum Tyme's work was expressive, but not completely without tension. The judges gave him a score of 65.333%. Jacqueline Brooks and Gran Gesto followed. Very smooth passage-piaffe transitions were a highlight in their 65.572% ride, which put them ahead of Strasser on this day.
Coming into the final trial in first place was Cindy Ishoy on Proton. A mistake in one of the canter pirouettes cost them some points, but their score of 67.558% kept them firmly in first place in the trials overall. “What I was really happy with is he came back fighting after the pirouette,” Ishoy said. “Often with a young horse they don't come back and settle, but he went back to work and did his job.”
Ashley Holzer, in third place going into the trials with Imperioso, rode one of her trademark mistake-free, fluid tests. Imperioso's honest, metronome-like performance earned the excellent score of 69.125% and first place in the class. “For my horse it's a great day,” Holzer said afterwards. “ He may not be as brilliant as some, but he will come out and consistently clock off tests. That's why he's a great team horse, in my opinion.”
Last to go was Belinda Trussell on Royan II. Other than a mistake in the two tempis, Royan II performed a clean test for a score of 68.458% and second place behind Holzer. “My goal today was to ride a steady test, and I did. Improving his marks is a matter of getting more expression. so I've been riding the edge with him.”
Chef d'equipe for Athens will be Gwynne Rooke who also took this role at the 2003 European Championships where Canada earned their Olympic Team berth.
Results - Grand Prix CDI*** July 1st, 2004
1. Imperioso – Ashley Holzer – 69.125%
2. Royan II – Belinda Trussell – 68.458%
3. Proton – Cindy Ishoy – 67.958%
4. Gran Gesto – Jacqueline Brooks – 65.792%
5. Quantum Tyme – Evi Strasser – 65.333%