Canadian Jamie Irwin and Pikarda

by Astrid Appels

The Ontarian Jamie Irwin was the first Canadian in years who almost got laureled with an individual medal at the North American Young Riders' Championships. However fate determined otherwise for the 20 year old from Lakefield, ON. Settling himself on 14th position with 61.17% in the preliminary test, Irwin started off slowly with his 10 year old Hanoverian mare Pikarda. His performance changed dramatically as he moved into third position in the team test by scoring 66.26%. Yet his test could not save Canada from dropping into a sixth team spot, while last year the Ontarions almost grabbed bronze. Automatically selected for the individual finals, Irwin rode his black to a 64.47% placing fifth and leaving him only 3% away from gold.

Irwin reconfirmed his qualities at Dressage at Devon by going into third (61.80%) and second (65.47%) position with Pikarda, who is owned by Chris von Gartzen. Irwin may be considered as a medal hopeful for next year's NAYRC which will be held at High Prairie Farms in Parker, CO.