Canadian Para-Dressage Team Chef d’équipe Elizabeth Robinson Wins Toni Thompson 'Spirit of Dressage' Award

Ottawa, ON — Para-Equestrian Canada (PEC) is pleased to announce that Elizabeth Robinson was the 2010 recipient of the Toni Thompson 'Spirit of Dressage' Award at the Toronto CADORA Hall of Fame and Awards Banquet, held November 20, 2010 in Richmond Hill, ON.

Robinson of Gormley, ON, was recognized for her long-term volunteer efforts above and beyond the call of duty for Toronto CADORA and as Chef d’équipe of Canada's Paralympic Para-Dressage Team.

Robinson’s journey as a volunteer has taken her all over the world, and it all began in 1986 when she first met Toni Thompson, who was at that time recruiting for the 1986 Dressage World Championships taking place at International Equestrian Sport Services, commonly called IESS, in Cedar Valley, ON.  

In 1996 she was appointed Chef d’équipe of the Canadian Dressage Team for the Atlanta Olympics, and from 1997–2002, she was the Chef d’équipe of the Ontario Young Riders Dressage Team at the North American Young Riders Championships. In 2003, Robinson was the organizer for the dressage portion of the competition at the North American Young Riders Championship, in Bromont QC.

In 2005, she became Chef d’équipe for the Canadian Para-Dressage Team and chair of the PEC High Performance Committee. Some of the highlights Robinson has had with the Canadian Para-Dressage Team include the 2007 World Championships in England, 2008 Paralympic Games in Hong Kong and the 2010 Alltech World Equestrian Games in Lexington, KY.

"Whether in her capacity as a CADORA member or as Chef d’équipe of the Canadian Paralympic dressage team, Elizabeth has spent countless volunteer hours working on behalf of our sport," said Dorothy McDonall, Toronto CADORA president. "Elizabeth's drive and tenacity to get every para-dressage team planning challenge met, as well as her willingness to scribe at local dressage shows and help at the club and provincial level for CADORA, are only a few of the reasons Elizabeth deserves this award. We are very pleased to recognize Elizabeth's efforts with the Toni Thompson ‘Spirit of Dressage’ Award, named after a past president of Toronto CADORA and one of the sport's most dedicated and long-serving volunteers."

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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

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

Photo:  Para-Equestrian Canada (PEC) is pleased to announce that Elizabeth Robinson was the 2010 recipient of the Toni Thompson 'Spirit of Dressage' Award at the Toronto CADORA Hall of Fame and Awards Banquet, held November 20, 2010 in Richmond Hill, ON.  Photo Credit — Cary Penny