Ottawa, ON — Following the first stop of their European Tour, Canadian Para-Dressage riders have earned top scores in their Freestyle tests and finished in third place in the team competition while competing at the CPEDI 3* Hartpury Festival of Dressage at Hartpury College, in Gloucestershire, GBR, held July 13–15, 2011. The combined scores from the Team Test and the Individual Championship Test, held on July 13th and 14th, determined the final team placings. The Canadian Para-Dressage team comprised of Lauren Barwick of Aldergrove, BC; Eleonore Elstone of Langley, BC; Ashley Gowanlock of Vancouver, BC and Jody Schloss of Toronto, ON, finished in third place overall with 402.117 points, the highest team placing ever achieved by the Canadian Para-Equestrian Team at a European competition.
First place was awarded to the team from Great Brittan with a score of 434.162. The team from Ireland won second place with 419.922. New Zealand was fourth, while the team from Poland was fifth. The riders from Russia earned their country a sixth place finish, and the team from Singapore was seventh. Rounding out the top eight teams was Hong Kong.
In the Grade II Freestyle, Barwick rode her team horse Off To Paris, Equine Canada’s 10-year-old Oldenburg mare, to second place with a score of 74.050%. With her second horse Ferdonia 2, her own 12-year-old Oldenburg mare, Barwick scored 72.150% for third place.
“The past three days of riding have been a great learning experience. Both horses are still new to me, and I was thrilled with how they performed in this environment. We rode each day/test for tomorrow as this show is just a building stone to London,” said Barwick, who is also 4 star Parelli instructor. “It has been a group effort with great coaches, and leadership team all working well together for the benefit of horse and rider. The last three months I have been working hard with my sponsor's Parelli natural horsemanship to develop a great partnership and give both mares a solid foundation. A big thank you to Own the Podium for the opportunity to have both my horses here in England with me.”
Riding Why Not G, an eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding that she co-owns with Kelleigh Kulscar, Elstone earned a score of 66.100% for sixth place in the Grade IV Freestyle.
In the Grade 1B Freestyle, Gowanlock and Alexander (Sandy) Mitchell’s Donnymaskell, a 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding, received a score of 68.250% for third place. This was the pair’s third time they placed third in the competition, making it one of their most successful outings on the world stage.
Schloss, riding Inspector Rebus, her own 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, placed seventh in the Grade 1A Freestyle, while Robyn Andrews of St Johns, NL, who is competing as an individual, finished just behind Schloss, in eighth place with a score of 63.650%, riding Fancianna, her 10-year-old Warmblood mare.
“We are extremely pleased with the results from Hartpury, the first leg of our European Tour. Thanks to the support of Sport Canada and Own the Podium, this tour has provided us with a chance to test our programs before next year’s Paralympic Games,” said Elizabeth Quigg-Robinson, chef d’équipe of the Canadian Para-Dressage Team. “It has given everyone an opportunity to be judged against some of the best in the world, as well as formulate strategies for riders, coaches and support staff, which will benefit us greatly next year.”
“Viterra is very proud of the accomplishments of the Canadian Para-Dressage Team today. Achieving a team third place finish along with top results in their Freestyle tests demonstrates the team’s depth in talent,” said Bill Mooney, Viterra’s senior vice-president, Feed Products.
Complete details CPEDI 3* Hartpury Festival of Dressage may be found at www.hartpury.ac.uk/dressage.