Canadian Paralympian Lauren Barwick to Star in Episode of CBC’s Heartland

Ottawa, ON—Canada’s double Paralympic medalist, Lauren Barwick will star in an upcoming episode of CBC’s popular television show Heartland.
The show, premiering on March 6 at 7 p.m. (7:30 p.m. in Newfoundland), is titled “Never Surrender,” and features Barwick, who won individual gold and silver medals at the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing, and L'Amistad 22, Lori Garlough’s 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding.

Barwick’s expertise is featured in the storyline which includes ex-rodeo star, Bryce, who was paralyzed during military service. Bryce (guest star Jesse Hutch) returns home and hires Amy Fleming (Amber Marshall) to help sell his roping horse, but she sees an opportunity to re-train both horse and rider. Amy needs both Ty (Graham Wardle) and Caleb’s (Kerry James) help to convince this proud and emotionally damaged cowboy that he can recapture his love for riding despite his injury.

“Every day, I am surprised and thankful for the doors of opportunity that open up to me. I worked in the movie industry before I broke my back and I never really thought I would ever be involved again.  Looking at how easy it would have been for Heartland to hire an actor to ride a horse around and pretend to be paralyzed made the experience of having me there even more special,” said Barwick. “The whole cast was awesome, I loved being back in that environment even if it was just for one day.”

“Heartland prides itself in its depiction of real storylines,” said Jordy Randall, executive producer of Heartland. “It was a real thrill to do a story on para-dressage and it was extra special to be able to include a rider of Lauren’s caliber on the show.”

“When it came to having a small speaking role it was nice to see how they opened up to my suggestions of how a person would respond in the situation. I hope that when people see this episode they actually realize that I wasn't just a stunt double and get to see what someone can do, and find some motivation into what is possible,” added Barwick.

For addition information on Heartland, please visit the official website at

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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 Credit:  Canada’s double Paralympic medalist, Lauren Barwick will star in an upcoming episode of CBC’s popular television show Heartland.  Photo Credit — Andrew Bako