Ottawa, Ontario - Equine Canada has named Conley Driediger, 17, of Chilliwack, BC, the 2009 Junior Equestrian of the Year. The Gillian Wilson Award is given annually to the Junior Equestrian of the Year in recognition of a junior competitor who has made outstanding contributions to equestrian competition and who has exemplified exceptional talent, sportsmanship, and dedication to the sport. Driediger demonstrates excellent examples of each of these qualities.
Conley, a grade 12 student, has been seriously involved in the Arabian horse community for her entire life. Recently, her success on the Arabian show circuit has garnered her national and international recognition. In 2009, Conley was ranked number one Overall High Point Youth Competitor, of both Canada and the US, by the Arabian Horse Association with an impressive total of 485.5 points recorded—with 164.5 points earned in halter divisions and 321 points in performance divisions.
Her 2009 achievements also include winning over 30 classes in Canada at the Class A level in halter, hunter pleasure, country pleasure, show hack, sport horse under saddle and sporthorse in-hand divisions. She also earned seven Regional Championships, two reserve championships and two top fives in sporthorse under saddle, sporthorse in hand, show hack, hunter pleasure, halter and country pleasure at Region 7 (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba).
Conley achieved her success in the show ring while maintaining her high academic status on her high school’s honour roll with a GPA of 88.65 and volunteering on a number of initiatives such as Global Education Group, her local Arabian club, and the Great Canadian Shoreline Clean-up. She also scored 99% on her grade 10 provincial science exam and 98% on her provincial English exam. She was also one of the few to score 4.0 on the AP English and Language exam in grade 11, earning her a university credit.
“I am extremely honoured to win this award. It means a lot to me being recognized as the Equine Canada Junior Equestrian of the Year as an Arabian rider among such a diverse group of talented juniors,” said Driediger. “I am also grateful for both my huge support team at home, for nothing would be possible without them, and Equine Canada for adding their support as well. This kind of encouragement is what really makes me push myself to accomplish all that I can.”
At the Equine Canada Annual Awards Gala, on Saturday February 6, 2010, in Montreal, QC, Driediger was awarded with the Gillian Wilson Trophy, created in honor of Gillian Wilson, who was the Technical Director of Canadian Equestrian Federation (now Equine Canada) from 1977 until her retirement on December 31, 1992. Each winner holds the Trophy for one year, retains a plaque and receives $1,000.
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 www.equinecanada.ca.
Photo Credit: At the 2010 Equine Canada Annual Awards Gala held in Montreal, QC, Equine Canada named Conley Driediger of Chilliwack, BC, the 2009 Junior Equestrian of the Year. Photo Credit—Equine Canada