Palgrave, Ontario – CornerStone will host its annual CDI-W CornerStone Spring Into Dressage competition, which will act as the official test event for the 2015 Pan American Games, from June 6 to 8 at the Caledon Pan Am Equestrian Park in Palgrave, ON. With next year’s Pan American Games in Toronto just over a year away, CDI-W CornerStone Spring Into Dressage offers an incredible opportunity for potential competitors to experience the newly re-built Caledon Pan Am Equestrian Park. The same management team will be responsible for the dressage events, as well as the dressage portion of three day eventing, during the 2015 Pan Am Games, allowing a unique opportunity to ‘test drive’ the event a year in advance. Several of Canada’s biggest names in dressage have already confirmed their participation, including Christilot Boylen, who claimed the individual gold medal at the 1971, 1975 and 1987 Pan American Games. Based in Germany, Boylen has not competed on Canadian soil for more than 25 years, making the CDI-W CornerStone Spring Into Dressage a homecoming for the six-time Olympian. 1988 Olympic team bronze medalist Ashley Holzer has also declared, as have fellow Canadian Olympians Jacqueline Brooks, David Marcus and Belinda Trussell. Further Canadian entries include Diane Creech, Jill Irving, and Simone Williams, while competitors from the United States, Bermuda and Brazil are also taking advantage of the opportunity to compete at CDI-W CornerStone Spring Into Dressage.
A total of $17,000 in prize money will be offered in the CDI-W Grand Prix division alone, thanks to the generous sponsorship of Deborah Kinzinger’s Butternut Ridge. The top eight riders will also select a special prize of their choice following both the Grand Prix Special and Grand Prix Freestyle. As a World Cup qualifying event, the CDI-W CornerStone Spring Into Dressage allows riders to gain points towards the 2015 World Cup Final in Las Vegas, as well as qualifying scores for the upcoming 2014 FEI Alltech World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France, this August. In addition, scores earned are eligible towards a 2015 Pan American Games certificate of capability.
FEI-sanctioned classes for Young Horse, Junior, Young Rider, and Small Tour will also be offered alongside an Equine Canada-sanctioned Gold National show, which offers divisions from walk/trot all the way up to the Olympic level of grand prix. The FEI Young Rider division is proudly sponsored by Schleese Saddlery, the official saddler of the CDI-W CornerStone Spring Into Dressage.
First-class hospitality will be offered alongside first-class sport as Kinzinger’s brainchild, the Canadian Dressage Athlete Assistance Program (C-DAAP), will host a wine and cheese reception following Thursday’s FEI horse inspection; a hospitality tent in the FEI stabling area each morning; and provide the prizes for the FEI Grand Prix divisions. On Saturday during the popular $10,000 Grand Prix Freestyle to music competition, C-DAAP will sponsor a Fundraiser Luncheon. Tickets for the Fundraiser Luncheon are $75 each and can be purchased by visiting here.
“We are very excited to welcome Deborah Kinzinger and Butternut Ridge to our family of sponsors as the lead sponsor for the CDI-W Grand Prix division,” said John ‘JT’ Taylor who, with his wife Barbara Mitchell, chairs the CornerStone management team. “C-DAAP has joined us by offering incredible hospitality, including Saturday’s VIP Fundraiser Luncheon, as well as prizes for the ‘prize table’ for our CDI-W Grand Prix riders. The support of all of our generous sponsors is much appreciated by both the organizing committee and the competitors.”
Taylor continued, “This year’s CDI-W event presents an amazing opportunity for us to welcome international competitors with an eye towards next year’s Pan American Games. Riders are able to preview the site, including the new grand prix arena, while also experiencing top competition. This is our dress rehearsal for next year’s Pan Am Games, and we are ready to host a world-class event.”
In preparation for the 2015 Pan American Games, the Caledon Pan Am Equestrian Park has undergone an expansive transformation. Most notably, a new grand prix arena has been constructed featuring free-draining sand/fiber footing installed by Germany’s Christian Bauer of IQ Footings. A brand new pavilion has been built, as have several other key features that will enhance the comfort of both horse and rider.
The CDI-W CornerStone Spring Into Dressage is the first of three shows hosted by CornerStone that comprise the $2,500 Greenhawk Series. CornerStone also produces the CornerStone Summer Festival from July 18-20 and the CornerStone Summer Classic from August 15-17 at the Caledon Pan Am Equestrian Park, both rated as Equine Canada Gold National competitions. Professional riders competing in all three events take their best Prix St. Georges score from each show, with the rider with the highest overall average score winning a $1,000 gift certificate from Greenhawk Harness and Equestrian Supplies and the second-highest competitor receiving a $250 gift certificate. The same format applies for amateur competitors in the Prix St. Georges division, with the winner being awarded a $1,000 gift certificate and second place earning $250 to spend at the nation-wide equestrian retailer.
The CDI-W CornerStone Spring Into Dressage competition has been made possible in part through a contribution from the Government of Canada.
“Caledon Equestrian Park, home of equestrian events for the 2015 Pan American Games, has the honour of welcoming dressage riders of all ages to this prestigious competition,” said The Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State for Sport. “Our government is proud of the achievements of Canadian equestrian athletes, who are no strangers to success on the international stage. We welcome the opportunity to watch them go head to head against the world’s best, right here at home.
“As Minister of State (Sport), I congratulate all of the riders participating in this event and offer my best wishes for a very successful competition. I would like to thank Equine Canada Hippique, Cornerstone Farms, and all the organizers, volunteers, coaches, and officials who helped make this event possible.”