Ottawa, Ontario — The Dressage Canada European Tour Selection Committee is pleased to announce that the following rider/horse combinations have been selected to participate in the European Tour: Ashley Holzer and Pop Art, Belinda Trussell and Anton, Wendy Christoff and Pfalstaff, Shannon Dueck and Ayscha and Bonnie Bonnello and Pikardi.
Toronto native and three-time Canadian Olympian Ashley Holzer won both the Grand Prix and the Grand Prix Freestyle riding Pop Art (Amsterdam x Cabochon), a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Rusty Holzer and Moreen Nicoll, at the CDI-W West Palm Beach Gold Coast Opener, held January 21–24, in West Palm Beach, FL, USA. Holzer won the Grand Prix for Freestyle test with a score of 71.489%. The duo then performed a spectacular Grand Prix Freestyle to earn 76.489% for the double victory. At the CDI3* Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington FL, held March 18-21, Canadian Olympian Belinda Trussell of Newmarket, ON, riding Anton, a 10-year old German-bred gelding (Antaeous x Saxony) owned by Robyn Eames, scored 70.638% to win the Grand Prix class of 30 entries. They followed up with a score of 73.900% to also win the Grand Prix Freestyle.
For the second year in a row Delta, BC, native Wendy Christoff won the Grand Prix at the CDI 3* Golden State Dressage Festival, held April 9–11, in Rancho Murieta, CA, USA. Riding Pfalstaff, her 16-year-old Hanoverian gelding sired by Palladium, Christoff scored 67.064% in the Grand Prix test and 67.250% in the Grand Prix Special test for their second victory.
At the Kentucky Cup Dressage CDI3* Lexington held at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY, April 20–22, Canadian Olympian Bonny Bonnello of Calgary, AB, earned an impressive personal best score of 68.638% to take third place in the grand Prix test riding Pikardi (Point Maker x Daimont), a 13-year-old Canadian Warmblood gelding co-owned by Bonnello and Jean Bell. The duo then earned a second personal best with 70.292% for second place in the Grand Prix Special.
Shannon Dueck of Loxachatchee, FL, scored 66.340% in the Grand Prix test riding Ayscha, her nine-year-old Oldenburg mare by Welt Hit II, at CDI3* Winter Equestrian Festival. Dueck was also a member of the Canadian Dressage Team at the 2002 World Equestrian Games in Jerez, Spain.
“I am thrilled to be taking five great riders and horses to Europe for a tour of four top competitions: Wiesbaden, Lingen, Rotterdam and Aachen. Giving our athletes this kind of experience and exposure is key to building a medal contending team,” said Dressage Canada technical coach/advisor, Robert Dover.
“Beyond this group, there are also some wonderful combinations who have chosen to remain in North America to try out, which is allowed by our selection criteria, as well as several more who are already competing in Europe.”
“All in all, I am confident that Canada will have a very strong team for the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky this fall,” added Dover.
The Canadians will be given the opportunity to show and train in Europe. The tour includes CDI4* Wiesbaden, GER, May 21 – 24; CDI4* Lingen, GER, June 4 – 6; CDIO Rotterdam, NED, June 16 – 20; and CDIO Aachen, GER, July 13 – 18, 2010. Holtzer and Pop Art will not compete at CDI4* Wiesbaden, but will join the balance of the team for CDI4* Lingen. Declared riders who are remaining in North America may also attend Cornerstone Spring into Dressage CDI3*, which will be held June 4 – 6, 2010 in Palgrave, ON; Dressage at Blainville CDI 3*, to be held June 18 – 20, 2010, in Blainville, QC; or Edmonton Gold Rush CDI3*, held July 15 - 19, 2010, in Edmonton, AB, in order to earn WEG qualifying scores.
The European Tour has been made possible through the Own the Podium program, a national sport technical initiative designed to help Canada’s summer and winter athletes achieve podium success at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Support Canadian Riders’ WEG Dreams
There are still a number of WEG ticket packages available. Each package contains tickets directly behind “C” for the four dressage events and are $875 (CDN) each.
For more information, visit the Dressage Canada website at www.equinecanada.ca/dressage and click on the “WEG 2010 Ticket Package Special” advertisement.
About Dressage Canada
Dressage Canada, as a committee of Equine Canada, is the National governing body for Dressage in Canada. Dressage Canada's objective is to foster the growth of Dressage and the pursuit of excellence in the sport at the local, national and international levels. Dressage Canada provides support and guidance to both amateurs and professionals through the following programs: coaching education and programs; officials’ education and programs; rules and qualifying criteria; sport development; and publications and awards. For more information about Dressage Canada, please visit the Dressage section of the Equine Canada site or connect with us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/dressagecanada or Facebook at http://tinyurl.com/lp8cnd.
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: Bonnie Bonnello and Pikardi ClixPhoto.com