Toronto, Ontario — Margie Gayford of Sharon, ON, won the Jump Canada Talent Squad Final on Saturday, November 6, at Toronto’s Royal Horse Show. Held over two days, the Talent Squad Final competition opened on November 5 with the $8,000 Alfred Rogers National Talent Squad Series Championship, Phase I, where Gayford and Winston, Wingberry Farm’s 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding, won the opening speed competition.
Gayford and Winston returned to the Ricoh Coliseum the following day to win the $10,000 Alfred Rogers National Talent Squad Series Championship, Phase II, with the fastest double clear in a jump-off time of 37.11 seconds. As a result of her victories in both classes, Gayford was named National Talent Squad Final Champion. Gayford was also the winner of the 2010 Jump Canada Talent Squad Eastern Division with Winston.
“I am very pleased with Winston. He knows his job and he is all business in the ring. Anthony D'Ambrosio was the course designer last year as well, so we practiced his style of courses at home this year to prepare,” said Gayford, who is coached by her father at home—legendary Canadian Olympian Tommy Gayford and by Mark Hayes of Kestrel Farms in competition.
Winner of the 2009 Talent Squad Final, Margot Lefebvre of Stittsville, ON, and Mister Cash van der Veldmolen, her 14-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding, claimed the Reserve Champion title. The pair finished in fourth place the first day and was second, behind Gayford, in Phase II during the two day competition.
“It was hard to match last year’s performance but reserve champion was as pretty close as you could get. We have really improved over our performance from last year. Mister Cash van der Veldmolen is the most special horse. He is a dream to ride,” said Lefebvre.
The Jump Canada Talent Squad Series is a means of recognizing up-and-coming riders who are preparing to enter the grand prix ranks and gives them a platform to demonstrate their ability to become future members of the Canadian Equestrian Team.
About Jump Canada
Jump Canada is the committee of Equine Canada responsible for all hunter, equitation and jumper activities in Canada from the grass roots to the international level. Jump Canada is governed by a board, the majority of whose members are elected by the stakeholders in the sport. For more information regarding Jump Canada programs and activities, visit http://www.equinecanada.ca/jumpcanada.
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: Margie Gayford of Sharon, ON, won the 2010 Jump Canada Talent Squad Final on Saturday, November 6, at Toronto’s Royal Horse Show.
Photo Credit — Cealy Tetley