Ottawa, Ont. - Dressage Canada is pleased to announce that Megan Lane of Loretto, Ont., has been named as the 2014 Dressage Canada Owner of the Year. Lane is the owner of Caravella (Contango X Riverman), a 13-year-old Canadian-bred Dutch Warmblood mare. Since 2009, they have developed and showcased their talent in achieving many successes together. "There is no other way to describe it, except that it was the equestrian equivalent of 'love at first sight'. I remember seeing her for the first time in the cross ties, and walking right past her because I thought she was too pretty to be for sale," recalled Lane on the day she met Caravella. "I wasn't intimidated by the fact that she was a horse with an opinion. It is the aspect of her character that I think gives her the extra edge in the ring. I can't thank my parents enough for trusting me that the 15.3 ½ hand horse that stood in front of them would be the horse of a lifetime."
Only three weeks after purchasing Caravella, she began competing in the FEI Junior division and qualified for the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships. Since then, the pair has captured six medals at the NAJYRC including a silver and bronze in the Young rider division in 2010.
"We have progressed together to the Grand Prix level but my partnership with her is constantly evolving," noted Lane. "It is a longer road, but the advantage of training a horse yourself is that you develop a stronger understanding of each other, and that is what creates harmony in the ring. I think it is the ingredient that makes dressage beautiful to watch, and is hard to come by if the partnership is not there. I really have the feeling that she is having as much fun in the process as I do, and we have a connection that makes working together so enjoyable."
Kicking off their 2014 Grand Prix season in Wellington, Fla., Lane and Caravella won the CDI-W FEI Grand Prix Special scoring 68.980% and earned their first World Equestrian Games qualifying score of 71.020% days later in the FEI Grand Prix. Continuing their success in Wellington, the pair finished top 10 in their inaugural CDI4* receiving second (69.922%) in the Grand Prix Special.
They continued to flourish as they went on to receive an invitation to compete at the prestigious CDI4* at Aachen. The pair earned remarkable scores of 70.460% in the Grand Prix and 70.235% in the Grand Prix Special.
"Going forward I am taking it day-by-day and am applying all I have learned in the process of competing at WEG. It was a wonderful journey that I wish to continue with Caravella and other up and coming horses. She has already given me more than I could have dreamed of, but as long I feel she is healthy and still eager in her work, I will continue to progress with her at the Grand Prix."
Marking her very first major games, Lane and Caravella went on to represent Canada at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy, FRA. They received scores up to 7.6 for individual movements, with the highest being awarded for extensions and pirouettes to finish in 37th position overall with a score of 69.743%.
"Thank you for this honourable award," said Lane. "I am so grateful and humbled by all the support along the way that has made owning Caravella possible. I do not want to imagine where I would be if it were not for the dedication from my family, friends, employer and the Canadian dressage community. I hope Caravella's story will inspire dressage owners and riders alike to pursue their dreams, enjoy the journey, and follow their hearts. Caravella was bred by Canadian Jill Irving, and is owned and ridden by a Canadian. I hope that Caravella can serve as an example that Canada has great potential to produce dressage horses right here at home."
"What a remarkable journey Megan and Caravella have had, and what a great future they look forward to," said the chair of Dressage Canada, Sarah Bradley.
Lane was presented with the Owner of the Year award at A Royal Canadian Evening held November 6th at the prestigious castle, Casa Loma, in Toronto, ON.
Past winners of the Dressage Canada Owner of the Year Award include Karen Soupcoff (2003), Deryol Andrews (2004), Evi Strasser (2005), Doug Leatherdale (2006), Faith Berghuis (2007), Ian and Moreen Nicoll (2008), Robyn Eames (2009), Cindy Ishoy (2010), Christine and Augustin Walch of W. Charlot Farms (2011), Mary and Eric Brooks & Anne and John Welch (2012) and Deborah Kinzinger (2013).