Jennifer Ward - StartingGate Communications
Local competitor Simone Williams opened the Ottawa Summer Dressage Classic with a win. The international equestrian competition is running June 22-25 at the Nepean National Equestrian Park in Ottawa, ON.
A total of 19 competitors contested the Prix St. Georges division with Williams enjoying a convincing victory, earning a score of 67% over runner-up Diane Creech of Caistor Center, ON, who earned 64.25%.
For Williams, the win was especially sweet as it was her first time showing her horse, Wunder Ein, at the Prix St. Georges level. Prix St. Georges is the same level that the Pan American Games are contested at, and qualifying for the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is Williams' competitive goal. Williams was a member of the Canadian Dressage Team at the 1999 Pan American Games in Winnipeg where she enjoyed a top ten finish individually.
"I was so pleased with Wunder Ein, he is a really special horse," said Williams of her eight-year-old Hannoverian gelding. "Developing the communication necessary to compete with a horse at the top levels of the sport is a very long process. I purchased Wunder Ein as a two-year-old in Germany, so it is very gratifying that our hard work and training is now paying off, and it is getting to the point where if I think something, he does it."
Williams operates an equestrian training and boarding facility, Queenswood Stables, just outside of Ottawa. In addition to being a competitor at the Ottawa Summer Dressage Classic, she is also a busy coach with 11 students competing.
Second-placed competitor Diane Creech also has international competition on her mind. Although she placed second in the Prix St. Georges with Fabienne, a seven-year-old black Westphalian mare, Creech will be traveling to Germany to compete in the World Young Horse Breeding Championships at the beginning of August with another mount, Devon L.
Lee Tubman of Smithville, ON, took third position with a score of 64%. His mount is Marquis, a 10-year-old black Baden Wurttemberger gelding owned by Laurie Stokouski. In fourth place was Daphne Haagmans of Barrie, ON, riding Nimos, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding.
Local area competitors claimed fifth and sixth place. Joan Johnstone of Kars, ON, earned 63% to place fifth riding KRS Wessel, a 10-year-old dark bay Hannoverian gelding owned by Kars Riding School. In sixth position was Brockville's Gina Smith, Team Bronze Medallist at the 1988 Olympic Games, who earned 62.375% riding Encore.
In the national division, John MacPherson of Georgetown, ON, topped the Grand Prix riding Blue Hors Testarossa for owners Belinda and Mark Trussell. They pair earned a score of 60.104%. Liz Steacie of Brockville, ON, was the runner-up riding Taliesan, a 10-year-old Canadian-bred gelding.
The winner of the FEI Children's competition, open to competitors' aged 12-14, was Vivian Cornell. The 13-year-old rider from Kingston, ON, was riding Heidschnucke, a 15-year-old American Trakehner mare, owned by Kathy Cornell.
The CDI3* Ottawa Summer Classic runs until Sunday, June 25, and admission is free. Highlights include the CDI Prix St. Georges on Friday morning followed by the Grand Prix beginning at 1:30 p.m. On Saturday, the Intermediaire I begins at 1:45 p.m. followed by the Grand Prix Freestyle at 4:30 p.m. Sunday will feature Freestyle competition, which sees riders choreograph required movements to the music of their choice, including the Intermediaire Freestyle at 1:30 p.m.
Results - Prix St Georges
- 1. Simone Williams/Navan, ON/Wunder Ein/67.00%
- 2. Diane Creech/Caistor Centre, ON/Fabienne/64.25%
- 3. Lee Tubman/Smithville, ON/Marquis/64.00%
- 4. Daphne Haagmans/Barrie, ON/Nimos/63.25%
- 5. Joan Johnstone/Kars, ON/KRS Wessel/63.00%
- 6. Gina Smith/Brockville, ON/Encore/62.375%