Ottawa, Ontario - Equine Canada is pleased to announce Paul Popiel as the recipient of the 2009 Equine Canada Lifetime Achievement Award. Popiel, of Carleton Place, ON, first immigrated to Canada in 1949. He started eventing in 1965 and soon was riding at the highest level of the sport on horses he started and trained himself. Popiel was named to the Canadian Eventing National Team 1976 and again in 1984 as a result of his competitive accomplishments.
As an Equine Canada Level 3 Eventing coach, Popiel instructs from the beginner level all the way up to international competitors, and for three years in a row he was named as the recipient of the “Entraineur par Excellence” award from the Federation Equestre de Quebec.
He is also an EC “R” cross-country course designer and a retired Federation Equestre International course designer. Recognized as an innovative course designer and builder, Popiel has been known to create great courses out of almost nothing. His courses include the 1987 Pan American Three-Day Eventing course in Indianapolis, IN, the 1989–90 Circle K International Horse Trials at Trojan Horse Ranch in Phoenix, AZ, and the 1993 North American Young Riders’ Championships at Temple Farms in Wadsworth, IL, just to name a few.
“I would like to thank the sport of eventing, which is the best sport in the world,” said Popiel, who received a standing ovation from all the gala attendees. “I would also like to thank Equine Canada, all the talented and patient horses I was privileged to ride, and all my friends, family and supporters who are here tonight.”
The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to an individual who contributions to the Canadian equestrian community are considered exceptional by their peers and whose lifetime of service and dedication has contributed directly to the ongoing growth and development of the Canadian equine industry. It is a prestigious award, reserved for individuals of the highest exception. It is only awarded when warranted and is not necessarily awarded every year.
At the Equine Canada Annual Awards Gala, on Saturday February 6, 2010, in Montreal, QC, Popiel was awarded the Equine Canada Lifetime Achievement Award.
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 ID— (left to right) Paul Popiel and Equine Canada president Michael Gallager Photo Credit— Normand Huberdeau