Three New International Dressage Shows Announced for Canada

Canada will host three new international dressage competitions in 2005. Organized by Cara Whitham’s Equivents, Inc., all three shows are sanctioned by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) and will be held in Ottawa and Toronto, ON.

The CDI3*/CDIY/CDIJ Ottawa Spring Classic, Presented by Las Marismas Sport Horses, will be held from May 19-22 at the Nepean National Equestrian Park and will feature FEI divisions for Grand Prix, Intermediaire and Prix St. Georges, Young Riders’ and Juniors. Uwe Mechlem of Germany will serve as President of the Ground Jury, with members Ghislain Fourage of the Netherlands, Jane Weatherwax of the United States, Lorraine MacDonald of Canada, and Joan Macartney of Canada. A national show will be held in conjunction with the FEI divisions, sanctioned by Equine Canada and the United States Equestrian Federation. In addition, great sponsorship has been secured, giving the riders multiple reasons to excel.

Two additional shows, also rated as CDI3* competitions, will be held. The CDI3* Toronto Classic will take place August 4-7 at the Royal Canadian Riding Academy (formerly York Equestrian Centre) in Cedar Valley, ON, while the CDI3* Ottawa Fall Classic will be held August 25-28, again at the Nepean National Equestrian Park. This third competition will also host the Canadian National Dressage Championships for FEI Young Riders’, FEI Juniors and FEI Ponies as well as the Canadian FEI Young Dressage Horse Finals. All three competitions organized by Equivents, Inc., will give Canada’s Olympic level riders an opportunity to gain valuable World Cup Qualifying points and will also count towards the FEI/BCM World Dressage Rider Rankings.

Renowned for her organizing abilities, Whitham last produced the 1997 CDI-W Canadian Classic and the 1997 Canadian National Dressage Championships, Eastern Division, run concurrently. She was also the Technical Advisor for the first FEI Dressage Championship of the Americas held in 2002 at Blainville Equestrian Park in Blainville, QC. This year’s events are sure to follow that tradition of excellence, with several extra activities planned around the competition. At the CDI3* Ottawa Spring Classic, a competitor’s party will be held on Saturday, May 21, aboard a riverboat that will tour the scenic Ottawa River while guests enjoy dinner and dancing. The fun continues on Sunday with the Freestyle Brunch Gala, giving the audience an opportunity to enjoy an elaborate brunch while watching the Freestyle performances.

“It is unprecedented for such a high number of CDI3* events to be held in Canada, let alone organized by one company, but I am committed to making the shows special and adding touches that give them individuality,” said Whitham, the only judge in the world to currently hold two ‘O’ judges licenses in eventing and dressage respectively, and who has officiated at the 1998 and 2002 World Equestrian Games, the 2004 Olympic Games, and will be a member of the Ground Jury at the upcoming 2005 European Dressage Championships in Moscow, Russia. “The goal is to create a regular competition circuit for our riders, giving them the opportunity to train and compete in internationally-recognized shows right in their own backyards. In addition to the large number of Canadian entries we have already received, I am also looking forward to welcoming a strong contingent of foreign riders.”

In addition to dressage, the CDI3* Ottawa Spring Classic will also host the first Canadian Young Event Horse (CYEH) competition ever held in Canada. A concept developed by Equivents, Inc., the CYEH competition is modeled after the Burghley Young Event Horse classes in England with some variations introduced in order to allow for growth in this new division. The CYEH classes are designed to encourage breeders, trainers, owners and riders to produce and present the correct type of young prospects that have the potential to become top three day event horses. Horses are judged in four separate phases of dressage, jumping, confirmation and type, and suitability and potential. This competition provides an excellent venue for presenting young horses with athletic potential and, while the goal is to identify the ‘ultimate’ three day event horse, it is also a superb arena to promote and market young horses that have potential for all three Olympic disciplines, including dressage and show jumping.

For more information on any of the competitions organized by Equivents, Inc., including full prize lists and sponsorship opportunities, please visit, e-mail or call tel: (613) 692-0097.

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