London, England - Canadian Olympic Team member for Dressage Ashley Holzer of Toronto, ON, finished 24th individually on Tuesday, August 7, at the 2012 London Olympic Games. A total of 50 athletes competed individually in the equestrian sport of Dressage at the Olympic equestrian venue of Greenwich Park. Riding Breaking Dawn, Holzer earned a score of 71.317% to place 24th in the Grand Prix Special, the second individual qualifier held Tuesday, August 7. All seven international judges comprising the ground jury awarded Holzer scores of 70% or higher. Holzer's expressive test was highlighted by strong work in the tempi changes, canter tour, and passage, particularly the second passage after the walk. Unfortunately, Holzer had small errors in both canter pirouettes. "It was an incredible ride," said Holzer, 48, who was making her fourth Olympic appearance and was a member of Canada's bronze medal team at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
"He loves the crowd. You can't get a busier arena, and this horse couldn't care less. He goes the same way in there, the same way that he goes in the warm-up, and the same way that he goes at home.
"For a horse that hasn't been doing Grand Prix for a year yet, I'm thrilled," continued Holzer of Breaking Dawn, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by herself and P.J. Rizvi.
Tuesday's event was also the Team Final for Dressage. Great Britain took the gold medal for the second consecutive day, having also won show jumping gold on Monday. With an average score of 79.979%, Great Britain's Olympic Dressage Team prevailed over Germany, who took the silver with an average score of 78.216%. The Netherlands earned the bronze medal with 77.124%.
The Canadian Olympic Team for Dressage, comprised of Holzer riding Breaking Dawn, Jacqueline Brooks, 44, of Cedar Valley, ON, riding D Niro owned by Brookhaven Dressage, Inc., and David Marcus, 31, of Campbellville, ON, riding Capital owned by Deborah Miculinic, were eliminated on Thursday, August 2, following the elimination of Marcus.
The top 18 individual competitors will contest the individual medals in the Grand Prix Freestyle to music on Thursday, August 9. They do not carry their scores forward from earlier individual qualifying competition. The individual medals in Dressage will be the final equestrian sport medals to be awarded at the 2012 London Olympics.
The Canadian Olympic Team for Dressage is supported by Chef d'Equipe Gina Smith; Veterinarian Dr. Geoff Vernon; Technical Leader Markus Gribbe; Team Manager Christine Peters and Personal Athlete Coach Robert Dover. Team alternate is Diane Creech. Grooms include Lindsay Kellock (Holzer); Eleanor Anne McFee (Brooks); Alexandra Reid (Marcus); and Christine Bacher (Creech). Kerri McGregor is the Team Leader for the Canadian Olympic Team for Equestrian and Tina Collins is Assistant Team Leader.