Canadian Ambassadors to Participate in Chinese Endurance Race

Saturday, May 28, 2011
Posted by Julie Cull, Equine Canada

Ottawa, ON — Through the Path to China initiative led by Equine Canada’s Export Market Development program (EC Export), Canadian endurance riders have been invited to participate in an 80 km endurance race taking place in Zhaosu Xinjiang, China, this June.

“Canada’s participation in the Zhaosu endurance race is one of many opportunities that came as a result of the EC Export path finding mission to China that we conducted this past March,” stated Susan Stewart, a consultant to EC Export.  
Four individuals have been selected not only on their competitive abilities, but on the personal attributes that make them best suited to be ambassadors of Canada’s equine industry as a whole. The riders include 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) Canadian Equestrian Team (CET) members, Elroy Karius, Gail Jewel and Robert Gielen, and 2008 FEI World Endurance Championships CET member, Wendy MacCoubrey. They will be the first riders to compete in mainland China as dedicated Canadian representatives following the 2008 Beijing Olympics when the equestrian sports were held in Hong Kong.  

“Endurance Canada has partnered with EC Export in the past and we are very excited about our riders’ participation as Canadian Equestrian Ambassadors,” stated Lynda Townsend, Chair, Endurance Canada International. “This opportunity will give both nations’ riders added international exposure which is important in supporting the competitive landscape of endurance world-wide.  Riding and working alongside each other will also help build relationships that can lead to other areas of cooperation in the future.”

Canada’s participation in the Zhaosu endurance race is one of many initiatives that stakeholders in Canada and China have agreed to partner on.  Plans are currently underway for Chinese delegates to participate in training in the sport of reining in Canada this summer, and for additional exchanges between China and Canada in the fall of 2011.

EC Export’s focus extends beyond the export of horses and equine genetics of all breeds. In an emerging equestrian market such as China, Canada’s expertise in equine health and welfare, coaching, training and sport infrastructure are the cornerstones of a successful international market development strategy. Through ongoing interactions and active communications, the opportunities continue to be discovered and acted upon.

EC Export is entirely self-funded, mostly through contributions from industry participants with 50% of some eligible expenses covered by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s AgriMarketing Program. A holistic approach ensures funding partners can be sought from not only the breed groups, but from businesses that benefit from the awareness and relationship-building generated through EC Export.

Profiles of the riders selected to be Canadian Equestrian Ambassadors, along with ongoing updates on the Path to China initiative, can be found on the program’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ECExport.  Additional information on EC Export is available at www.EquineCanada.ca/export.

For more information, please contact Susan Stewart, a consultant to Equine Canada’s Export Market Development program, by telephone at (613) 826-1155 or email at export@equinecanada.ca.

About EC Export
The Equine Canada Export Market Development Program (EC Export) is the driver to brand the Canadian equine industry in international markets. It is guided by a long-term international strategy that involves activities to “brand” Canada as a quality producer of expertise and events as well as horses suitable for racing, FEI and non-FEI sport, breed-specific competition and breeding. EC Export is self-funded by industry participants with 50% of some eligible expenses covered by the AgriMarketing Program (AMP) of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC). AMP is an important vehicle for bringing greater cohesion to associations’ marketing efforts to brand Canadian food and agriculture as a whole in international markets. As mandated by AAFC, EC Export fully utilizes the resources and tool kit of the Canada Brand program.  

About Equine Canada Industry Division
Equine Canada Industry Division provides a structure for breed organisations and industry partners operating in Canada to unite as a coalition under the national federation of Equine Canada. It provides a forum from which to seek and exchange information between Equine Canada, Canadian stakeholders, the Government of Canada and foreign entities. The Industry Division works to promote and assist a vibrant equine industry and to affect policy in Canada. Breed organisations and industry partners share resources and expertise with unity of purpose to increase the long-term profitability of Canada’s equine sector and to ensure its future viability.

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 recognized by the Government of Canada, the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), and the Canadian Olympic Committee as the national organization representing equestrian sport and equine interests. For more information about Equine Canada, please visit www.equinecanada.ca.

Photo: Robert Gielen was the top placed Canadian rider at the 2010 World Equestrian Games, in a time of 10 hours, 13 minutes and 55 seconds for 37th place, with his horse FC Galaxy, a 13-year-old bay Arabian gelding. Photo Credit — Kalina Rutledge