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From Moscow with Love: Megan Lane Earns Diana Zakharova International Sportsmanship Award

Friday, January 11, 2019
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When two-time World Equestrian Games veteran Megan Lane of Ontario, Canada, told Diana Zakharova of Moscow, Russia - while accepting the first International Sportsmanship Award of 2019 - that Wellington is a mecca for top equine athletes from around the world, she was setting her own best example.
 
The Diana Zakharova International Sportsmanship Award recognizes riders from nations outside the United States who come to compete during the 2019 Gold Coast Dressage Association show season, which kicks off with the Gold Coast Opener, January 17-20, at The Global Dressage Stadium at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, Florida.
 
International Sportsmanship Award recipients receive a purple neck sash for their horse and a silver serving tray.
 
Lane, who rides for Deer Ridge Equestrian, impressed both award sponsor Zakharova and Gold Coast Dressage Association judges, earning a win and reserve on two horses from very different ends of the dressage spectrum: First Level and Grand Prix.
 
Lane piloted Furst Foundation, Deer Ridge’s five year-old, 16-hand Axel Baumgartner-bred bay Hanoverian (Foundation/DeNiro) gelding to a 72.414% win in First Level Test 1, and in Saturday’s FEI Grand Prix, earned reserve (68.152%) with Deer Ridge’s 2019 Pan American Games hopeful, the KWPN-bred (Rousseau x Amethist) Zodiac MV.
 
“This is a horse town,” said Lane, who has been competing at Wellington for nine years. “It’s the only place in the world where you can be in such close proximity to such top farms and horses. It’s thrilling to meet amazing people from so many generations and countries. Thank you Diana, for recognizing its riders.”
 
Along with sponsoring the International Sportsmanship Award, Zakharova will be competing at Wellington in the upcoming CDI-W and National shows, and concluded, “I have found my ‘self’ here in Wellington and it’s been the best place for my family. I’m happy to be here with my horse and look forward to the shows ahead.”
 
Zakharova trains with Nicolas Fyffe out of Marcus Fyffe Dressage in Wellington. She became an idol among Russian riders when she decided to step out of the amateur ranks and challenge herself as a professional.  With more than 34 successful CDIs under her belt, in 2017 she decided to raise the bar again and set her sights on riding in Florida against the best America – and the world – have to offer.