2021 GRIT Team Announced

For Immediate Release: 2021-03-10 | See official press release here.

Ontario Equestrian is excited to announce the 2021 GRIT team. Now, in our second year of GRIT (Great Riders Intensive Program), OE is eager to be able to execute the program fully.

2020 proved to be an interesting year to launch a new high-performance initiative but the 2020 team was up for the challenge. Despite a global pandemic, a great deal was accomplished both virtually and in-person.

The 2021 GRIT athletes will be incredibly busy.

Their schedules will include:

  • Two Full Team Training Camps
  • One Monitored Competition (Per Discipline)
  • Completion of Foundational Riding Skills Assessment
  • Functional Movement Screening
  • Daily Training Environment Visits
  • Weekly Strength and Conditioning Sessions with
  • CSIO’s Kiri Langford
  • Competition Tracking
  • Regular Training Updates
  • Creation of Individual Athlete Performance Plans
  • Creation of Yearly Training Plans
  • Monthly Webinars with Industry Professionals
  • Online Learning through Equestrian Canada’s ECampus
  • Social Media Campaign

When asked what her experience was like as a member of 2020 GRIT Lindsay Beer-Drury commented,

“Since being selected as a GRIT athlete I’ve noticed that my skills as both a rider and competitor have greatly improved. I credit this to the incredible training opportunities provided by Ontario Equestrian for athletes such as myself. It has been a privilege to train under the tutelage of head coach Christilot Boylen and consultant Ian Millar this past year. Furthermore, I’m grateful to have the opportunity to continue to participate in this ground-breaking new program for equestrian sport in Canada.

Thank you, Ontario Equestrian, for encouraging your developing athletes and providing them with a great sense of community.

Through GRIT I have had access to training that is more often than not out of reach for young professionals, support from the people behind the sport, and because of the integration of the disciplines, insight from individuals I would have otherwise never met.”

GRIT’s Head Coach Christilot Boylen was encouraged by the exceptional talent of the 2021 applicants.

OE is committed to working closely with Equestrian Canada. Dayton Gorseline, EC’s National Advisor for the Jumping Youth Development Program and Jumping Talent ID Program, will be consulted and involved with the review of the jumping athletes.

Introducing the 2021 GRIT Team


Zachary Marshall
Anna Swackhammer
Kiara Williams Brown


Lindsay Beer-Drury
Elise Hicks
Lexy Lawryshyn
Makayla Rydzik
Nicole Reynolds


Olivia Blaber
Kaylah Carruthers
Rayne Dubois
Rachael Howard
Carson Lewis
Sasha Maniaci
Charlotte Mclaughlin
Mackenzey Nadeau
Rylee Poole-Kohli
Nicole Roach
Emma Saunders
Samantha Saunders
Mackenzie Solomon
Katrina Stanfield
Reece Tobin
Jessica Wang

Please go to the link below to see profiles on each of the 2021 athletes and to find out more about the program. We are looking forward to a fabulous year.


In 2020 the GRIT program was fortunate to have included Zara Buren. Zara will always represent the gold standard of a GRIT athlete. She was a true horse woman and competitor.

In memory of Zara and her incredible spirit and love of equestrian sport, the GRIT team Ogilvy pads permanently include the burgundy ribbon to honour Zara.

For more details contact: h.gregory@ontarioequestrian.ca

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