The Canadian Show Jumping Team is set to begin competition at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, which is held every four years and acts as the world championships. Canada is represented by Yann Candele, 43, of Caledon, ON, Tiffany Foster, 30, of Vancouver, BC, defending Individual Bronze Medalist Eric Lamaze, 45, of Schomberg, ON, Ian Millar, 67, of Perth, ON, and alternate Chris Sorensen, 32, of Caledon, ON.
The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games run from August 23 through September 7, with show jumping competition opening at 9:10 a.m. on Tuesday, September 2, with the speed phase. The two-round Nations’ Cup competition, to determine both team medals and preliminary individual standings, will take place on Wednesday, September 3 and Thursday, September 4. Following a day of rest, the top 30 riders in the individual standings will compete on Saturday, September 6. In a format unique to world championship competition, the top four riders in the individual standings will advance to Sunday’s ‘Final Four’. World championship titles do not come easy; in the ultimate test of horsemanship, each rider will complete the course with their own mount before jumping the track with each of their competitor’s horses.
All five members of the Canadian Show Jumping Team presented their horses at Sunday morning’s horse inspection. All five horses were accepted without incident.
Candele will ride Showgirl, a 14-year-old chestnut selle francais mare (Gold de Becourt x Elf III) owned by The Watermark Group. Foster will compete with Verdi III, a 12-year-old bay Dutch Warmblood gelding (Hors La Loi II x Cantus) owned by Artisan Farms LLC. Lamaze will be aboard Zigali P S, a 10-year-old dark bay Dutch Warmblood gelding (Kigali x STB-H Palfrenier), also owned by Artisan Farms LLC. Millar will ride Dixson, an 11-year-old bay Belgian Warmblood gelding (Vigo d’Arsouilles x Olisco) owned by Susan and Ariel Grange. Interestingly, Dixson’s sire, Vigo d’Arsouilles, won the 2010 World Championships under the saddle of Belgium’s Philippe Lejeune.
Sorensen’s Bobby, a 12-year-old black Dutch Warmblood gelding (Concorde x Joost) owned by Sorensen and Britland Hughes, can be substituted if needed up until Monday evening.
“We had a very productive training camp in Belgium last week and I feel that our show jumping team is ready to go,” said Canadian Show Jumping Team chef d’equipe, Mark Laskin. “We have four riders that can jump clear rounds and we have four horses that can jump clear rounds. Now we just have to do it!”
The Canadian Show Jumping Team is led by Laskin and Team Manager Karen Hendry-Ouellette. Dr. Sylvie Surprenant is the team veterinarian while Darren Roberts acts as stable manager.
“All of the horses were in great form at this morning’s horse inspection,” said Hendry-Ouellette. “We were very proud of Eric and Hickstead’s individual medal at the last World Equestrian Games in Kentucky, and are looking forward to another strong showing in Normandy.”
A total of 158 horse-rider combinations are expected to contest this year’s world championships for show jumping. Fifty-four countries will be represented, with 35 fielding full teams.
For more information, including live scoring, visit the official 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games for www.normandy2014.com.