In the first-ever para-equestrian competition held at NAJYRC, Team Canada, comprised of veteran, Madison Lawson of King City, ON, and future stars, Sara Cummings of Cranbrook, BC, and Nel Godin-Keating of Dartmouth, NS, was awarded with the team silver medal. Combining the scores from the Team Test on July 16 and the Individual Test, held July 18, the Canadians earned a team total of 380.191. The United States won gold with a total of 393.02.
All three team riders also earned individual gold medals throughout the week.
Lawson, 21, who was a member of the Canadian Equestrian Team at the 2010 World Equestrian Games, rode her new horse Lawrence (Lynx x Ferro), a 14-year-old Canadian Warmblood gelding she co-owns with her mother Nathalie Lawson. The pair won gold in the Grade IV Individual test with a score of 65.298%. In the Freestyle, held July 19, Lawson and Lawrence earned 71.400%, for the gold medal.
Godin-Keating, who was competing in her first international team event, also rose to the top of the podium, earning back-to-back gold medals in the Grade 1a Individual Test with a score of 61.902%, as well as in the Freestyle (62.400%). Her partner was Mr. Itchy (Oxnead Allstar 591 x Sticky Lane Cassandra), a 17-year-old Haflinger gelding she owns with Lorraine Keating.
Also racking up two individual gold medals was Cummings and West Bay, her 11-year-old Swiss Oldenburg cross gelding. The duo scored 61.464 % in their Individual Test in Grade II and 63.350% for their Freestyle.
“This is a great start,” said Mary Longden, National Team Coach. “We need to be encouraging young riders with a disability in Canada to recognize the opportunities and plan to start competing internationally at NAJYRC. I hope that young riders aim to represent Canada next year and in the future. I am really proud of Canada’s three riders. They really rode as a very cohesive team.”
More Medals for Canada’s Young Dressage Stars
Naima Moreira Laliberte of Outremont, QC will return home with a gold medal under her belt from the Young Riders Freestyle test. Riding Belafonte (Belissimo x Wendekreis), an 11-year-old Hanoverian stallion owned by Fiducie Naga Trust, Moreira Laliberte handily won the class with a score of 71.825%.
“I’m really thrilled with my Freestyle performance,” said Moreira Laliberte. “It is the best end to the week that I could ever imagine. We improved with every test.”
Rounding out the top 10 in the Young Rider division on a score of 67.100% was Rakeya Moussa of Edmonton, AB and Merlin Nemorensis (Clintino x Larinero), Mohammed and Susan Moussa’s 15-year-old Oldenburg gelding.
Representing Canada on the podium in the Junior Freestyle was Camille Carier Bergeron of Mascouche, QC. Paired with Delfiano, a 12-year-old German-bred gelding sired by Del Piero and owned by Gilles Bergeron, Carier Bergeron rode to a bronze medal finish in the Junior Freestyle, scoring 71.375%.
Scoring 69.850% for sixth place was Vanessa Creech-Terauds of Caistor Centre, ON and Denzel BC, Melladee Marvin’s 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding. Alexandra Meghji of Toronto, ON followed in eighth (69.150%) riding Iliado II (Idilio II x Ibiza), a 10-year-old Andalusian gelding owned by Diana Belevsky.
Eventing Bronze for Brost
Shelby Brost of Red Deer, AB, finished on her dressage score of 46.2 for the individual bronze medal in CH-J* eventing. After posting an eighth place dressage score riding Crimson (Etta x Cojak), her 12-year-old Thoroughbred mare, Brost moved up to fifth following a clean cross-country ride. A clear jumping round secured the pair’s bronze medal finish.
“Crimson really felt great,” said Brost. “She is a new mare to me, and she tries so hard. I was quite confident going in knowing that we are a good team and that she would take care of me.”
Riding Princess Sophia, her seven-year-old Holsteiner-Trakehner cross mare sired by Riverman, Ailsa Morrison of Belle River, ON, earned a 15th place finish with a score of 53.7. In 17th place, with 54.9, was Annick Niemuller riding her seven-year-old German Sporthorse gelding, FE Black Jack (Blaxkstone x Severus).
Rounding out the top 20 for Canada was Tosca Holmes-Smith of Chase, BC, and Paddington, Ali Holmes-Smith’s 20-year-old Welsh Quarter Horse cross gelding, with a three phase total of 58.1. Paddington was also awarded the Horsepower Trophy that recognises an outstanding horse in any championship division that best demonstrates determination, courage, class and heart. Paddington has competed successfully for 16 years and said his farewell to competition at NAJYRC, as this was his last competition before retirement.
“It is really cool that Paddington got to win an award like this at his last event,” said Holmes-Smith.
Canadian Jumpers Make their Move in Individual Final
Jacqueline Steffens of Harriston, ON rode Double C Stables’ Quercus van Generhese (Darco x Zeoliet) to eighth place individually in the Young Riders division after five rounds of competition. Riding the 15-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding, Steffens finished with a total of 23.15 faults. Teammate Veronica Bot of Burlington, ON, rode her nine-year-old Holsteiner gelding, Calato’s Charles (Calato x Lord) to 12th place overall with a score of 32.54.
In the Junior Division, Jessica Blum of Gormley, ON finished in eighth individually after riding her 10-year-old Westphalian gelding Cooper R (Celano x Corlando) to a five round total of 23.05.
Equine Canada congratulations the entire Canadian contingent on all of their success at NAYJRC 2015.