On the final day of competition, the Canadian Para-Dressage riders once again earned top scores at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival 10 CPEDI3*. The annual FEI competition was held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, March 14-16, in Wellington, FL.
The top score of the day was awarded to Lauren Barwick of Aldergrove, BC, who handily won the Grade II Freestyle, with 76.167%, riding her 15-year-old Oldenburg mare, Ferdonia 2.
“Ferdonia exceeded my expectations today,” said Barwick, who is a three-time Paralympian and a 2008 Paralympic gold and silver medalist. “Unfortunately, my second horse, Off to Paris, had a beautiful test at the start; however, I got a spasm in my leg that caused me to keep kicking her. I chose, for the best interest of the horse and my safety, to retire.”
Riding M. Kendalyne Overway’s 13-year-old Morgan mare, Collegiate Sweet Leilani, Ashley Gowanlock, of Surrey, BC won the Grade Ib Freestyle. The pair, who had their international debut together at this FEI competition, earned a score of 71.417% for their first Freestyle, which was her second win at the competition.
“I am very happy with my results this weekend,” said Gowanlock.”I am very thankful to my groom, Lina Brandt, for making Leilani look fantastic all weekend. A huge thank you goes out to Mary Longden and my teammate Lauren Barwick for setting Leilani and I up for success in the ring. Kendalyne Overway is amazing for allowing me to compete on her lovely mare. I am really looking forward to heading to Europe.”
Steadily increasing her scores with each test, Robyn Andrews of St. Johns, NL, finished the competition with a win in the Freestyle aboard and her mare Fancianna, a 13-year-old Friesian Andalusian cross. The duo received the top Grade Ia score of 71.167%, a personal best at the international level.
“I was really pleased with my horse. She started off on Friday being a bit nervous in the covered arena, but she really improved each day,” said Andrews. “I was thrilled with my Freestyle. I gave my best, and Fancy gave me her best.”
Also in the Grade Ia Freestyle was Jody Schloss of Toronto, ON. Riding Inspector Rebus, her 16-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, Schloss placed third with 64.667%.
“Today, for the first time in a show, my horse got a little spooked by either the loud music in the corner or the flapping flags,” noted Schloss. “I was calm and collected, and that seemed to relax him. I was still very happy with him considering he thought there was something very scary happening. I am very grateful to my assistants for helping me stay focused, and the staff provided by Equine Canada was very supportive. My coach, Jessica Rhinelander, is amazing for helping me especially since she was so sick.”
Rounding out the Canadians was Lynne Poole of Schomberg, who finished in second place in the Grade IV Freestyle with 67.083%, riding Vasco E, her 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding.
“I had a great time. I made incredible new friends and enjoyed spending time with my old ones,” said Poole. “I want to thank everybody that went out of their way to help when my coach was hurt on Thursday. My horses were wonderful. Again, thanks to the organizers, my coach, my sponsors and my old and new friends.”
“When I arrived at this competition, I was given a good plan and this team was really working together,” remarked Chef d’équipe Elizabeth Quigg. “We now have a strong group going to Europe.”
In addition to the Freestyle victories, Canadians Andrews, Barwick, Gowanlock and Schloss also won the team competition with a total of 418.803%, while the host nation, United States, finished second with 410.536%. Team totals were tallied using the combined scores from the Team Test, held March 14, and the Individual Test, on March 15.
“This is the first time that we have had the entire team together this year, so we used this competition as an opportunity to test and review our team strategies before we continue our competition season in Europe,” said Amie O’Shaughnessy, Director of Para-Equestrian. “It was a really valuable experience and we are grateful to our performance partners, Own the Podium and Sport Canada, for their continued investment in our high performance program.”
The ground jury members for the Adequan Global Dressage Festival 10 CPEDI3* are Kjell Myhre (NOR), Marc Urban (BEL) and Kristi Wysocki (USA). For complete competition results, please visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.
The next stop for the Canadian Para-Equestrian Team is a European tour which will start at CPEDI3* Deauville, FRA, April 4-6, 2014.
Supporting the team at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival 10 CPEDI3* is Elizabeth Quigg, Chef d’équipe; Mary Longden, team coach; Amie O’Shaughnessy, Director of Para-Equestrian; Dr. Jennifer Miller, team veterinarian; and Caroline Archambault, human/horse Registered Massage Therapist.
The Canadian riders’ participation in the competition in Florida was made possible through the Own the Podium program, a national sport technical initiative designed to help Canada’s summer and winter athletes achieve podium success at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.