On behalf of the Brosda family, Equestrian Canada (EC) is honoured to facilitate support for the Élisabeth Brosda Memorial Fund through the Horsepower Foundation – a fundraising program created by EC, in partnership with the Canadian Olympic Foundation, to inspire and support Canadians to embrace lifelong participation in equestrian activities. The 2023 Brosda Olympic Bursary is awarded to Pia Fortmüller of Foothills, AB.

Fortmüller is awarded the Brosda Olympic Bursary for the first time, speaks to her dedication and ability to make a future mark for Canada on the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) stage riding Frieda (Fuerstenball Old x Rouletto), an 11-year-old Hanoverian mare she co-owns with her partner Lars Busch. She also co-owns Kartsevo Goldfinch (Jazz x Lingh), a Dutch Warmblood gelding, with her mother Dagmar Fortmüller.

Pia and Frieda. (Terri Miller Photography)

The 36-year-old has spent the majority of her life dedicated to horses; in 2012, she was named a team reserve, with her late horse Orion, for the London Olympics and this inspired her to compete in the games. Fortmüller and her two horses, who is coached by three-time Olympian and two-time Olympic gold medalist (2004 and 2008) Heike Kemmer, started the 2022 season with two Grand Prix tests over 70% at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, FL. She would finish on the podium seven times last year, including concluding the season in Thermal, CA, with two victories.

In addition to Fortmüller’s success in the ring, she applies her dedication and passion coaching junior and youth athletes, with several of her students competing at the North American Youth Championships. Another area of youth development Fortmüller personally sponsors is involved in the Orion Cup. The cup was created in memory of her first Grand Prix horse, Orion and the intention of the cup is to give Canada’s youth another goal to work towards.

“This is such a special award and it so inspiring that the power of Élisabeth Brosda’s legacy lives on and her dream is kept alive by helping others work towards the same dream she had. Thank you to the Brosda family and EC for this support” said Fortmüller. “I will put the bursary towards competition costs with Frieda this year, as we have some big goals that will require a lot of travelling to various competition” she added.

Fortmüller said, “I have always been very passionate about our Canadian youth and will continue to support, guide and do my very best to inspire the younger generation to dream and pursue their dreams, just like Élisabeth did.”

As the successful candidate for 2023, Fortmüller will be an ambassador for the Brosda Olympic Bursary, promoting the Olympics values of excellence, teamwork, leadership and fair play, and sharing her stories and experiences through public speaking engagements and on social media.

About the Élisabeth Brosda Memorial Fund

The Brosda Olympic Bursary is offered in memory of the late Élisabeth Brosda of Gatineau, QC. A passionate young equestrian and an accomplished dressage athlete, Élisabeth was tragically killed in a head on car collision in September of 2016. Élisabeth’s goal was to reach the Grand Prix level and represent Canada at the 2024 Olympic Games.

The Brosda Olympic Bursary is designed to assist aspiring athletes reach their full potential and support the development efforts of athletes showing the skill and determination to represent Canada at the 2024 Olympic Games. The Bursary will provide up to $10,000 annually toward financial support for international competition, sport science, training, equipment and sport education.

As a lasting legacy in memory of Élisabeth Brosda, funds donated to the Élisabeth Brosda Memorial Fund are directed specifically to the annual Brosda Olympic Bursary.

Donations to the Élisabeth Brosda Memorial Fund can be made online at www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/35625/, or by cheque. Please make cheques out to the Canadian Olympic Foundation and include Élisabeth Brosda Memorial Fund in the memo area of the cheque. Cheques can be mailed to: Canadian Olympic Foundation, 250 Yonge St. , Suite 3000, PO Box # 19, Toronto, ON Canada, M5B 2L7.