Dressage Canada is pleased to announce that Christine and Augustin Walch of W. Charlot Farms in Stratford, ON, have been named as the 2011 Dressage Canada Owner(s) of the Year.

The Walchs are the co-owners of Viva’s Salieri W, a 10-year-old Canadian-bred Hanoverian stallion that represented Canada at the 2011 Pan American Games with Tom Dvorak of Hillsburgh, ON.

Born at W. Charlot Farms, Viva’s Salieri W, sired by Viva Voltaire, has been in training with Dvorak since he was a four-year-old. In 2011, the pair easily qualified to represent Canada at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Aboard Viva’s Salieri W, Dvorak, 46, was the highest placed Canadian dressage rider at the Games, placing fourth in the individual competition. The duo was an integral part of Canada’s team silver medal which also qualified the Canadian dressage team for the 2012 London Olympics.
“Augustin and Christine Walch are very supportive and have trusted us to care for and train Viva’s Salieri W as if he were our own,” said Dvorak. “He is a special horse. Everyday he is ready to give 110 per cent and I love riding him.”

“We are absolutely thrilled about Salieri’s success and the recognition we received from Dressage Canada,” said Christine Walch.  “It is every breeders dream to breed a horse that can compete at the international level, and what we achieved this year in the dressage arena is simply a dream come true. We are very grateful for the wonderful job that Tom and Ellen Dvorak have done with ‘Socks.’ His success would not have been possible without them.”

She added, “Both Augustin and I were very touched when we received the message from Dressage Canada about the award.”

The Walchs were recognized at the Dressage Canada 2011 Celebration of Dressage held November 10th at The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, ON.

Past winners of the Dressage Canada Owner of the Year Award include Karen Soupcoff (2003), Deryol Andrews (2004), Evi Strasser (2005), Doug Leatherdale (2006), Faith Berghuis (2007), Ian and Moreen Nicoll (2008), Robyn Eames (2009) and Cindy Ishoy (2010).