Blainville, Quebec – Dressage history will be made when, for the first time in North America, two CDI World Cup Qualifying events are held back-to-back in the same venue. The Blainville Equestrian Park, located just north of Montreal, QC, will host the CDI-W Blainville Summer Classic from June 19-22 followed by the CDI-W Blainville International Classic from June 24-28.
Well-known event producer Cara Whitham of Equivents, Inc., will bring the CDI-W Summer Classic, formerly held in Ottawa, to Blainville and will also take over the CDI-W Blainville Dressage International, Canadaâ€™s longest running World Cup Qualifying dressage event, from creator Jean-Pierre Arvisais who is retiring from competition organization.
â€œWe have built the dressage show over the past ten years, and I think it ended up being the most prestigious dressage show in Canada,â€ noted Arvisais, who has also hosted FEI competitions for reining, driving and, most notably, show jumping for the past 20 years, at the Blainville Equestrian Park. â€œThe fact that Cara is taking it over and consolidating her two weeks at the Park is great news! We built it to this level, and take great comfort and pride in the knowledge that it will keep growing. I can think of no better person than Cara to bring the show further.â€
Oneil Charron, President of the Blainville Equestrian Park, is also excited that the international dressage competition will continue.
â€œAs one of the founding members of the Blainville Equestrian Park, I could not be more pleased with the decision to run two back-to-back world cup qualifying competitions at our facility,â€ said Charron. â€œThis caliber of competition supports the initial goal of the Park, which was to bring international equestrian competition to Blainville by providing one of the top show facilities in eastern Canada.â€
The CDI-W Blainville International Classic became famous for its â€œMusical Freestyle Extravaganzaâ€, one of the most memorable and entertaining evenings in equestrian sport held anywhere in the world. The tradition will continue in 2008, with the always sold-out affair being scheduled for Saturday, June 28. However, several changes are afoot with Blainville Equestrian Parkâ€™s traditional grass footing in the grand prix field being converted to all-weather footing, allowing for dressage arenas to be located next to the permanent Jockey Club and offering spectators an enhanced seating and viewing area.
â€œEquivents is thrilled to host these competitions at the beautiful, international-caliber facility of Blainville Equestrian Park,â€ said Whitham, herself a former grand prix competitor as well as an Olympic official. â€œThe support of Oneil Charron and Jean-Pierre Arvisais has been invaluable in this decision. The new world-class footing will be a big plus for all of the horses and riders. The â€œMusical Freestyle Extravaganzaâ€ will be filled with exciting new initiatives, and I hope that this circuit will become an annual â€˜must attendâ€™ event for competitors from North and South America.â€
The CDI-W Blainville Dressage International showcases the very best in dressage sport, and Blainville Equestrian Park is a favourite venue among competitors. Valuable World Cup Qualifying points are on the line for those hoping to be one of two North American representatives at the 2009 World Cup Final in Las Vegas, and prize money totaling more than $20,000 also acts as a great incentive.
In addition to producing back-to-back CDI-W World Cup Qualifying events at the Blainville Equestrian Park, Whitham and Equivents Inc. will host the Ottawa Spring Classic from May 16 to 18 in Ottawa, ON, and the CDI-W CNE Classic in Toronto, ON, from August 5 to 9.