Megan Lane and Brittany Fraser both earned back-to-back wins at the CDI 3* Ottawa Dressage Festival, which took place May 28-31 at Wesley Clover Parks in Ottawa, Ont., and acted as the final TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games qualifier for the Canadian Dressage Team.
Lane, who calls Loretto, Ont. home, opened the CDI big tour with a decisive win in the FEI Grand Prix on May 29. Riding her long-time partner and 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games mount, Caravella (Contango x Riverman), a 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare, Lane scored 71.640%.
The following day, the duo entered the winner’s circle once again after achieving an even higher score of 71.882% in the FEI Grand Prix Special.
“I was thrilled with my rides both days, because my horse’s confidence in the ring improves with every show,” said Lane, who also had success earlier in the month when she picked up an FEI Grand Prix Freestyle win at the CDI 3* Spring into Dressage Pan Am Games Qualifier, held at the Caledon Pan Am Equestrian Park in Palgrave, Ont., which will host the majority of equestrian events at the Games. “She is a very special horse and I am so fortunate to have a horse of my own of this calibre.”
“When it comes to competing, I don’t have winning or losing on my mind,” continued Lane. “Instead, I just focus on achieving personal bests. Nevertheless, winning is undeniably a great feeling, and it’s really exciting to have my time and hard work paying off. I’d like to thank Deer Ridge Equestrian, my coach Christilot Boylen, and my sponsors, Omega Alpha and Albion Saddlery for all their wonderful support.”
Taking the small tour by storm was Brittany Fraser of New Glasgow, N.S. who has been on a definite winning streak after topping all three small tour classes at the CDI Equivents Spring Classic, held May 21-24 in Cedar Valley, Ont. Her success continued in Ottawa, where she rode her 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, All In (Tango x Damiro), to a score of 74.474% in the FEI Prix St. Georges on May 29. She followed up with a second win on May 31 in the FEI Intermediate I on a score of 74.395%.
“My horse couldn’t have been more perfect,” said Fraser, who has been making a name for herself in the sport of dressage with support from her coach, Canadian Olympian Ashley Holzer. “Both days he was right on point, focused, and had lots of energy. Even with the rain on Saturday and a storm coming in, he never let me down. He goes to the ring every single time and does his job.”
“It’s very exciting to have back-to-back wins, especially at a time when you really need to have good rides and great scores. To have the best test that I’ve ever had in the Prix St. Georges and to win at the last two qualifiers for the Pan Am Games feels pretty amazing,” continued Fraser, who thanked her support team and recognized them as a huge factor in her recent success. “I have so much support from Ashley Holzer, Jacqueline Brooks, all of my family, and my boyfriend. Friends I haven’t seen in a while and people who I’ve worked with at stables in Ottawa came out this weekend and I thought that was really great.”
Additional Canadian highlights in the big tour came courtesy of Olympians, Jacqueline Brooks of Cedar Valley, Ont. and Christilot Boylen, who currently resides in Wellington, Fla.
Brooks rode her 2012 London Olympics mount, D Niro (D-Day x Napoleon 625), a 16-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding owned by Mary Brooks and Brookhaven Dressage Inc. to a second place finish in the FEI Grand Prix on a score of 70.680%. Boylen finished in third place after receiving a score of 70.020% aboard Drentano (De Niro x Bretano II), her 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding.
Brooks and Boylen switched spots in the following day’s FEI Grand Prix Special, with Boylen and Drentano following Lane in second place and Brooks riding D Niro to a third place finish.
The FEI Grand Prix Freestyle, which closed out the big tour on May 31, saw a new winner emerge, with Evi Strasser of Ste-Adele, Que. leading the victory lap after scoring 70.025% for her impressive performance set to dramatic music aboard her 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding, Renaissance Tyme, sired by Royal Diamond. Alan Young of Terra Cotta, Ont. was the next Canadian on the Freestyle leaderboard, having earned a score of 66.225% with Stella (Espiritu x Pilot), an 18-year-old Canadian Sport Horse mare owned by Nancy MacLachlan.
In the small tour, Diane Creech of Caistor Centre, Ont. and Chris von Martels, another Canadian living in Wellington, Fla., had multiple top three finishes. Creech finished in second place in the FEI Prix St. Georges, riding Robbie W, a 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Doug Leatherdale and sired by Rubin Royal, to a score of 73.105%. von Martels took third place after scoring 71.921% aboard Zilverstar, his 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding sired by Rousseau.
Just as in the big tour, the small tour results were swapped for the Intermediate I, with von Martels and Zilverstar taking second place with a score of 72.289%, and Creech and Robbie W finishing in third place (70.632%).
The final class of the small tour, the FEI Intermediate I Freestyle, held May 31, saw Leslie Reid of Langley, B.C. earn a score of 70.225% for the win, paired with Fine and Smart (Fuerst Piccolo x Worldman), Juliet Sears Ledorze’s 11-year-old Westphalian gelding. Strasser took third on a score of 67.350%, this time riding Rigaudon Tyme (Rosario x Calypso II), her 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding.
Full information and results from the CDI 3* Ottawa Dressage Festival can be found here.