In front more than 10,000 cheering spectators, Lauren Barwick and Ashley Gowanlock both finished in sixth place following their Individual Championship tests during equestrian competition on Saturday, September 1, at the 2012 London Paralympic Games.
In the Grade II Individual Championship Test at the equestrian venue in Greenwich Park, Barwick, of Aldergrove, BC, rode Off to Paris, owned by Equine Canada to a score of 71.857% for sixth place out of 23.
“There were some really great things about my test today,” said Barwick of her ride with Off to Paris. “It is a challenging test for my horse and I, but overall I was really pleased with how she went in the ring. Our musical freestyle is on September 3, and I am really looking forward to that test.”
Riding Maile, Barwick’s individual gold and silver medal partner at the 2008 Paralympic Games, Gowanlock of Surrey, BC, had a great test and also achieved a sixth place finish with a score of 69.304% in the Grade 1B Team Test.
“Considering I have been only riding Maile since June, today’s test went according to plan,” said Gowanlock, who was also a member of the Canadian Team at the 2008 Paralympics. “She is so smart, so kind and so willing to be my partner. It is just fun to ride her.”
“During this test, we had our engine underneath us, so it felt like we were going somewhere,” she continued. “I can’t wait until the Freestyle test. Turn on the music and let’s dance!”
September 2, will wrap-up the Individual Championship Test competition. Canada’s other team members, Eleonore Elstone of Langley, BC, will ride Zareno, owned by Franklin Posmus, in the Grade IV Team test in the morning, and Jody Schloss of Toronto, ON, will ride her horse Inspector Rebus in the afternoon in the Grade 1a Team test.
The scores from the Team and Individual Championship tests will be combined to determine the overall team results, with the medals being awarded on September 2. The Individual Freestyle Tests for Grades 1b and II will take place on September 3, while the final days of competition will wrap-up with the Grade 1a, III and IV Individual Freestyle tests on September 4.
“Watching Ashley go today was honestly one of my proudest coaching moments,” said Andrea Taylor, National Team Coach of the Canadian Paralympic Equestrian Team. “I have been working with Ashley for a few years and just to see her tell Maile to walk forward and take a risk was great. She came out of the ring feeling confident and happy with her test, which was fantastic to see.”
“Lauren did a very good job riding a mare that is athletic and who can be a technical horse to ride,” continued Taylor. “Lauren did a fantastic job helping the mare today. With thousands of spectators, the atmosphere is very electric, and she gave the mare confidence in the ring.”
A strong support team has accompanied the riders and horses to England, including: Andrea Taylor (National Team Coach), Mary Longden (Assistant Team Coach), Elizabeth Quigg (Chef d’équipe), Amie O’Shaughnessy (Team Leader), Dr. Jennifer Miller (Team Veterinarian), Alice Beatty (Stable Manager), Ozzie Sawicki (Performance Consultant), Caroline Archambault (Human/Equine Massage Therapist), and Julie Cull (Media Attache). Grooms include Anne Van Silfhout, Zoe Boyles, Tori Elley-Murray, and Kerry-Anne Bourne. Personal team support personnel include Caroline Samson, Suzie Brown, and Vanessa Lurie. Off-site support is also provided by Jamie-Ann Goodfellow and Ashley Raaymakers (Equine Canada Para-Equestrian Department) as well as April Clay (Sport Psychologist).
Daily Games television highlights will be broadcast from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. EST showcasing the day’s performances, medal winners, athlete interviews and event features. Complete coverage of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies will also be available on several networks including TSN2, Sportsnet One, RDS, and RDS2.
For the first time in history, Canadians can watch live multiple online streams of Paralympic Summer Games throughout the 12 days of competition. Five digital streams will offer a total of 580 hours of live coverage. Three feeds will offer daily uninterrupted coverage of swimming, wheelchair basketball and athletics, while two additional channels will cover a range of sports and a will show a “best of” coverage from the day. All digital channels can be accessed from www.CTVParalympics.ca and www.RDSparalympiques.ca
For candid team shots, updates, and stories, be sure to check out the Canadian Paralympic Equestrian Team blog at: http://canadianparalympicequestrianteam.wordpress.com
For more information, including live scoring and results, please visit the equestrian sport section of the official 2012 London Paralympic Games website at www.london2012.com/paralympics/equestrian