Ottawa, Ontario – Dressage Canada would like to extend their sincere condolences to Christilot Boylen and Ashley Holzer on the loss of their equine partners.

In October of 2006 Holzer lost her 16-year-old Selle Francaise stallion Imperioso. Holzer’s partnership with the talented stallion led to many international triumphs, including helping the 2002 Canadian Equestrian Dressage Team finish in ninth place at the 2002 World Equestrian Games in Jerez, ESP. In 2004, they were a part of the ninth place Canadian Dressage Team at the Athens Olympics, where they also finished 42nd individually.

Holzer and Imperioso made a strong start in the 2006 season, receiving many top placings at the prestigious CDI3* Winter Equestrian Festival series in Wellington, FL. At the CDI3* Gold Coast Opener, they claimed both the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Freestyle, and moved on to the CDI3* Dressage Classic, where they finished second in both the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Speciale.

Imperioso’s impressive results led to his qualification for the 2006 World Equestrian Games, held in August 2006 in Aachen, GER.

Affectionately called ‘Perry’, he was widely known for his ‘huge heart’, and his incredible presence in the ring.

Just two months later, in December 2006, Boylen’s long-time partner, the 15-year-old Hanoverian mare Lucky Lemon, owned by Dora Pabst, died peacefully on her home farm after a sudden illness.

Boylen’s 10-year partnership with Lucky Lemon began at the 1996 Elite Spring Auction in Verden, GER, where the talented mare was purchased. Boylen described Lucky Lemon as verging between genius and crazy, and between 1995 and 2006 Lucky Lemon had 17 wins and 16 second place finishes at the advanced and grand prix levels, not including her many international successes. Highlights of Lucky Lemon’s career include taking the prestigious 2002 CDI3* Poznan in Poland by storm, winning the Grand Prix and finishing second in the Grand Prix Special. That same year the duo also took top honours in classes at Wintrmuhle-Neu-Anspach and Heroldsberg, Nurmberg, Germany.

In 2003, both Boylen and Lucky Lemon, and Holzer and Imperioso were part of Canada’s Dressage Team at the Open European Dressage Championships, helping Canada finish in eighth place, which secured Canada a team spot at the 2004 Athens Olympics. Individually, Boylen and Lucky Lemon were the only Canadian pair to advance to the Grand Prix Special.

Canada has lost two world class athletes in Lucky Lemon and Imperioso. Both will be sadly missed, but fondly remembered has having achieved top international results for Canada.