Belinda Trussell from Stouffville, ON, qualified to move forward into the Grand Prix Special following the completion of the initial grand prix competition on Aug. 11 at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, BRA.

The Grand Prix saw a total of 60 competitors over two days on Aug. 10 and 11. Trussell, 44, was the first rider into the stadium on the second day. She was partnered with Anton (Antaeus x Shirley), a 16-year-old Sachsen-Anhaltiner gelding owned by Robyn Eames and Mark Trussell. Together, they scored 72.214%, putting them into 28th place and securing their spot in the Grand Prix Special, where the top six teams and top eight individuals, not already qualified through a team, will compete on Aug. 12. During the Grand Prix Special team medals will be decided, and the top 18 individuals will go on to the Grand Prix Freestyle on Aug. 15 to compete for individual honours.

Lane, 25, had her turn in the stadium on Aug. 10, scoring 71.286% in her Olympic debut with the Canadian-bred Caravella (Contango x Riverman), a 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare she co-owns with her mother, Cathy Lane and sister, Kelsey Lane. This put her final position at 32nd, unfortunately just outside of the cut-off for the Grand Prix Special.

Currently, the reigning Olympic champions, Charlotte Dujardin from Great Britain and Valegro have the lead with a score of 85.071%. Kristina Broring-Sprehe rode Desperados FRH to a score of 82.257% for second place, and teammate, Isabell Werth is in third (81.029%) with Weihegold Old. In the provisional team standings, Germany has maintained their lead with 81.424. Great Britain is the current runner up (79.252), and the United States rounds out the top three with a score of 76.971.

Trussell, now a two-time Olympian, having represented the Canadian Dressage Team at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, was thrilled about the opportunity to move forward in the competition for Canada.

“For both of us to come in here as two individuals, not a team, and get two really reputable scores is great for our country moving forward,” commented Trussell. “I’m proud of Megan. She came in here and got a great score. I’m really excited about that for Canada.”

She also spoke of her pride in Anton after his first day of competition at the Games. “Anton was very good; he was very concentrated and relaxed. He did everything that I asked him to do. The piaffe was just plain fun to ride, and I was really happy with the changes. Everything just felt like it flowed nicely. There were a few little things I could spark up a bit for another few percentages, but to get a 72, which is just one percent lower than our personal best, at the Olympics – I’m really happy.”

The Grand Prix Special will get underway at 10 a.m. BRT on Aug. 12. Trussell and Anton will be the third horse/rider combination into the stadium.