The winning ways of the Canadian Para-Equestrian Team have started in 2012 the same way they finished in 2011—with victory. The Team win was not the only success of the Canadian riders at the Gold Coast Dressage Opener CPEDI3*, held at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Centre in West Palm Beach, FLA, January 19-22, they also won eight of the 16 classes offered.

Using the combined scores from the Team test and Individual test, Canadians Lauren Barwick, Ashley Gowanlock, Madison Lawson and Jody Schloss won the team competition with a total of 419.537%, while the host nation United States finished second with 407.471%.

In individual competition, Schloss of Toronto, ON, won all three of her Grade 1a classes riding Inspector Rebus, her 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding. The pair received 67.157% for their Team test, 70.583% in the Individual test and 69.167% for their Freestyle. Also competing in Grade 1a was Robyn Andrews of St. Johns, NL, riding her horse Fancianna, an 11-year-old Warmblood mare, and Ravallo Son, Santana Rooyakkers’ 17-year-old Bavarian Warmblood gelding. In the Team Test Andrews placed third with Fancianna and sixth aboard Ravallo Son. In the Individual test Andrews was sixth with Fancianna and seventh riding Ravallo Son, while in the Freestyle Andrews finished sixth with Fancianna.

Barwick of Aldergrove, BC, rode Equine Canada’s nine-year-old Oldenburg mare, Off to Paris, to top scores in Grade II over the three days earning 71.667% in the Team test, 70.159% in the Individual test, and 73.917% in the Freestyle, also winning all three classes.

“I’m thrilled with some of the new accomplishments we were able to achieve in the ring by freestyle day,” said Barwick who is also a Parelli 4 Star Professional and a 2008 Paralympic gold and silver medalist. “After our Individual test we changed a few things in a training session and felt like we really moved forward. I want to thank Own the Podium. It’s wonderful to have such a quality mare like Paris to ride.”

Riding Lauren Barwick’s nine-year-old Oldenburg mare, Ferdonia 2, Gowanlock, of Surrey, BC, won the Grade 1b Team Test with 70.985%. The pair then went on to finish second in the Individual Championship test with a score of 68.986%. Gowanlock got back to her winning form in Freestyle scoring 73.417%.

“Ferdonia 2 was fantastic this weekend,” said Gowanlock. “We are still a very new partnership, so each time we get in the ring together I feel like we are figuring each other out more and more and developing better understanding. It feels amazing to sit on a horse and feel the potential of the partnership taking shape.  Knowing that with more time and some tweaking here and there the sky is the limit.”

In Grade VI Team test, Lynne Pool of Schomberg, ON, finished in second (64.427%), riding Vasco E, her 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, and third (63.958%) riding Frisbee, her 20-year-old Welsh gelding. Madison Lawson of Bonfield, ON, rode her horse McGuire, her 17-year-old Canadian Sport Horse gelding to fourth place with 63.958%. In the Individual Championship test, Pool and Vasco E placed third, scoring 64.086%. Pool and her second horse Frisbee were fourth with 63.925%, while Lawson and McGuire were fifth with 63.925%. Lawson and McGuire placed third in the Grade VI Freestyle, scoring 68.477%, while Pool and Frisbee rounded out the Canadian entries with a score of 64.750% for sixth place.

Chef d’équipe Quigg-Robinson, team coaches Andrea Taylor and Mary Longden, veterinarian Dr. Jennifer Miller, sport psychologist April Clay, and team manager Amie O’Shaughnessy provided support to the Canadian para-equestrian riders for the duration of the competition in Florida.

This competition in Florida was made possible through the Own the Podium program, a national sport technical initiative designed to help Canada’s summer and winter athletes achieve podium success at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Canadian Para-Equestrian Team Scores
Horse/Rider                                                                                                       Team Test            Individual Test            Freestyle Test
Lauren Barwick/Off to Paris (owned by Equine Canada)                  71.667%                70.159%                         73.917%
Ashley Gowanlock/Ferdonia 2 (owned by Lauren Barwick)            70.985%               68.986%                        73.417%
Madison Lawson/McGuire (owned by Madison Lawson)                63.958%               63.925%                         68.477%
Jody Schloss/Inspector Rebus (owned by Jody Schloss)                  67.157%                 70.583%                        69.167%