Canada’s three Para athletes and their horse partners continued their journey at the FEI World Championships in Herning, Denmark over the last two days
The horses – Onyx, Fairuza and Lieutenant Lobin – were looking exceptionally good when they came to the inspection on Tuesday. Unlike able-bodied Dressage, the jog is performed by the groom. All horses passed their inspection, proving they were fit and ready for competition.
“Things have been going really, really well,” said chef d’équipe Clive Milkins. “For me, at a competition, it’s all about checking the horse’s welfare, that it is as good as it can be.
“And all of the horses are looking fantastic,” he continued. “We have a couple of older horses, and with the veterinary care we have with Dr. Manning and the support from Equestrian Canada and its sponsors, another trip to Europe for our older horses has not been a problem!”
He also spoke about the importance of grooms in Para Dressage. “This sport, where the energy of the athletes is so important, they have to trust their grooms 1000%. The grooms become the part-time managers, part-time trainers. Grooms are more important in some ways than any other part of the team.”
The grooms and the athletes were ready to get the tests started under sunny skies in the BB Horse Arena on Wednesday, August 10. The Herning World Championships site was busy with activity throughout the day with jumping, dressage and vaulting all continuing to have events on site.
First up in competition was Winona Hartvikson riding the 9-year-old Hanoverian gelding Onyx (Wolkentaz) that she co-owns with Jane MacDonald. After running into some difficulty prior to entering the ring, she rode well and received a score of 71.893, placing 8th.
“It was a bit exciting with a spook going in and then I had to get him back under control and on the centre line. Then I could still feel the tension in him, [but] he did a nice accurate test. If he was a bit more relaxed, I think the score would be higher,” said Hartvikson.
Jody Schloss went later in the day with her 18-year-old Danish Warmblood Lieutenant Lobin (Lobster x Fanal Prydsholm) and had a solid performance. Making her way around the ring at the walk, she placed 12th with a final score of 68.179.
Next up for Canada will be Roberta Sheffield riding her own Fairuza on Thursday, August 11 at 2:09 pm local time in the Grade III Orifarm Healthcare FEI World Para Dressage Individual Championship.