Equine Canada announced today that Para-Equestrian athletes Lauren Barwick, Eleonore Elstone, Ashley Gowanlock, and Jody Schloss have been nominated to the Canadian Paralympic Committee to represent Canada at the 2012 Paralympic Games, August 29-September 9 in London, England.

Barwick, Elstone, and Gowanlock are each returning Paralympians, while Schloss will be making her Paralympic debut in London, providing a combination of experience and new talent to the team.

The Canadian Para-Equestrian team riders have had remarkable success over the past 12 months, achieving podium performances at international events in the United Kingdom, Portugal, Belgium, Germany and the United States, which has put the team in fourth place in the world heading into the Games.

“I am pleased to congratulate para-equestrian athletes Lauren Barwick, Eleonore Elstone, Ashley Gowanlock, and Jody Schloss on being nominated to the 2012 Canadian Paralympic Team,” said the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport). “I wish all the best to our Canadian Paralympic athletes as they prepare for the Games. I would also like to thank the coaches, family, and officials who support and encourage the athletes who will proudly represent our country.”

“I feel very confident that our Team is well prepared for the Games,” states National Team Coach Andrea Taylor, who will be accompanying Canada’s team for a second time to the Games. “This team, from the athletes, the support personnel, to the leadership group, works tremendously well together and has a solid history of international experience. We’re ready to go for it!”

The list of nominated riders and horses are:

Rider/Hometown/Training Centre/Horse(s)
Lauren Barwick/Aldergrove, BC/Langley, BC/Off to Paris (owned by Equine Canada)
Ferdonia 2 (owned by Lauren Barwick)

Eleonore Elstone/Langley, BC/Langley, BC/Zareno (owned by Elisabeth Posmus-Penterman)
Why Not G (owned by Kelleigh Kulcsar/Eleonore Elstone)

Ashley Gowanlock/Surrey, BC/Langley, BC/Ferdonia 2 (owned by Lauren Barwick)
Maile (owned by Lauren Barwick)

Jody Schloss/Toronto, ON/Kemptville, ON/Inspector Rebus (owned by Jody Schloss)

A strong support team will accompany the riders and horses to London, including coaches, chef d’équipe, grooms, a physiotherapist and veterinarian, working to ensure that the world-class athletes) are fully prepared to achieve greatness at the 2012 Games.

“Canada will once again field a strong equestrian team in what promises to be a memorable competition in iconic Greenwich Park,” said Gaétan Tardif, Team Canada’s Chef de Mission for the London 2012 Paralympic Games. “I very much look forward to watching our Canadian athletes in action.”

“I am very confident that we have a strong team, with some outstanding horses. We expect to be very competitive at the Games,” said Elizabeth Quigg, chef d’équipe for the Canadian Para-Equestrian Team.

“We have a very talented team of athletes, horses, coaches, and team personnel who have achieved great success over the past year,” said Amie O’Shaughnessy, Director of Para-Equestrian and Paralympic Team Manager at Equine Canada. “The support of Own the Podium, the Canadian Paralympic Committee, and Sport Canada combined with the tremendous efforts of the athletes, has ranked the Canadian team fourth in the world heading into the Games, which will make for a very exciting experience in London.”

The selection process for the Canadian Paralympic riders was based on their performances at international events during the qualifying period running between January through to June 1, 2012.

At the Paralympic Games, individual medals are awarded to athletes in the individual and freestyle tests, as well as an overall team medal.  Seventy-eight athletes will compete at the Paralympic Games during the 12 days of competition.

Para-Equestrian is one of Canada’s most successful international disciplines, achieving an individual gold medal and an individual silver medal at the 2008 Paralympic Games, as well as two individual bronze medals at the 2004 Paralympic Games.

Fans can follow the Team’s performance during the Games online at Canadian Paralympic Committee, as well as at Equine Canada.

Equine Canada would like to acknowledge the funding contributions of the following partners-Own the Podium, Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Paralympic Committee and Sport Canada.