Eleonore Elstone and Jody Schloss rode their Freestyle tests on the sixth and final day of para-dressage competition on Tuesday, September 4, at the 2012 London Paralympic Games.
Elstone finished in 10th, with her highest score of the competition of 68.750%, riding Zareno, owned by Franklin Posmus, in the Grade IV Freestyle in the morning at the equestrian venue in Greenwich Park.
“Zareno was really good,” said Elstone, when asked about her Freestyle performance. “It was definitely my best ride of the whole competition. It is so much fun to ride to the music, and he really rises to the occasion.”
“It was my third time in the ring and it was a great atmosphere. You can feel all the positive energy from the crowd,” added Elstone. “Everything has been incredibly well organized. It was a very fun, wonderful and amazing experience. The organizers should be commended for putting on such an incredible Games at Greenwich.”
Jody Schloss of Toronto, ON earned a score of 66.500% in the Grade 1a Freestyle in afternoon, which was good for 11th place, riding her own horse Inspector Rebus.
“My memory of the whole experience was incredible-knowing that I was competing for Canada,” said Schloss. “I started riding when I was 11, but after my accident, I started therapeutic riding at age 25, and it continued my love for horses.”
“I definitely want to compete at the Paralympic Games again,” continued Schloss. “It has always been my goal to help people, so if I can inspire people to feel good about themselves that is great.”
“Eleonore had supper canter work in her Freestyle test, but she unfortunately had a spook in the corner at the beginning of her trot work, but it did not matter. The two of them just looked wonderful together,” said Andrea Taylor, National Team Coach of the Canadian Paralympic Equestrian Team. “I am very proud of Jody. She rode a lovely Freestyle and her horse was just incredible.”
“The 2012 Paralympic Games have been an incredible experience for our riders and horses,” said Amie O’Shaughnessy, Director of Para-Equestrian at Equine Canada. “We are very fortunate to have an extraordinary support team who worked flawlessly together behind the scenes to ensure that every detail was organized for our riders. Their effort made for a great team environment for everyone involved”
“I would like to thank Own the Podium, the Canadian Paralympic Committee and Sport Canada for their support and continued partnership of the Canadian Para-Equestrian Team,” added O’Shaughnessy.
A strong support team has accompanied the riders and horses to England, including: Andrea Taylor (National Team Coach), Mary Longden (Assistant Team Coach), Elizabeth Quigg (Chef d’équipe), Amie O’Shaughnessy (Team Leader), Dr. Jennifer Miller (Team Veterinarian), Alice Beatty (Stable Manager), Ozzie Sawicki (Performance Consultant), Caroline Archambault (Human/Equine Massage Therapist), and Julie Cull (Media Attache). Grooms include Anne Van Silfhout, Zoe Boyles, Tori Murray-Elley, and Kerry-Anne Bourne. Personal team support personnel include Caroline Samson, Suzie Brown, and Vanessa Lurie. Off-site support is also provided by Jamie-Ann Goodfellow and Ashley Raaymakers (Equine Canada Para-Equestrian Department) as well as April Clay (Sport Psychologist).
For candid team shots, updates, and stories, be sure to check out the Canadian Paralympic Equestrian Team blog at: http://canadianparalympicequestrianteam.wordpress.com/