Over the past year, Ontario Equestrian has been creating an Athlete Development Program for riders in the three Olympic disciplines – eventing, jump and dressage, with the goal of providing resources and a pathway to success on the national and international level.
In consultation with a select group of elite equestrian athletes including Ian Millar, Chris Sorensen, Rob Stevenson and Christilot Boylen, as well as tapping into the expertise offered at the Canadian Sport Institute of Ontario (CSIO), we have completed the first program design.
With a supporting grant from the Coaches Association of Ontario, and the Government of Ontario Quest for Gold program, we were able to hire a Head Coach to lead the program, in collaboration with our Director of Sport.
We will be releasing the Program Criteria and Application Form for athletes to declare their interest very soon. We would also invite coaches to become familiar with the criteria so their athletes might apply and benefit from the support provided by the program. This program will engage the athlete, their parents and their coach.
We are thrilled to have Christilot Boylen as the head coach of the GRIT (Great Riders Intensive Training) program. Her experience, knowledge and attention to detail are exactly what we were looking for. Christilot has competed for Canada in six Olympic Games, with three top 12 finishes, a Nations Cup Individual Winner in Wellington Florida, and three individual gold medals at the Pan American Games – still a record!
Many years ago, Christilot founded CADORA to support grassroots athletes in the development of Dressage in Canada. Christilot has developed well over 50 FEI level horses, and believes passionately in the importance of Canadian riders having access to good quality horses to be successful in their chosen discipline.
Christilot’s reaction to this appointment was energetic and enthusiastic. “I am excited to work with Ontario Equestrian on this new program. Their forward thinking and LETS DO IT feeling, coupled with amazing organizational ability will ensure that the Ontario Equestrian community will have access to more and better training – from young horses and riders, through to those striving toward the upper international levels. Ontario has a long history of producing exceptional athletes in all three disciplines. Let us empower the next generation of horses and riders to excel on the world stage.”