Ottawa, Ontario— Canadian eventing riders recently headed to the United States to contest the CCI** Virgina Three Day Event, held November 2 – 6 in Lexington, VA.

Mike Winter, a Canadian Olympian currently residing in Newnan, Georgia, had a busy day. After competing in the CCI** division with three of his up-and-coming horses, his best finish proved to be aboard Wonderful Will, a nine-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, owned by Susan Edwards.The duo were in 26th place after a dressage score of 56.90, but quickly moved up to eighth place after tackling course designer David O’Connor’s cross-country course, receiving no jumping, just four time faults. They moved up to their final placing of fifth after adding no jumping, and only one time fault in show jumping, bringing their final score to 61.9.

Winter also finished 14th aboard Sher and Elliott Schwartz’s nine-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, Mark, and placed 22nd with Lucy Tutweiler’s eight-year-old American Thoroughbred gelding Secret Decision.

“The horses went very well, and I am excited about their finishes,” commented Winter, who explained he is trying to improve his riding by competing with multiple horses at the advanced levels. “I am excited about all of my current mounts. They have really given depth to my current string, and helped me to move forward in preparation for next year.”

Coming in just behind Winter was Selena O’Hanlon of Elgin, ON, who finished 15th aboard the 12-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding Colombo, owned by Hawkridge Farm. They kicked off the event with a score of 56.60 in dressage for 24th place. Despite adding 28.4 jumping and 85 time faults cross-country, they moved up to 20th place, before finishing on a high note with no jumping, just four time faults in the show jumping phase. Their final score of 89 put them in 15th place overall.

Other Canadians finishing in the top twenty were Jessica Hampf, who currently resides in Auburn, Alabama, and High Society II, who placed 17th. And Ontario native Kerri Short of Caledon who finished 18th riding Fantasia. Other Canadian competitors included Karl Slezak, who placed 23rd with Showdown, Diana Burnett who finished 26th with Sagacious King , Allison Truesdell, who rode Take a Chance on Me to 25th place, and Jennifer Irwin, who finished in 29th place, paired with Skies Above.

The competition was won by American Corinne Ashton riding Dobbin.

“I think Virginia is a competitive event,” commented Winter. “It runs very smoothly, and I really enjoyed it.”

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