Canada’s youth and junior dressage and jumping athletes showed promise as they took a significant step forward in their careers at the North American Youth Championships (NAYC), held Aug. 10-14, 2022, at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival in Traverse City, Mich.

In its second year at the prestigious venue, Canadian athletes represented the maple leaf with dedication and passion, capturing a total of five medals and many top eight finishes in individual and team competitions.

Junior Dressage Team Earns Silver

The Canadian Junior team of Olivia Tomljenovic, Kiara Williams-Brown, Alison Campbell-Wright and Anna Swackhammer opened the weekend for Team Canada with a podium finish, earning a silver medal in the team competition with a score of 199.636%.

Swackhammer of Rockwood, ON, competing in her fourth NAYC, lead the way in the individual rankings, placing fourth overall with a score of 69.242% riding Fabienna GV (Fackeltanz x August der Starke), a nine-year-old Westphalian mare owned by M. Sinclair, K. Bennett and J. Szkotnicki.

Fellow Ontarian, Williams-Brown of Navan, ON, one of Canada’s 2018 NAYC Junior Team bronze medalists also contributed to the team’s success, scoring a 64.000% with Herdeiro Santana (Dragon Comando SN x Solar Dos Pinhais), an 11-year-old Lusitano gelding owned by her mother Simone Williams.

The third member of the team Campbell-Wright, from Victoria, BC, received the second highest Canadian individual score of 66.394% paired with Slapstick (Savoy x Reccio L), a nine-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by her mother Bonnie Campbell, who’s she’s been with since January 2022.

Tomljenovic of Cobble Hill, BC, rounded out the team with her own 19-year-old Canadian Warmblood mare Valkira (Vulcaan x Final Pool) or “Venus”. Valkira, who is a retired jumper, has been involved in dressage for three years.

Children’s Jumping Team Golden

On August 11, The Children’s Jumping Team of Mathilde Candele, Livia Martin, Taylor Wood and Tristan Tobin captured the gold medal over the United States, in an exciting two rounds with a jump-off. For more information about this exciting win, click here.

Young Riders Jumping Team Earn Bronze Medal

On a bright sunny afternoon on August 12, the Canada 1 young riders’ team of Lauren Esdale, Sam Walker, Sara Tindale and Eric Krawitt battled through a fierce competition to earn a place on the podium, winning the bronze medal.

The Canadian Young Riders team about to do their victory lap after winning the bronze medal. (Ben Radvanyi Photography)

Walker, 20, of Nobleton, ON, in the saddle of Evita (Canturano x Farmer), a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare owned by Marbill Hill Farm, had a rail in both rounds but was the fastest around the course incurring only .15 time penalties. When asked about how things went with the team, he said, “I’m thrilled to have such amazing teammates to help us achieve the bronze medal.”

Tindale, 20, of Campbellville, ON, jumped clear in round one and had a single rail in the second, while riding Elco van hof ter Naillen (Elvis Ter Putte x Toulon), a 12-year-old Belgian Sport Horse gelding owned by Tindale Farms. Tindale, who’s been with her horse for over a year has seen improvements by competing in Europe this summer.

Esdale, 20, of Seagrave, ON, returned to NAYC, while riding Viamidos d’Avril, “Ted” (Diamant de Semilly x Fol Avril), a 13-year-old Selle Francais gelding owned by Pauline Esdale. The Canadian duo, who’s bond has grown since 2020, jumped clear in round two. She said, “Ted and I have been together for two years now. We were here last year, we’ve had an amazing year and it’s been nice to be back and competing in these championships.”

The youngest member of the Canadian young rider team, Krawitt, 18, of Okotoks, AB, returned for the second consecutive championships, paired with his own Cactus de Cosniere (Padock du Plessis*Hn x Flipper D’Elle*HN*), a 10-year-old Selle Francais gelding. The pair would knock over one rail in the first round and jump clear in the second to help the Canadians secure the bronze medal.

Individual Medalists

William Martin, 16, of Vineland, ON, earned Canada’s second gold medal in the junior individual jumping competition on the final day of NAYC. Riding Ricore Courcelle (Quaprice Bois Margot x Alme), a 17-year-old Selle Francais stallion owned by Teddy Vlock, Martin took top honours in the individual jumping championship. For more information on Martin’s victory, please click here.

Anna Swackhammer leads Canada Dressage Team with Individual Silver Medal. (Ben Radvanyi Photography)

The Rockwood, ON, native Swackhammer, represented the maple leaf in the dressage ring in the NAYC Junior Individual Championship, held on August 12.

After winning a team silver medal on August 10, the 18-year-old finished the individual event on the podium as well, winning a silver medal with a score of 69.029%, missing the top of the podium by a fraction of a percent to USA’s Ella Fruchterman aboard Holts Le’mans, who finished with a 69.294%.

She was all smiles after earning the silver medal with Fabienna GV (Fackeltanz x August der Starke), a nine-year-old Westphalian mare owned by M. Sinclair, K. Bennett and J. Szkotnicki. Swackhammer said, “it’s always a good feeling when you come out of the ring and your coach has nothing to say!” After drawing early in the order, she had to hold back her excitement and wait until the final results to see if she had reached the podium.

Swackhammer, who is attending University of Guelph this fall, has a strong partnership with Fabienna GV, who’s she’s been with for a few months. “We came together as a team,” Swackhammer said. “She’s super sweet and awesome.”

Other Individual Results:

Livia Martin of Manotick, ON, with her own Coradi (sired by Ce Matin), a 10-year-old Macklenburg Warmblood gelding jumped clear in the first two rounds to advance to the jump-off in the Children’s Individual Final. With two rails and a speedy time of 29.91, they were just short of the podium finishing in fifth place.

A newcomer to NAYC and FEI dressage competition, Allison Campbell-Wright of Victoria, BC, rode Slapstick (Savoy x Reccio L), a nine-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Bonnie Campbell and finished in eighth position in both the Individual Juniors Championship (65.735%) and on the final day in the Freestyle Junior Competition (70.165%).

Ava Wong of Calgary, AB, took home the third-place ribbon with a score of 35.97 in the Junior and Young Rider farewell, with Dammam O.L (Cardento x Arkansas), a 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Highland Farms.

Quotes from Chef D’Équipes Dayton Gorsline and Denielle Gallagher-Legriffon:

“Overall, they were a fun, upbeat group of kids that competed in Michigan, we had medals and top 10 finishes in all age categories” said Gorsline, Canadian Show Jumping Chef D’Equipe. “I think good results and the future for Canadian young riders looks good!”

“I’m so proud of our junior and young riders, they rode so focused and determined. They are true athletes and showed a high level of sportsmanship and class, representing Canada on the FEI stage” said Gallagher-Legriffon. “Our juniors winning the silver medal for the team test was so exciting and a true testament to their hard work. I’m looking forward to watching our athletes progress over their growth from this experience – thank you to all the sponsors who helped our youth teams compete in Michigan, without you this team wouldn’t have been possible.”

Thank You

Equestrian Canada (EC) would like to thank both Chef D’Équipes – Gallagher-Legriffon for Dressage and Gorsline for Jumping for their dedication and support for our Canadian athletes. EC would also like to thank the organizers, athletes, coaches and parents who were part of this exciting experience for our up-and-coming athletes. Equestrian Canada would also like to thank our sponsors J.C. Anderson Foundation, Bonnie Brae Farm, Dressage Facebook Auction Group, Sam Shield America, Von Martels Dressage, Tackeria, Nexola, Brilliance Stables, Alison and Michael Gallagher, Ecogold Pads and Riderzofficial Horse and many others for their contributions in helping our teams travel to Traverse City, Mich., to compete at NAYC 2022.

For more information on NAYC 2022, please click here.