Despite challenging conditions with heavy rains, Thunderbird Show Park hosted the CDI Touch of Class Dressage Show this past weekend, June 14-16, alongside a large national show with over 100 entries. Judges included head of the jury Janet Foy and her panel Cesar Torrente, Frederico Pinteus, and Christina Pripp.

A woman cantering on a bay dressage horse.

Alison Martin with Jaguar-Utopia. (Cara Grimshaw photo)

The CDI featured five BC riders in CDI 1* and CDI 2* events: FEI Junior Alison Campbell-Wright and her horse Slapstick earned qualifying scores for the NAYC and will be returning to the North American Youth Championships in Traverse City, MI, again this summer, July 30 – August 4. Shelley Lawder achieved a hat trick of wins with her mare Epona in the small tour classes. Behind Shelley placed Amy Wellburn on Dinamico (owned by Andrea Stowe) and Alison Martin on Jaguar-Utopia finishing second and third in both PSG and Intermediate I, with placings reversed for the Freestyle. In the CDI 2*, Erin Silo and Jett completed the Intermediate A and Intermediate B classes.

“Thank you Thunderbird Show Park for hosting a Western Canadian CDI,” said Shelley Lawder. “It is the only chance local dressage riders have to access top international judging. There is much talent and quality both in horses and riders (not to mention grit, determination, resilience, etc.) here on the West Coast!”

“It’s an incredible journey developing a horse to the Grand Prix level, and being able to have these kinds of opportunities to support the process is priceless,” said competitor Erin Silo. This was echoed by Alison Campbell-Wright, who remarked, “The West Coast CDI’s are a great opportunity for juniors like myself to get the opportunity to compete with international judges necessary to grow our sport and develop as riders.”

Amy Wellburn spoke for everyone when she commented, “We are incredibly lucky to have had a CDI at the world-class Thunderbird Show Park. Despite the unfavourable weather conditions, the competition arena was beautiful to ride in and we had very comfortable stabling. It truly is an outstanding venue to ride at and it wouldn’t have been possible without the hard-working team behind it!”

Complete results here.