Equestrian Canada (EC) congratulates two rising Hanoverian talents who have achieved national ranking recognition during the inaugural year of the Dressage Young Horse Development Program. To be ranked, the horses earned a minimum of four scores of 68% or better at EC Gold, Foreign National or CDI competitions.

As You Wish (Wilkens x Contendro I), a gelding known affectionately as “Westley” and ridden by owner, Shannon Dueck of Loxahatchee, FL, far surpassed the minimum qualifications for six-year-old horses with an average score of 77.45%.

“I am thrilled to be part of the Young Horse Program; I think it’s a very important step in supporting the development of future international stars for Canada,” said Dueck. “Through this program, I was able to get some great feedback to help me in training Westley and he improved throughout the year. I look forward to working with EC next year as we progress to the seven-year-old work.”

In the seven-year-old division, Frieda (Fuerstenball OLD X Rouletto) impressed with a high ranking score of 81.892% under the guidance of rider and 2012 London Olympics reserve for the Canadian Dressage Team, Pia Fortmuller of Foothills, AB.

Fortmuller, who co-owns the expressive black mare with Lars Busch, commented, “Lars discovered Frieda as a two-year-old and saw very special potential when he first laid eyes on her. As a young horse, Frieda has always has captivated her audience, but this last year the potential that Lars caught a glimpse of is starting to take shape. Thank you, EC, for having this Young Horse Program. The support it offers is greatly appreciated.”