The documentary “The Power of 2 on the Road to Gold” produced by Toronto production company Zap Productions is getting its world premiere at TIFF Bell Lightbox on November 2nd.

The documentary chronicles the behind-the-scenes stories of the Canadian dressage team competing at the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, where they would fulfil their dreams by taking home the team silver.

The team was comprised of three rising stars on the dressage circuit who were making their Canadian team debuts; Tina Irwin, aboard the 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, Winston; Crystal Kroetch riding the 10-year-old Hannoverian, Lymrix and Roberta Byng-Morris on 12-year-old gelding, Reiki Tyme. Plus two veterans, team anchor Tom Dvorak on Viva’s Salieri W, a ten-year-old Canadian-bred Hannoverian stallion and Diane Creech on Robbie W, an eight-year-old Oldenburg gelding. In a dramatic turn of events that the film captures, Robbie sustained a minor but untimely injury and, in the best interest of the horse, Creech and his owners made the decision to withdraw from competition.

“There was a lot of pressure on us as a team…” says Irwin, who was 30 at the time and the youngest rider on the Canadian squad. “Because we had to win a silver or gold medal in order to qualify our country for the 2012 Olympics! It was the most competitive year yet at the Pan American Games with many countries having top horses and riders and many scores into 70%, which was higher than the scores had ever been.”

The four Canadian horse and rider combinations traveled to Mexico with one ambition – achieve a gold or silver medal or their country would be out of contention for a berth at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. It would be Canada’s last attempt to make that goal a reality and the team rallied all the way to the podium for silver and a score of 70.413%!

“Receiving Team Silver in Guatalajara was extra special since we achieved what we set out to do and really needed to do for our country,” says Dvorak, who adds playfully. “In retrospect I have to wonder if, after the 2007 and 2011 Pan Ams, my role in life is to escort three lovely ladies to Team Silver medals at Pan American Games. If I could change it up, I would like a Gold medal.”

The Power of 2 on the Road to Gold is narrated by Irwin, and the film unfolds with an array of intimate and heartfelt anecdotes told by each team member; footage of not only their achievements, but the reality of their struggles, fears and doubts, sacrifices, illness and injury; the amazing bond between horse and rider – the power of two – that results in the unstoppable force that led to their historical accomplishment at the 2011 Pan Am Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.

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