Canada’s Under 25 (U25) athletes crowded the podium with silver- and bronze-medal team finishes during the Nations Cup CDIO-U25 presented by Diamante Farms, held March 13, 2019, during the 10th week of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) in Wellington, FL.
The medals were determined by each team’s top two scores from the FEI Intermediate II 16-25 test, with the United States capturing gold on a total team score of 138.559. Less than a point behind was Team Canada 1 – comprised of Naima Moreira Laliberté of Outremont, QC, Laurence Blais Tètreault of Montreal, QC, and Tanya Strasser-Shostak of Sainte-Adèle, QC – securing the silver medal on a final score of 137.882.
Moreira Laliberté and KML Sàrl’s 13-year-old Swedish Warmblood stallion, I Do Kiss (French Kiss x Donnerfly), set the bar high with a score of 71.706%, which represented a personal best score, as well as earned first place on the individual leaderboard.
“The personal best was an amazing surprise,” said Moreira Laliberté. “My horse felt the best he’s ever felt for me. It’s amazing to see results based on how hard you’ve worked to get there. Improving little areas in preparation, such as how you finish a movement, improves little points that become your percentage.”
Speaking to the team’s silver medal, Moreira Laliberté commented, “I’m so happy to have done this with my teammates. We’ve been together through the Junior and Young Rider levels, and now we’re on the U25 team together, so it’s amazing.”
Blais Tètreault produced the second contributing score for Team Canada 1, scoring 66.176% for fifth place riding Utah (Jazz x Landwind II B), an 18-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by her sister, Mathilde Blais Tètreault. Strasser-Shostak rounded out the team performance, placing seventh with Déjà vu Tyme (Dauphin x Werbellin) the 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Evi Strasser and Erika Murphy.
All three Team Canada 1 athletes were no strangers to the U25 Nations Cup podium: Moreira Laliberté and Blais Tètreault won the bronze medal in 2018, while Strasser-Shostak earned the bronze back in 2017.
Team Canada 2 was made up of Megan Shea of Toronto, ON, and Vanessa Creech-Terauds of Caistor Centre, ON. As a two-member team, they competed without the luxury of a dropped score. Shea experienced a rocky start to the test with her 2015 North American Youth Championships partner, K 2 (Kaiser Franz x Argentinius), a 15-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Stephen Shea. She managed to recover for a commendable second half, placing ninth in the pair’s first-ever AGDF appearance.
Teammate, Creech-Terauds stepped up to the plate with Hallmark 3 (His Highness x Lancier), a 15-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Diane Creech and Louise Leatherdale, to earn sixth place and contribute to a final score of 118.441 for bronze.
“Yesterday was a very fun day of competition,” said Creech-Terauds. “This was my first time being on a team with Megan, and getting to know her was great. Hallmark and I are a very new team ourselves and I was proud of how comfortable he felt in the ring.”
Chef d’Équipe Christine Peters, concluded, “I am so proud of all our U25 riders. They were professional and focused throughout the team competition, showing great team spirit. The U25 tests are very challenging for both horse and rider, so Canada having this depth in the division is exciting for the future.”
For more information on AGDF 10 and the Nations Cup, and full results, visit http://gdf.coth.com.