April 19, 2012—Esmee Ingham and Lindsay Seidel-Wassenaar will be heading to Sydney, Australia to represent Canada at the CDI 3* Sydney, May 3–5, 2012. The event is Australia’s most prestigious CDI, and its organizing committee extends invitations to riders from across the globe. Each year, Canada is granted two spots.
Ingham, 19, of West Vancouver, BC, has had great success in the Young Rider and Junior divisions over the past several years with her horse Norseman. She has several medals from the North American Junior/Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC) to her credit, most recently the 2011 Young Rider team gold.
“This is Australia's most prestigious competition and will definitely be my greatest challenge yet,” said Ingham. “I am so privileged to have the opportunity to represent Canada again. I cannot thank my coach, Wendy Christoff, enough for all of her training over the past seven years, as well as the intense boot-camp she had put into place over the past couple of weeks in preparation for this event.”
Seidel-Wassenaar, 23, of Calgary, AB, was also a successful competitor in these ranks. In 2007, she was a member of the gold medal junior team at the NAJRYC with Oslo, her Dutch Warmblood gelding. Seidel-Wassenaar competed as an individual at the Championships in 2009. In 2011, she and Oslo qualified to compete at the Pan American team selection trials in Ontario.
“Being able to represent my country in international competitions is always a highlight and a continuous goal for me in my riding career,” Seidel-Wassenaar. “Attending international competitions, such as the Sydney CDI3*, permits me to grow my experience and knowledge as a dressage rider. I am honoured to be representing Canada and I hope to be able to do our country and sport proud.”
The international ground jury at the Sydney CDI 3* will include Stephen Clarke (5*—GBR)
Maribel Alonso (5*—MEX), Peter Holler (5*—GER), Mary Seefried (5*—AUS), Susan Hoevenaars (5*—AUS), Victoire Mandl (4*—AUT), Kurt Christensen (4*—DEN), Janice Bird (4*—NZL), Charlotte Bredahl (3*—USA), Jane Ventura (3*—AUS), and Gisela Nilsson-Harding (3*—AUS).
Due to Australian's strict quarantine requirements and the high cost of air transportation, the organizing committee invited owners to loan their Prix St Georges/Intermediaire I level horses to the visiting international riders. The International Dressage Derby is the most exciting event of the competition. All riders will start on equal terms, drawing the name of the horse they will compete on out of a hat.
Canada has had great results in the past at the Derby where many up-and-coming elite athletes can get a taste of international competition abroad while showing their versatility riding unfamiliar horses. In 2008, Canadian Dressage riders Karen Pavicic of Richmond, BC, and Pia Fortmuller of DeWinton, AB, claimed the team gold medal in the Derby, and Pavicic won the title of best foreign rider. Rochelle Kilberg of Surrey, BC, and Simone Williams of Navan, ON, won the team bronze medal in 2009. As part of a UK/CDN team, Erin Josey, originally of Dartmouth, NS, won team bronze in 2010.