October 5, 2007 ---The third annual Dressage Canada National Youth Championships, sponsored by the Alberta Junior/Young Riders Association and Dressage Canada, were held September 15â€“16, in Red Deer, AB.
In the exciting head-to-head competition, Claire Austring of Surrey, BC, and her horse, Springtree Legacy (Wodan) were the champions of both the FEI Young Rider division (64.05%) and the Freestyle (65.42%). The partnership between Austring and Springtree Legacywas first formed in 2003 when the 17.1hh bay Canadian Warmblood was purchased from Diana Davies of Springtree Farm. The pair currently trains with Carmie Flaherty, a Level 3 Dressage coach from Langley, BC.Â Â
Brittney Eastgate of Victoria, BC, and her mount Azaria (Amiro) were reserve champions in the FEI Young Rider and Freestyle (64.47%). Eastgate, who trains with Level 3 Dressage coach Roanne Tyson of Victoria, BC, and Azaria, a nine-year-old Oldenburg mare, have made the successful transition from Second Level to Young Rider in a remarkable three-year period.Â
In the Junior division, Oslo (Contango) and Lindsay Seidel-Wassenaar of Bluffton, AB, were the Champions of FEI Junior division with a total score of 67.17% and the FEI Junior Freestyle (69.50%). In August, Seidel-Wassenaar and Oslo, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood owned by Lucie Zillinger, were part of the Gold Medal Junior Team at the 2007 North American Junior and Young Rider Championships.
Sara Regehr of Vernon, BC, riding Beth Regehrâ€™s Danika (Donnerbrandt), were double reserve champions with a total score of 64.17% in the FEI Junior division and 66.71% in the Freestyle. Sara Regehr was also a member of the Gold Medal Junior Team at the 2007 North American Junior and Young Rider Championships with Danika, a nine-year-old Canadian Sport Horse, who she has been riding for the past year.
Emily Anderson of Bentley, AB, and Razzle Dazzle, a 12-year-old Welsh pony,were the champions of the FEI Pony Freestyle. The pair, who have been together for five years, train with Level 2 Dressage coach Sheri Bresee of Blackfalds, AB.
The FEI Children champion was Monica Houweling of Delta, BC, riding Linda Houwelingâ€™s Dutch Warmblood Stentano (Houston), an eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, with a score total of 67.93%. Monica Houweling has been riding with Level 3 Dressage coach Karen Pavicic for the past six years. Alyssa Brewer of Blackfalds, AB, riding Bits and Pieces, a 16.2hh Pinto Dutch Warmblood cross gelding owned by Annette Brewer, were the FEI Children reserve champions.
The judging panel included Canadian judges Cara Whitham (FEI O) and Jacqui Oldham (EC S) as well as Janet Foy (FEI Iâ€”USA), Kurt Christensen (FEI Iâ€”DEN) and Mercedes Campdera Alatorre (FEI Câ€”MEX).
Started in 2005, the Dressage Canada National Youth Championships provide a terrific platform for Canada's emerging talent. The head-to-head format proves to be an exciting competition as riders sharpen their skills over the competition season, collecting valuable qualifying scores in order to represent their region. The Championships provide excellent training for the future as the qualifying system is structured in a similar fashion to that used for high performance senior athletes.
Successfully qualified competitors make the journey to compete against one another in what proves to be a very competitive environment. Past National Youth Championships competitors could be seen on the international stage representing Canada this year at the 2007 North American Junior and Young Rider Championships including Jade Deter (Individual & Team Goldâ€“FEI Junior), Sarah Regher (Team Goldâ€“FEI Junior), Lindsay Seidel-Wassenaar (Team Goldâ€“FEI Junior), Alexandra Duncan (Individual Goldâ€“Young Rider), Leah Wilson (Individual Silverâ€“Young Rider) and Julie Watchorn (Individual Bronzeâ€“Young Rider).
About Dressage Canada
Dressage Canada is a committee of Equine Canada. As the national sport governing body, its objective is to foster the growth of dressage and the pursuit of excellence at the local, national and international levels. Dressage Canada provides support and guidance to both the amateur and professional through programs such as coaching, education and awards and is responsible for setting rules, team qualifying criteria and the education and licensing of officials. For more information about Dressage Canada, email