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Ashley Holzer Moves Forward in Dressage at 2008 Olympic Games | Print |
2008_dc_hk_ashley_holzer_pop_art_small.jpgAugust 14, 2008, Hong Kong, China – Ashley Holzer of Toronto, ON, placed 19th in Thursday’s Grand Prix Dressage competition to qualify for the individual competition at the 2008 Olympic Games in Hong Kong, China.

In the final team placings, Canada finished ninth with an average score of 63.514%.  Germany won the Team Gold with a total of 72.917%, The Netherlands earned Silver with 71.750%, and Denmark took Bronze with 68.875%.

Holzer, a 1988 Olympic Team Bronze Medalist, performed the Grand Prix, which acted as the Team Final as well as2008_dc_hk_ashley_holzer_pop_art_crop.jpg the first Individual qualifier, and earned a score of 67.042% to place 19th overall in the individual standings.  The top 25 riders move forward to Saturday night’s Grand Prix Special, which is the second of three phases of individual competition.

“He stumbled on the first extension and that got his balance a little off; he’s not used to doing that,” explained Holzer of her horse, Pop Art, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Ian and Moreen Nicoll and Rusty Holzer.  “I was getting back on track, but he stumbled again in the zig zag.  He is capable of getting a score of 70, 71 percent, but you can’t make a mistake.  I tripped twice!  The rest I thought was pretty good considering the venue.”

Jacqueline Brooks of Mount Albert, ON, also performed the Grand Prix on Thursday, earning a score of 63.750% to place 29th.  Her partner is Gran Gesto, a 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Brinc Ltd. and Anne Welch.

“He was a good boy, everything I asked him to do, he did,” said Brooks, 40.  “He didn’t make any mistakes.  He gave me everything he’s got.  I was thrilled with him.”

Of her Olympic debut, Brooks said, “It is fantastic.  It is something I will remember for the rest of my life!  I came to this sport quite late and I plan to be here at least through London, so the experience I have here will help me train the next horse to this level.”

Canada’s third team member, Leslie Reid, 52, of Langley, BC, competed in Wednesday night’s section of the Grand Prix, scoring 59.750% for an overall placing of 44th.  Her partner is Orion, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by George and Patricia Hatch.

Holzer, 44, will have another opportunity to showcase her skills in Saturday evening’s Grand Prix Special.  Following that, the top 15 riders in the standings move forward to the Grand Prix Freestyle, which sees the athletes choreograph required technical music to the music of their choice.

“The Special is his big test, he can really shine, and I have a brilliant Freestyle,” noted Holzer with optimism.

Currently, Isabell Werth of Germany is leading the individual rankings with a score of 76.417% riding Satchmo followed by her long-time rival, Anky van Grunsven of The Netherlands, who earned 74.750% riding Salinero.  Germany’s Heike Kemmer sits third with 72.250% riding Bonaparte.

For more information, including live results, please visit www.fei.org/olympics.

2008 Olympic Games – Provisional Individual Dressage Standings Following Grand Prix

Rider / Country / Horse / Score

1. Isabell Werth / Germany / Satchmo / 76.417%

2. Anky van Grunsven / Netherlands / Salinero / 74.750%

3. Heike Kemmer / Germany / Bonaparte / 72.250%

4. Emma Hindle / Great Britain / Lancet / 71.125%

5. Imke Schellekens-Bartels / Netherlands / Sunrise / 70.875%

6. Kyra Kyrklund / Finland / Max / 70.583%

7. Courtney King / United States / Mythilus / 70.458%

 

19. Ashley Holzer / Toronto, ON / Pop Art / 67.042%

29. Jacqueline Brooks / Mount Albert, ON / Gran Gesto / 63.750%

44. Leslie Reid / Langley, BC / Orion / 59.750%

 

About Dressage Canada

Dressage Canada, as a committee of Equine Canada, is the National governing body for Dressage in Canada. Dressage Canada's objective is to foster the growth of Dressage and the pursuit of excellence in the sport at the local, national and international levels. Dressage Canada provides support and guidance to both amateur and professional through the following programs: coaching education and programs, officials’ education and programs, rules & qualifying criteria, sport development, publications & awards. For more information about Dressage Canada, please visit the Dressage section of the Equine Canada site.