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Canadian Para-Equestrian Team Kicks off European Tour at CPEDI3* Deauville

Ottawa, ON, April 9, 2014 — The Canadian Para-Equestrian Team posted great scores, achieving four top three placings, during their first stop of their European tour at CPEDI3* Deauville, FRA, held April 4–6, 2014.

The competition, which had 79 entries representing 21 countries, was the official test event for the 2014 World Equestrian Games (WEG), being held 23 August to 7 September 2014 in Normandy, FRA. It used all the same officials as the Games to help the organizing committee evaluated readiness.

Three-time Paralympian Lauren Barwick of Aldergrove, BC rode Equine Canada’s 13-year-old Oldenburg mare, Off to Paris, and her own mare Ferdonia 2, a 15-year-old Oldenburg in Grade II. With Off to Paris, Barwick finished third in all of her tests, earning 71.029% in the Team Test and 70.400% in the Individual Championship Test. Riding Ferdonia 2, Barwick was eighth in the Team Test (67.882%) and fifth in the Individual Championship Test, scoring 67.971%. Only the top one-third horse and rider combinations advanced to the Freestyle for each grade. Barwick qualified both of her horses, but was only allowed to compete on the final day with one horse. Off to Paris and Barwick once again were third in the Freestyle with 72.250%.

“As stressful as it can be with traveling to a new place with our horses, I believe our team put all the puzzle pieces together so that our horses could make it into the arena,” said Barwick. “For Paris the plan was to have a solid, quiet confidence building ride the arena.  That is exactly what we did. We didn't push to our limit, and I was thrilled that she could go in the ring and pull a top three finish with this kind of outline.”

Barwick added, “I am looking forward to our next two international competitions where we will find the balance of solid, accurate and brilliance all in the ring at one time.  It took a huge team to get us there and the management, coaching and grooms (Lauren Massey and Grace Catts Tucker) were top notch. Thanks to our funding partners in Canada for helping give me and my horses this valuable experience before the World Equestrian Games.”

Roberta Sheffield of Lincolnshire, UK competed with Miss Evelyn Little’s eight-year-old gelding Dutch Warmblood, Bindro T, and her seven-year-old Anglo-European Studbook mare, Double Agent in Grade III. Riding Bindro T at his first international competition, Sheffield was eighth in the Team Test, scoring 66.842%, secured third place in the Individual Championship Test with 68.561%, and finished in seventh place with 68.850% in the Freestyle final.  With Double Agent, Sheffield was sixth in the Team Test with 67.579% and scored 65.488%, for 10th, in the Individual Championship Test.

In Grade Ia, Robyn Andrews of St. Johns, NL, rode her mare Fancianna, a 13-year-old Friesian Andalusian cross. Andrews and Fancianna were fourth out of 18 competitors in her Team Test with 67.696%. The pair was 13th, with 63.870%, in the Individual Championship test, and seventh in the Freestyle with 68.900%.

Riding her 16-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, Inspector Rebus, in Grade Ia, Jody Schloss of Toronto, ON was 12th in the Team Test with 64.913% and 11th in the Individual Championship test (65.000%).

Two-time Paralympian Ashley Gowanlock of Surrey, BC and Collegiate Sweet Leilani, M. Kendalyne Overway’s 13-year-old Morgan mare, found the main competition ring a bit unnerving, but the pair improved each day and finished with a score of 61.034% during the Individual Championship test.

In the ‘Nations’ Cup’ Team competition, using the combined scores from the Team Test, held April 4, and the Individual Test, on April 5, Canadians Sheffield, Barwick, Gowanlock and Schloss earned a total of 398.833 for fifth place overall out of 10 countries competing. First placed was awarded to Great Brittan, with a score of 439.900.

“The Canadian Team had a great start to the European Tour with solid performances and many top three results," said Amie O’Shaughnessy, Director of Para-Equestrian. “This was Canada’s first time competing at the Deauville CPEDI3* and it was a very positive experience for the team in preparation for the World Equestrian Games.  The organizing committee members were wonderful hosts to our team and the venue was excellent."

Leading the team on the European Tour is Amie O'Shaughnessy, Director of Para-Equestrian, Mary Longden, team coach; Andrea Taylor, team coach; and Elizabeth Quigg, Chef d'équipe.  A large support team is also accompanying the athletes, including:  Jessica Rhinelander, Sue McTavish, Diana Andrews, Patty Merrill, Zoe Boyles, Kerry-Anne Bourne, Skye Hanlon, Grace Catts Tucker and Lauren Massey.

Complete results for CPEDI3* Deauville may be found at

The next stop for the team is CPEDI 3* Moorsele, BEL, April 25–27th, followed by CPEDI3*  Mannheim,  GER, May 3–7th.

The Canadian riders' participation in these competitions has been made possible through the Own the Podium program, a national sport technical initiative designed to help Canada's summer and winter athletes achieve podium success at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

2014 andrews fanciana

Photo - Robyn Andrews and Fancianna
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2014 gowanlock deauville

Photo - Ashley Gowanlock and Collegiate Sweet Leilani
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2014 JodySchloss Deauville

Photo - Jody Schloss and Inspector Rebus
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2014 LaurenBarwick Deauville

Photo - Lauren Barwick and Ferdonia 2
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2014 sheffield

Photo - Roberta Sheffield and Bindro T
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About Para-Equestrian Canada
Para-Equestrian Canada is the Equine Canada committee responsible for developing programs for athletes with a physical disability, and implementing the Para-Dressage high performance program. Para-Equestrian is one of Canada's most successful international disciplines, achieving an individual gold medal and an individual silver medal at the 2008 Paralympic Games, as well as two individual bronze medals at the 2004 Paralympic Games.

About Para-Equestrian Sport
Para-Equestrian sport provides riders with a physical disability the opportunity to compete against other riders with similar abilities. Riders are given a "Grade" based on their functional ability, and are judged on their riding skill against other athletes of the same Grade. There are five grades of competitions in dressage, with Grade 1a representing the more severely impaired riders, and Grade 4 representing the least severely impaired riders. Many Para-Equestrian athletes also compete alongside able-bodied competitors in Equine Canada competitions. At the grass roots level, Para-Equestrian encompasses a number of different disciplines, while the international stream focuses only on Para-Dressage. For more information, please visit