December 10, 2007 - Michelle Wheeler, 16, of Calgary, AB, came out on top when the final phase of competition in the Running Fox CET Medal Final was held on Thursday, November 8, at the Royal Horse Show in Toronto, ON.
Riding Paddy Jordan, her 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, Wheeler won the Final after a brilliant performance in the last test, which required the top four riders to complete a series of tests during a shortened course, including a jump at the counter canter and tight roll-back turns.
"Once I got in the ring, the class was very fun," said a thrilled Wheeler after the awards ceremony. "In preparation for such an important class, I did a lot of flatwork and showed at Spruce Meadows. All the work has paid off."
Designed to be a foundation for riders moving from the hunter divisions into jumper competition, the Running Fox CET Medal is an equitation class where the riders are judged on their position and riding style, as well as their ability to control the horse over a jumper course. The course requirements include a triple combination and a liverpool. A flat phase, held before the jumping, incorporates lengthening of trot, lengthening of canter, and counter canter. The top 16 riders, qualified from four Regional Finals, were invited to contest the Running Fox CET Medal Final at the Royal Horse Show.
In the Flat/Gymnastic phase held Wednesday, November 7, which required riders to ride a course featuring trot poles, canter poles, and a liver pool, Wheeler placed second. She returned to the ring the next day for the Jumping Phase where she earned a spot in the ride-off.
"Michelle has great focus," noted one of Wheeler's coaches, 1986 World Champion Gail Greenough. "So much of this sport is about not letting the ring or the course affect you mentally, and Michelle did a great job."
As the winner, Wheeler received a brand new Childeric saddle donated by long-time CET Medal Final sponsor, Running Fox.
Natalie Bova of Ashton, ON, was the Reserve Champion, while Miranda Travers Cavill of Claremont, ON, finished third. Samantha Aird of South Delta, BC, placed fourth.
About Jump Canada
Jump Canada is a committee of Equine Canada responsible for all hunter, equitation and jumper activities in Canada from the grass roots to the international level. Jump Canada is governed by a board of directors, the majority of whom are elected by the stakeholders in the sport. For more information regarding Jump Canada programs and activities, visit www.jumpcanada.ca.
Running Fox CET Medal Final overall results
Placing / Rider / Hometown
1 / Michelle Wheeler / Calgary, AB
2 / Natalie Bova / Ashton, ON
3 / Miranda Travers Cavill / Claremont, ON
4 / Samantha Aird / South Delta, BC
5 / Rachel Schnurr / Waterloo, ON
6 / Natalie Bova / Ashton, ON
7 / Katie Kraft / Edmonton, AB
8 / Anya Woite / Edmonton, AB
9 / Alexandria Smith / Calgary, AB