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Para-Equestrian

Lauren Barwick Claims Second Victory with a Gold Medal at the 2008 Summer Paralympic Games | Print |
Lauren Barwick and Maile (Joanna Prestwich Photo)September 10, 2008 — Canadian Para-Dressage rider Lauren Barwick claimed her second victory this week with a gold medal today in the Individual Grade II Freestyle Test at the 2008 Summer Paralympic Games.  Barwick secured the medal with a score of 72.7766% riding Maile, a 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare owned by Christine Murphy Ksionek and Pat and Linda Parelli.

Barwick, who resides in Langley, BC, also won a silver medal in the Individual Championship Grade II Test on Monday.

“All my friends, family, team members, and sponsors have allowed me the opportunity to succeed,” remarked Barwick. “But most importantly, I have had the honour to ride a horse with a lot of heart.”
Lauren Barwick and Maile (Joanna Prestwich Photo)
“Lauren's gold medal is an achievement of epic proportions. This is not simply our country's first-ever Paralympic equestrian gold medal. It makes our equestrian medal achievements at the 2008 Summer Games greater than that from all previous Summer Games combined over the entire 122-year history of modern Olympism,” stated Equine Canada CEO, Akaash Maharaj. “We are immensely grateful to Lauren and the broader Canadian Equestrian Team for ushering in Canada's golden age of Olympic and Paralympic equestrianism.”

Barwick defeated Great Britain’s Felicity Coulthard who secured the silver medal riding Roffelaar with a score of 71.056% and Germany’s Britta Naepel who earned the bronze medal riding Cherubin 15 with a score of 70.277%.

Also competing in the Grade II Freestyle Test today was Jennifer McKenzie. A resident of Maple Ridge, BC, McKenzie and her horse Valentine II, a 13-year-old Canadian Warmblood mare finished in 16th place with a score of 56.389%.

In the Grade IV Freestyle Test, Eleonore Elstone of Langley, BC, and Lutke, a seven-year-old Freisian stallion owned by Terry Bianco, finished in 12th place with a score of 60.683%. Karen Brain of Saanichton, BC, and her horse, VDL Odette, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare earned a score of 62.136% for a 10th place finish in the Grade IV Freestyle Test.

The Para-Dressage competition continues tomorrow, September 11, when Ashley Gowanlock of Vancouver, BC, will ride the Grade 1b Freestyle Test.  Gowanlock achieved a seventh place finish with 63.714% in the Grade 1b Individual Championship on Tuesday, aboard Donnymaskell, an 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Alexander Mitchell.

For Canadian athlete biographies, venue information and competition dates, please visit the 2008 Summer Paralympic Games section of the Equine Canada website. Complete 2008 Para-Dressage results may be found at http://results.beijing2008.cn/WRMP/ENG/Schedule/EQ.shtml.

The XIIIth Paralympic Summer Games will be held in Beijing, China, from September 6–17, 2008. The equestrian events are taking place in Hong Kong from September 7–11, 2008, with nine nations contesting top honours in the team competition and riders from 30 countries vying for medals in the five grades of individual competition.

 
About the Para-Equestrian Discipline

In Para-Equestrian, each rider is classified according to his or her functional ability. They are assessed by trained physiotherapists and doctors who evaluate either muscle strength, coordination, or a combination thereof throughout the athlete’s body. The rider is then given a functional profile that indicates the grade in which they can compete. There are five grades of competitions in dressage, with Grade IA representing the more severely impaired riders, and Grade IV representing the least severely impaired riders. The competition within each grade is judged on the functional skill of the rider, and not the level of disability.

About Para-Equestrian Canada

Para-Equestrian Canada is the discipline committee of Equine Canada that is responsible for developing and implementing programs on behalf of the Para-Equestrian community and administrating the high performance program for dressage riders with a disability. For additional information regarding Para Equestrian Canada please visit www.equinecanada.ca/para-equestrian.