“We are very happy to have Jessica onboard,” said Elizabeth Robinson, High Performance chair and Chef d’équipe for Para-Equestrian Canada. “Development coaches determine the quality of our team in the years ahead, and Jessica will do a fantastic job with athletes in the Maritime region.”
As a development coach, Rhinelander will assess athletes who demonstrate an interest in para-dressage, and evaluate their suitability as future team members. It is a position she is excited to fill.
“I feel honoured to be appointed development coach,” Rhinelander said. “It gives me the chance to meet wonderful people and help them pursue their dreams.”
"Para-dressage has a strong development program for athletes that will help grow the sport, and provide guidance that athletes need to compete at the national and international stage competitively," she added.
Rhinelander will work closely with national team coach Andrea Taylor to help athletes and their personal coaches set long-term goals and establish training regimes.
Rhinelander comes to the position with a solid coaching background. She spent the last four years working at the St. John’s Therapeutic Riding Association “Rainbow Riders,” where she specialized with competitive para-equestrian riders.
In addition to coaching, Rhinelander is also an accomplished dressage rider. She represented Canada at the 2008 FEI Young Rider Dressage World Cup Final, and was a member of the Canadian team that brought home a silver medal at the 2006 FEI North American Junior Young Rider Championships.
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 IA representing the more severely impaired riders, and Grade IV 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 www.equinecanada.ca/para-equestrian
About Equine Canada
Equine Canada is a member-based association that represents, promotes and services Canada's equine community and industry. Its core areas of activity involve sport, equine health and welfare, education and safety, governance and marketing, representation and communication. Equine Canada is recognized by Sport Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), the Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Coaching Association of Canada as the national organization representing equestrian sport and equine interests in Canada. For more information about Equine Canada, please visit www.equinecanada.ca