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Posts tagged ‘Dressage’

The Smile that Lit up Brazil!

The day all dressage fans have been waiting for….Day 1 of the Grand Prix at Deodoro Olympic Stadium!

Today saw 30 horse/rider combinations go down the centreline in what is Session 1 of the Grand Prix. Tomorrow will see Session 2 with another 30 rides. The outcome will then determine who are the 6 Teams who will progress onto Friday’s Grand Prix Speciale.

Again, it was disappointing to see so many empty seats. I really think this is largely down to location. Aachen (Germany) have massive stands, and they are always packed.


Megan Lane was the 10th rider of the day, so the judges were well warmed up by the time she hit the big sandbox.  You’d never know this was her very first Olympic Games given how calm and relaxed she looked when entering the main stadium. And that smile! It never left her face, and in fact only got bigger as her ride went on.

She nailed it all – 1-tempi changes, pirouettes, extended trot, piaffe. It was fantastic to watch. The armchair critic in me would say that a little more energy and less travelling in the piaffe would have pushed her even higher, but it really was a fantastic ride and one which may even qualify her for Friday’s Grand Prix Speciale. I hope she does make it to the Speciale, because I have a feeling she will push the envelope further to get even more brilliance in the ring.

The FEI Grand Prix Special is limited to and compulsory for the best six (6) placed teams of the Grand Prix, including those tied for sixth place, as well as the eight (8) highest placed Athletes of the Grand Prix not otherwise participating as qualified team members, including those tied for eighth place. So pay close attention to how the placings work out following tomorrow’s second Grand Prix session….Canada might just get both Megan and Belinda in there!


Megan’s is such a phenomenal story. Caravella is owned by her family and is Canadian bred by another Canadian dressage rider – Jill Irving. Trained by Megan, he pair have methodically worked their way up the Junior and Young Rider ranks until they made their first Senior National Team in 2014 at the World Equestrian Games (Normandy). Then went on to help Canada earn a Team Silver at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto.

The smile of a newly minted Olympian who nailed it in the biggest sandbox in the world.

Megan sister’s Kelley (far left) is undoubtedly Megan’s biggest fan!


Team Canada’s Chef de Mission Curt Harnett even stopped by to watch Megan in action. Curt has a soft spot for Dressage as his wife is none other than Victoria Winter who has represented Canada at two World Equestrian Games (1998 & 2010) and multi-medalist at the Pan American Games (1995 & 1997).

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Megan and her supergroup Evelyn Lucas celebrating in true Canadian fashion…with a cold one 🙂

“You guys have all led me to be the person that I am here today”

The Top 5 After Day 1

The USA’s Kasey Perry-Glass had a fantastic ride in her first Olympics aboard Dublet. The duo put in a very elastic and energetic test which was rewarded by the judges with a score of 75.229%. Combined with Alison Brock’s earlier ride of 72.686, the Americans are looking great going into day 2 which will see Steffen Peters and Laura Graves perform.


Great Britain’s Fiona Bigwood laid down a very solid test to score 77.157% and set up Great Britain extremely well for a Team Gold repeat. Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin both ride tomorrow.

For those who aren’t familiar with Fiona’s story, a freak riding accident in 2014 caused not only a concussion but lasting nerve damage to her eye. Fiona continues to experience double vision in her one eye which is why she rides with an eye patch.

The Germans certainly laid down the gauntlet when Dorothee Schneider, the last rider of the day, put in a spectacular test and was the first to crack the 80% barrier with  80.986%

Full Results

Thursday Grand Prix Riding Times

Click here

Watching Online

Although CBC provided brilliant coverage of every Eventing day (including both Dressage days), the same isn’t true for Dressage. They are apparently only showing the Grand Prix Speciale and Freestyle days.

Hopefully the outcry today will mean they will have a change of heart, in which case check it out here:

The following link has apparently been working for many folks, but do be careful. There are a number of pop-up windows enticing you to click on them or “login”. Ignore these, and apparently the livestream feed from BBC works great—day-1-morning-session-live-stream-online.html

Olympic Heartbreak

It was heartbreaking to watch what happened to Dutch Team Rider Adelinde Corneslissen and her beautiful Parzival.  Near the very beginning of her dressage test, you could see Parzival’s tongue hanging out, and it almost looked like he might have somehow got his tongue between the bits. It was actually remarkable how well he was still performing, and a true testament to the special bond between this horse and rider. During the free walk, Adelinde excused herself from the ring, looking visibly disappointed. She then took to Facebook to provide more information on what the last 48 hours has been like for her. Kudos to Adelinde for her horsemanship.

This was to be Parzival’s swan song, after winning so many medals with his partner Adelinde including Silver and Bronze at the London 2012 Games, and Gold at the 2010 Kentucky World Equestrian Games.



Not sure if these will work, but here you go.

The Netherland’s Edward Gal & Voice



Belinda and Anton On Deck!

In tomorrow’s Session 2, it will be Belinda’s turn to shine with Anton. This pair have had a fabulous 2016 season, culminating with personal bests and Canadian record-breaking scores.

They ride at 10:00am Rio time.

Go Canada Go! 

Gunshots Still Ringing

After the scare a few days ago when a bullet came through the media tent, gunshots could again be heard throughout the day, and apparently another bullet was found on site. However since the Olympic Shooting venue is nearby, I’m not sure if that was the source of the gunfire?

Kasey Perry-Glass told the Chronicle of the Horse that the noise did bother her gelding, but saying that “He hung in there really well for me, especially with all the guns going off.” (read the full interview here)

The practice of learning how to ride through gunfire is a skill that I’m pretty sure was dropped many moons ago when nations stopped using a cavalry in active warfare. Although maybe it might be a good idea for future Games to get some tips from the Mounted Police!


Canada’s Eventing Team taking in some Olympic basketball action





Dressage Takes Centre Stage

With the Eventing medals now tucked away in their new owners’ pockets, attention now turns to Dressage. Competition kicks off tomorrow (August 10).

Full Riding Times Schedule for August 10 & August 11

Download riding times –> ORDERTOGO_2016_08_09_GrandPrix

August 10 – 11:36AM Rio time – Megan Lane & Caravella
August 11 – 10:00am Rio time – Belinda Trussell & Anton 

Both Belinda (Trussell) and Megan (Lane) have had the advantage of being in Rio for a few days now with their horses, so they’ve had a chance to get comfortable with the surroundings and see the sights.

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#thesetwotho 💕

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And of course march in the Opening Ceremonies! (read blog here)


Being there early means Anton and Caravella are now well acquainted with the show grounds, with Belinda and Megan having an opportunity to ride in the warm up rings as well as familiarization sessions in the main competition arena.

Although care must be given when arriving early at a Games as some riders can have a tendency to override their horses. More time can mean more opportunity to dwell on things and let nerves get the better of you – especially when you are sharing the training rings with the best-of-the-best in the world. It’s even more difficult when most of these riders are used to riding several horses a day on top of coaching duties..and of course every day life. Being at a Games really does put you into an artificial “bubble”, where you only have yourself and your main equine partner to focus on. That can be great! As long as you don’t fall into the trap of over-focusing.

MLane-Caravellaphoto by Kelsey Rae

Look at that backdrop! 
photo by Kelsey Rae

The Jog

The horse inspection for the dressage horses took place on cross-country day, and both Caravella and Anton passed with flying colours. And the horses were sparkling thanks to the hard work of Lynsey Rowan (Anton) and Evelyn Lucas (Caravella).

Megan will be the 10th rider down the centreline tomorrow’s Session I (Tuesday) , riding immediately after Denmark’s Anders Dahl & Selten HW and will be followed by USA’s Allison Brock and Rosevelt.

This is great as no one likes to go first, and particularly with Dressage as more often than not it takes the judges a few rides to get comfortable with their scoring (although I doubt you’d ever get a judge to admit that on record!)

How to watch in Canada!

CBC is providing fantastic picture-quality live streaming at
Although it is a little dry as there has been no commentary.

If you’re in the UK region (or have a VPN), BBC has been doing brilliant commentary for Eventing and I suspect this will continue for Dressage.

The Big Guns!


Let the dancing begin! 

Toronto 2015 Pan American Games Well Underway

I’m a bit late in starting this Pan American blog – and there’s been much Canadian success already!

In broader terms, Canada has already amassed more Gold Medals in the first few days of these Games than the entire 2011 Guadalajara Games.

At the time of writing, Canada is at the top of the medal table for both Gold (38) and total (97).

And 2 of those medals are thanks to Canada’s Dressage Team! (Team Silver, and of course Chris von Martels’ individual Bronze).

I will make a separate post later devoted to the Dressage Team’s fantastic performance, but right now I’ll start off with the Eventers.

After holding their training camp just minutes away from the venue (at Jorge & Amanda Bernhard’s facility), the Eventers moved into Caledon Equestrian Park on July 15th.

The jog was held today (16th), and after a few tense moments for Colleen Loach and Qorry Blue D’Argouges (owned by WEG2014 & London2012 Team member Peter Barry), everyone passed the inspection.

Team Canada Stables – looking fancy!

Group Shot before the jog

Waylon Roberts & Waylon”s and Kelly Plitz’s Bill Owen

Jessica Phoenix & Don Good’s Pavarotti

Kathryn Robinson & her Let it Bee

Colleen Loach & Peter Barry’s Qorry Blue D’Argouges

Selena O’Hanlon & John and Judy Rumble’s Foxwood High

Eventing competition gets underway tomorrow (July 17) with Dressage.

Waylon Roberts & Bill Owen – 9:22
Colleen Loach & Qorry Blue D’Argouges – 10:47
Kathryn Robinson & Let It Bee – 13:35
Jessica Phoenix & Pavarotti – 15:17



Meet our Canadian Dressage Team!

Our Canadian Dressage Team have been in England since mid June.

Congratulations again to their terrific results at the Hartpury CDI3*

I received an email today from Team Manager Christine Peters to say that herself and chef d’Equipe Gina Smith arrived safely in London today from Ottawa. Team Vet Dr. Geoff Vernon arrives on Monday July 16th. Which is now making me even more anxious than ever to get over there and get ‘stuck in’.

Here are some great photos posted by Diane Creech, Jaqueline Brooks and David Marcus who have been doing a fantastic job keeping everyone updated (and entertained!) on their Facebook pages.

Canadian Olympic Dressage Horses Arrive safely at Stansted Airport

Canadian Olympic Dressage Horses arrive safely at Stansted Airport

Dressage Team at Hartpury just before the jog

Dressage Team at Hartpury just before the jog

Canadian Dressage Team at Hartpury ribbon ceremonies…great results!

Canadian Team Spirit at the Training Camp

Canadian Team Spirit at the Training Camp

Canadian Dressage Athlete Diane Creech

Diane Creech was invited to speak with a Grad 5 Class and answer question about the Olympic Games and what it takes to get there. Diane is now famous in England!

Lots of Canadians looking for qualifying scores at Wellington Dressage Classic CDI3*

Taking a look at the entry list for this weekend’s Wellington Dressage Classic CDI3* shows there will be a LOT of maple leafs riding up the centre line looking to get qualifying scores.

In no particular order:

Evi Strasser & Action Tyme
Shannon Dueck & Ayscha
Joni Lynn Peters & Travolta
Ashley Holzer & Breaking Dawn
Tom Dvorak & Corrigan
Victoria Winter & Proton
Ute Busse & Lindor’s Finest
Gary Vander Ploeg & Cezanne
Jacqueline Brooks & D Niro
David Marcus & Chrevi’s Capital
Nancy Maclachlan & Deniros Tyme
Ashley Holzer & Pop Art
David Marcus & Don Kontes

It will be the first time that Ashley puts Pop Art & Breaking Dawn in head to head competition, so it should be interesting to see how the judges directly compare the 2 horses.
2 of the judges this weekend (Evi Eisenhardt and Gary Rockwell) will also be part of the Olympic judging panel this summer.

The leaderboard as of March 12th has Ashley & Pop Art and Jacquie & D Niro as the only 2 combinations with 4 qualifying scores….but that will likely change to be 3 combinations if Breaking Dawn keeps up his string of terrific scores.

Good luck to everyone this weekend!


Check out the Global Dressage Festival website for results




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