Robyn Eames and Mark Trussell of Stouffville, ON have been honoured with the 2016 Dressage Owner of the Year Award.
The mother and husband of two-time Canadian Olympian, Belinda Trussell, Robyn and Mark are the owners of Belinda’s long-time partner, Anton (Antaeus x Shirley), a 16-year-old Sachsen-Anhaltiner gelding.
Robyn and Mark have supported Belinda over a great many years by supplying her with horsepower, and Anton has proven to be truly world class. Their generosity has had a profound effect on the sport of dressage in Canada and the Canadian Dressage Team. In 2016 alone, Belinda and Anton had a record-breaking season that began at the prestigious Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) winter series in Wellington, FL. Not only did the pair pick up numerous wins at the CDI level, they set a new national record for the highest score achieved in the Grand Prix Special (75.529%).
Their incredible success continued throughout the season, and they picked up yet another national record in May for their score of 73.780% in the CDI Grand Prix at the Ottawa Dressage Festival in Ontario. Belinda and Anton’s landmark season led to their selection to represent Canada at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil. Together, they once again set new records, this time for the highest scores achieved by a Canadian at the Olympics in both the Grand Prix (72.214%) and Grand Prix Special (75.529%).
These accomplishments added to Belinda and Anton’s domination of Canadian records at major games, having also earned record-breaking scores at the 2014 World Equestrian Games (WEG) in France and the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto – where they helped the Canadian Dressage Team take the silver medal and set a new record for the highest team average score Canada has earned at a major games to date.
“It’s been a wonderful journey with Anton and his rider, Belinda,” said Mark. “We remember Anton’s early competitions as a six-year-old in Devon, where we learned he loved the ring, but had some big fears of the applause. We were so proud of how he developed and grew up, going to WEG 2010. His major injury afterwards devastated us all, and it was with amazement that two years later he was totally healed and stronger than ever. He went on to WEG 2014 and the 2015 Pan Am Games, and then had his redeeming Rio 2016 Olympic Games rides. He and Belinda have set some Canadian records with their teamwork in competition, and we can easily say he’s the greatest horse we’ve ever known.”
Mark and Robyn accepted the 2016 Dressage Owner of the Year Award during a special presentation by EC Dressage Committee Chair, Victoria Winter and EC Manager of Dressage, Christine Peters, on Nov. 10, 2016 at the Royal Horse Show in Toronto, ON.
“We would like to thank Equestrian Canada for the award, and also everyone who has helped Anton reach his true, great potential,” said Mark.
EC is thankful for the incredible support CET owners provide by supplying talented horses that enable Canadian athletes to compete on the world stage, and proud to recognize the contributions of owners. For a complete list of past recipients of the Dressage Owner of the Year award, click here.