Ashley Keary, 14, of Brockville, ON, was a member of the bronze medal winning team at the FEI Children’s International Classics Final 2011 held in Hong Kong January 11–14, 2012.
Riding a borrowed horse for the entire competition, Hot Pot, a 15-year-old bay gelding, Keary started the event with a clear round during the warm-up competition on January 11. The following day, the pair incurred four faults in the first round to finish in 16th place. In the second round, Keary and Hot Pot once again had four faults for 15th spot.
Riding for Team Chopardissimo with Lily Tootill from New Zealand, Taryn Rault from Russia and Simon Fernandez-Salvador Fallet from Ecuador, Keary’s two round total was combined with those of the other members of her team. With only the top three scores of each round to count, Keary’s team had a two round total of four faults with a combined time of 232.25. Team Happy Diamonds won gold with four faults in a time of 212.52. The silver medal went to Team Happy Sport with a four fault time of 214.80.
“Attending the Final was an experience of a lifetime that I will never forget,” said Keary, who attended the competition with her long-time coach, Linda Amell of North Stone Farm. “I have so many great memories and friends. It was a pleasure to represent Canada and receive a bronze medal.
“This was a learning experience and I think it has improved my riding. I’m hoping to do more international shows this upcoming year. I feel very blessed to be able to compete at that level,” added Keary.
On the final day of competition on January 14, Brazil’s Sarah Vasconcellos won the individual title riding Cornwall Chiefs. Arianna Ladd of Hong Kong finished with the silver medal riding Mountain Treasure, while South Africa’s Cameron Dawson won the bronze medal riding Golden Goblet.
Keary earned the right to represent Canada through her placing at the FEI Children’s Final Qualifier held at the La Classique International de Blainville Week 2, held in Blainville, PQ, which was one of two qualifying competitions held in Canada in 2011.
Complete results for the FEI Children’s International Classics Final 2011 may be found at http://www.fei.org/events/series-and-finals/fei-children%2527s-international-classics/results.
The FEI International Jumping Children’s Final is for show jumping competitors aged 12 to 14. Each country is represented by a maximum of two riders with the exception of the host country, who is entitled to have a number of competitors equal to the number of foreign entries. Foreign riders compete on borrowed horses, supplied by the host country. The competition was created to promote and encourage talented young riders by giving them the opportunity to experience international competition with support from the FEI.