Canadian dressage athletes, Megan Lane from Loretto, ON and Belinda Trussell from Stouffville, ON are ready to get underway at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, BRA.
Dressage competition at the Games begins on Aug. 10 and 11 with the Grand Prix, followed by the Grand Prix Special on Aug. 12, which will decide the team medals and act as the final individual qualifier. From there, the top 18 horse/rider combinations will move forward into the Freestyle to compete for individual medals.
Lane, 25, will be making her Olympic debut in Rio with her long-time partner, Caravella (Contango x Riverman), a 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare she co-owns with her mother, Cathy Lane and sister, Kelsey Lane. The pair have been competing together since Lane was a junior rider. Together, they have now gone on a journey all the way from the FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships to the Olympic Games.
No stranger to representing Canada on the world stage, Lane and Caravella also have team experience from both the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games in France and the 2015 Pan Am Games under their belt.
Trussell, 44, will be partnered with Anton (Antaeus x Shirley), a 16-year-old Sachsen-Anhaltiner gelding owned by Robyn Eames and Mark Trussell. The past year has been an exciting one for the duo, starting with the 2015 Pan Am Games, where they helped the Canadian Dressage Team earn silver and break the Canadian record for the highest team average score achieved at major games.
And the records didn’t stop there. During the prestigious 2016 Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) series in Wellington, FL this past winter, Trussell and Anton picked up numerous wins at the CDI level, and set a new national record for the highest score achieved in the Grand Prix Special (75.529%).
“These Olympics are so special to me because four years ago my dreams were shattered when Anton had a major injury that took us out of the running for the London 2012 Games,” explained Trussell, who made her Olympic debut at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, where the Canadian Dressage Team earned ninth place. “Little did I know he would recover so well and earn a place on Rio Olympic Team with personal best scores. I could not have accomplished this goal without my amazing family, team and coach.”
A total of 60 horse-rider combinations from 25 nations are expected to compete in dressage at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, encompassing 11 teams, as well as individual competitors from 13 different countries.