A group of veteran and up-and-coming Canadian para-dressage athletes had the opportunity to participate in a Canadian high performance training camp in early September, with six athletes then traveling on to Mill Spring, NC for the Tryon Fall CPEDI 3*.

The Tryon Fall CPEDI 3* took place Sept. 15-17, 2017 at the Tryon International Equestrian Center, which will host the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) next September.

“We had a fantastic week at Tryon International Equestrian Centre,” said Clive Milkins, Equestrian Canada’s Para-Dressage High Performance Technical Leader. “We had six riders with various levels of international expertise and experience. The atmosphere was positive and exciting. Every rider had a fantastic learning experience, taking home things to improve on. We didn’t come to win, we came to experiment and learn.”

Winona Hartvikson from Langley, BC was highly successful in the Grade I division, earning top-three placings in all three classes aboard Ultimo (Invasor III X Teodoro), her 10-year-old Andalusian gelding. Together they started out with a second place finish in the Grade I Team Test on Sept. 15 with a score of 69.226%. The following day they took third in Individual on a score of 69.286%, before closing out the competition with third place in the Freestyle (70.778%).

 

“We were reclassified the day before competition, so our freestyle choreography had to be rewritten to meet the requirements of the new tests,” explained Hartvikson. “It presented a challenge that we were able to accommodate and get good scores. I am blown away that this horse could handle the environment.”

Jody Schloss from Toronto, ON also earned top results in the Grade I division, highlighted by a second place finish in Freestyle, after scoring 71.278% aboard Lieutenant Lobin (Lobster x Fanal Prydsholm), her 13-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding.

Rio 2016 Paralympian, Robyn Andrews of St. John’s, NL also contested the Grade I division. Riding her veteran partner, Fancianna, a16-year-old Friesian/Andalusian mare, she earned fifth place across the board, with her highest mark coming in the Freestyle (68.167%).

In the Grade II division, Sharon Buffitt from Pointe-Claire, QC impressively took top three in all three classes. Paired with Elektra II (Radjah Z x Rastar), her 12-year-old Oldenburg-cross mare, she kicked things off in the Team Test with a score of 63.838% for third place, before following up with scores of 66.225% and 67.556%, respectively, in the Individual and Freestyle for second place.

Speaking to her overall experience in Tryon, Buffitt said, “Everyone was very supportive and ensured our horses were at their peak performance. My highlight was the overall environment, specifically the support staff. Every athlete, every horse, every individual has been phenomenal.”

Joining Buffitt in the Grade II division was Jason Surnoski of Whitby, ON. Tryon represented just the second CPEDI 3*-level competition of Surnoski’s career. Partnered with Bella de la Noche, a 21-year-old Warmblood-cross mare owned by Patricia Robertson-Corner, interestingly, he began by earning an identical score to Buffitt in the Grade II Team Test (63.838%), to take second place. Surnoski then moved on to take third place in both the Individual (64.755%) and Freestyle (61.500%).

Laura Card Hall from Ladysmith, BC was Canada’s sole representative in the Grade IV division, riding her new partner, Odessa M (Christ x Stedinger) an eight-year-old Oldenburg mare owned by Heather Boo. The highlight of their weekend came in the Freestyle, where they earned fourth place on a score of 66.542%.

“I am really happy with how Odessa M performed. This is a new partnership as we’ve only been together for a week but she has dealt with the pressure and atmosphere so well,” explained Card Hall. “A personal highlight of mine, was riding the Freestyle as I didn’t get to do that at the last CPEDI I attended.”

In preparation for the CPEDI 3* Tryon, Equestrian Canada (EC) hosted a training camp at Dunraven Farm in Uxbridge, ON, from Sept. 6-8, 2017, with a total of seven athletes attending. The camp focused specifically on test riding and how to improve individual marks, as well as how to utilize sport science for optimal performance.

Encouraging the idea of group discussion and group learning, athletes participated in a variety of sessions focused on maximizing athlete performance in all areas of sport science.

“I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to be here,” Surnoski said of the training camp. “The Integrated Support Team (IST) helped us refine our skills and prepare us.”

Athletes had one-on-one IST sessions with EC’s sport science and cross-discipline IST team:
• Caroline Archambault – Human & Equine Registered Massage Therapist
• Chantale Lussier, PhD – Mental Performance Specialist
• Jessica Dillott – EC Head of Sport Science

 

The athletes also had the opportunity to meet with Milkins, along with FEI 3* Para-Dressage Judge, Birgit Valkenborg of Sainte-Marthe, QC, and FEI Para-Classifier, Sue Foell of Sharon, ON for a collaborative approach to hone athlete development, supported by video analysis and review.

“(The training camp) was very inspiring, and helped me with the little things I had to fix,” said Andrews.

For more information on the Para-Dressage in Canada, visit www.equestrian.ca/sport/para-equestrian. Complete information and results from the Tryon Fall CPEDI 3*, visit Fox Village Dressage.

Canadian Results – CPEDI 3* Tryon

FEI Para Team Test – Grade I
Placing / Rider / Horse / Owner / Score
2nd / Winona Hartvikson / Ultimo / Winona Hartvikson / 69.226%
4th / Jody Schloss / Lieutenant Lobin / Jody Schloss / 67.857%
5th / Robyn Andrews / Fancianna / Robyn Andrews / 65.893

FEI Para Individual Test – Grade I
Placing / Rider / Horse / Owner / Score
3rd / Winona Hartvikson / Ultimo / Winona Hartvikson / 69.286%
4th / Jody Schloss / Lieutenant Lobin / Jody Schloss / 68.750%
5th / Robyn Andrews / Fancianna / Robyn Andrews / 64.583%

FEI Para Freestyle – Grade I
Placing / Rider / Horse / Owner / Score
2nd / Jody Schloss / Lieutenant Lobin / Jody Schloss / 71.278%
3rd / Winona Hartvikson / Ultimo / Winona Hartvikson / 70.778%
5th / Robyn Andrews / Fancianna / Robyn Andrews / 68.167%

FEI Para Team Test – Grade II
Placing / Rider / Horse / Owner / Score
2nd / Jason Surnoski / Bella de la Noche / Patricia Robertson-Corner / 63.838%
3rd / Sharon Buffitt / Elektra II / Sharon Buffitt / 63.838%

FEI Para Individual Test – Grade II
Placing / Rider / Horse / Owner / Score
2nd / Sharon Buffitt / Elektra II / Sharon Buffitt / 66.225%
3rd / Jason Surnoski / Bella de la Noche / Patricia Robertson-Corner / 64.755%

FEI Para Freestyle – Grade II
Placing / Rider / Horse / Owner / Score
2nd / Sharon Buffitt / Elektra II / Sharon Buffitt / 67.556%
3rd / Jason Surnoski / Bella de la Noche / Patricia Robertson-Corner / 61.500%

FEI Para Team Test – Grade IV
Placing / Rider / Horse / Owner / Score
6th / Laura Hall / Odessa M / Heather Boo / 64.833%

FEI Para Individual Test – Grade IV
Placing / Rider / Horse / Owner / Score
6th / Laura Hall / Odessa M / Heather Boo / 64.350%

FEI Para Freestyle – Grade IV
Placing / Rider / Horse / Owner / Score
4th / Laura Hall / Odessa M / Heather Boo / 66.542%