Equestrian Canada (EC) is pleased to recognize all eight demonstration riders from the Dressage Performance Advantage Symposium, held Oct. 20, 2017 at the Caledon Equestrian Park in Palgrave, ON, with the Volunteer of the Month title for October 2017. The honorees, who agreed to demonstrate the second and fourth level movements while being assessed by international dressage experts, are as follows:
- Laurel Adams – Guelph, ON
- Anouk Desaulniers – Gatineau, QC
- Alexandra Dvorak – Hillsburgh, ON
- Loren Hopkins – Guelph ON
- Daisy Kosa – Cayuga, ON
- Lynsey Rowan – Holland Landing, ON
- Megan Shea – Toronto, ON
- Melanie Thomson – Campbellcroft, ON
The riders were evaluated in front of an audience of 150 participants by Canadian Olympian, Christilot Hanson-Boylen, retired FEI 4* Dressage Judge, Lorraine MacDonald and FEI 5* Dressage and Eventing Judge, Cara Whitham.
“[The Symposium was] a rare opportunity to lesson and be judged by some of the best that Canada has to offer,” said Thomson, who rode at second level with Anna May McCloskey’s eight-year-old Hanoverian gelding, Gatsby. “I am looking forward to more educational opportunities like this in the future”
In addition to riding in the symposium, Desaulniers graciously agreed to be the case study for the event along with her horse, Soulstar St-Rose, a seven-year-old Hanoverian gelding sired by Soliman de Hus. This included sharing all fitness and performance results and massage therapy assessments with the audience throughout the day.
Each rider handled the pressure with confidence and professionalism. Their demonstrations delivered great value to the audience, providing relatable advice and take-home exercises to improve performance in the ring.
“The symposium offered an opportunity to update knowledge, skills, and attitudes that are important to coaches, riders, trainers, judges, sponsors, and supporters,” said Kosa. “The importance of a rider facilitating the horse to stretch in a stable connection and balanced rhythm was a key takeaway for me.”
Adams, who rode at the fourth level partnered with Deagan, Anita Berkis’ 14-year-old Oldenburg gelding, added, “It was an incredible opportunity to get coaching and feedback from two of Canada’s top judges and one of Canada’s top trainers, all at the same time. It was wonderful to work with and watch so much talent in one day.”
If you know of a volunteer who deserves recognition, nominations are quick and easy through the EC website. The next deadline to submit the name of a volunteer who has made a difference to the sport of dressage will be November 27, 2017. Questions and comments on the Dressage Volunteer of the Month Award can be directed to Christine Peters at email@example.com.