Ottawa, Ontario— Francis Litzinger of CBC Country Canada has been named the recipient of the inaugural Equine Canada Media Award, in honour of the late Susan Jane Anstey.


Created in memory of Susan Jane, and in recognition of her invaluable contributions to Canadian equine interests, Equine Canada presents the Susan Jane Anstey Media Award to an exceptional individual who has delivered outstanding media coverage, which served to enhance the image of Canadian equine interests to the Canadian public.


As Executive Producer of Programming for CBC’s digital channel – Country Canada – Francis has done just that. A Ryerson and York University graduate, Francis’ journey into the equestrian world began in 2004, when he worked with CBC Country Canada to make Canadian television history, broadcasting many hours if uninterrupted, commercial-free coverage of Show Jumping, Dressage and Eventing from the 2004 Athens Olympics. This scope of same-day equestrian coverage had previously been unheard of in North America.


This past August, Francis negotiated the exclusive Canadian rights to the 2006 World Equestrian Games, held in Aachen, GER. As a result, CBC Country Canada again made history, covering all seven FEI Disciplines with an unprecedented total of 65 hours of same day broadcasts over the length of the Aachen Games.


For each discipline, CBC Country Canada lined up the best specialists in Canada as commentators, including host Nancy Wetmore, FEI ‘O’ level Dressage Judge Cara Whitham, and former international competitor and Olympic Eventing Team Coach Lorraine Laframboise.


Francis and Assistant General Manager Jane Fairley brought together an experienced and hard working production team at CBC Country Canada that included Producer/Director Robert MacAskill and Associate Directors Pamela Fletcher and Julie Watt.  Together, they brought Canada’s athletes in action at one of the most highly respected and prestigious international events in equestrian sport and broadcast those competitions directly into the homes of equine enthusiasts, supporters, potential sponsors and the public in general.


“Country Canada is honoured and thrilled to be recognized for our equestrian broadcasts,” commented Francis.  “The support from Canada’s equestrian community has been unparalleled and we look forward to continuing our unique coverage for this wonderfully dedicated audience.”

Francis and CBC Country Canada are truly deserving of the Susan Jane Anstey Media Award. With their coverage of such world class events like the World Equestrian Games, and the Olympics, CBC Country Canada is helping to bring equestrians into the limelight of main stream sport media, thus able to benefit from increased visibility, which in turn leads to increased sponsorship, giving our athletes the support they deserve to help put them on the podium.

Open to all types of Media (print, television broadcast, internet and photography), the Susan Jane Anstey Media Award is given for a specific event or story, an ongoing event or story, or an outstanding effort throughout the year.

Susan Jane was a valiant champion of Canada’s development in international sport and long-time supporter of the Canadian Equestrian Team. As both a talented publisher and working journalist, Susan Jane provided a dedicated Canadian journalistic presence at World Equestrian Games and Olympic Competitions from 1984 through to Greece in 2004. Through publications such as Horse Sport, Horse-Canada and Canadian Thoroughbred, Susan Jane provided a national voice for the Canadian equestrian community, and a forum for a national dialogue on the issues that have affected and defined our sport. Equine Canada is proud to present this award in her honour.