New Brunswick dressage riders claimed silver and bronze medals at the inaugural Atlantic Canada Equestrian Championships.

“We are thrilled with the performance of our Training and First Level Dressage teams during the first phase of these inaugural Atlantic Canada Equestrian Championships,” said Deanna Phelan, President of the New Brunswick Equestrian Association. “The riders and their horses had to qualify for positions on the provincial team and then train together as a team with coach Donna McInnis.

“All of the team members improved significantly throughout the season,” said McInnis. “Some had the highest scores of the season at the Championships. It was a positive experience overall,” she continued. “Being a part of a team helps the riders to set both individual and team goals, to learn to put the needs of the team ahead of their personal goals, and to find a pathway forward in their development.”

Teams of riders and horses from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island competed in dressage at the Agriplex in Crapaud, PE. Dressage is one part of the Atlantic Equestrian Championships being hotly contested in four equestrian disciplines: dressage, horse trials, jumping and reining. This was the first of the four competitions and was held under the auspices of Dressage PEI.

After two days of intense competition Team NB garnered two medals – silver in First Level and Bronze in Training level competitions. Team PEI took home gold medals in both the Training and First Levels and Team NS captured the silver medal in Training Level.

Competing for New Brunswick were:

Training Level
Erin Leonard – Royal Runner
Jasmine Poirier – Esperanza
Faith Easton – On the Spot
Katie Hess – Bona Amiko

First Level
Amelie Duguay – Denali
Julie Blanchard – Fantasia
Diane Ferris – Jorrock’s Delilah

The Reining competition will be held September 22-23 during the Sumac Slide at Sumac Farm in Trenton, NS. Then the competition returns to PEI for the Horse Trials as part of the Strathgartney Fall Horse Trial in Bonshaw, PE.

The final inter-provincial competition will take place in New Brunswick, October 7-8. Show jumping will take place as a part of the NBEA Bronze Championship show being held at the Princess Louise Park Show Centre in Sussex.

This series of competitions is pivotal in the development of equestrian sports’ next generation of national and international athletes. After declaring their intentions, horse and rider pairs participated in qualifying competitions throughout the spring and summer for hard-won places on their respective provincial teams.

At the international level competitions such as Nations Cups, World Equestrian Games, and Olympic Games, equestrian athletes must compete as members of their national teams. It is crucial that riders gain experience in that milieu at the lower levels where they learn to put the team’s goals and best interests ahead of their individual aspirations. These riders wanted to test their skills against fellow Atlantic competitors and hoped to not only win a medal for their team but also to have the opportunity to be identified for future performance pathway initiatives of Long Term Equestrian Development.