Ottawa, ON, July 12, 2014 — For the third day in a row, Canadian Roberta Sheffield won her Grade III test at the Hartpury Festival of Dressage CPEDI3*, which was held July 9-11, 2014 in Gloucester, ENG.

Sheffield ensured the sweep of Grade III with a win in her Freestyle on Double Agent, her seven-year-old Anglo-European Studbook mare, with a score of 73.000%. On June 10, Sheffield and Double Agent were victorious in the Individual Championship Test posting the top score of 70.145%. On the first day, June 9, she scored 69.000%, with her mare, for the win in the Team Test.

“I couldn’t be more pleased with my two horses,” said Roberta Sheffield, who also rode Evelyn Little’s eight-year-old gelding Dutch Warmblood, Bindro T, in Grade III. “Double Agent surpassed my expectations throughout the competition, and I look forward to the next step of Games preparations with both of my horses.”

In Grade Ib, Ashley Gowanlock of Surrey, BC finished in third place with 71.650% in her Freestyle riding Lauren Barwick’s Ferdonia 2, a 15-year-old Oldenburg mare.

“I am beyond grateful to my four legged partners for stepping up to the plate for me once again and allowing me to compete at such a high level,” said Gowanlock, who also rode Collegiate Sweet Leilani, M. Kendalyne Overway’s 13-year-old Morgan mare at the competition. “A huge thanks goes out to Mary Longden and Lauren Barwick for helping me get in the ring and to Lauren Massey, Laura Dixon, and Justine Bowers for making my horses look amazing. We couldn’t do what we do without a fantastic group of support people.”

Riding Equine Canada’s 13-year-old Oldenburg mare, Off to Paris, Barwick of Aldergrove, BC was second in the Grade II Freestyle, scoring 73.900%.

“It was great to see my teammate, Ashley, with my horse, Fergi, back in the arena together,” said three-time Paralympian Barwick. “It is very rewarding to put all the puzzle pieces together and see such good results.”

“My fellow teammate Roberta had great tests, which gave us solid scores for a second place team finish,” added Barwick. “Coaching and management are credited for our success. Even with a few mistakes, Paris had brilliant moments in the ring. Those are the moments we will build on leading into the Games.”

“This competition was a great way to complete our team preparation for the World Equestrian Games with strong scores and improvements throughout the week,” said Elizabeth Quigg, chef d’équipe.

“The riders should be proud of their results,” said Mary Longden, team coach. “I am very pleased with the efforts that they put into their performances.”

“The Canadian Para-Equestrian Team always enjoys competing at the Hartpury Festival of Dressage CPEDI3*,” said Amie O’Shaughnessy, Director of Para-Equestrian. “The past several months have been very busy for the team competing abroad, and this competition marks our final international event before the upcoming 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. We are very grateful to Hartpury College and to Phillip Cheetham, Assistant Equine Director at Hartpury College for hosting and accommodating the Canadian riders as they train in England over the summer.”

“The team has achieved great success together this season and has maintained a strong focus on teamwork and performance. It is wonderful to be heading into the Games with such talented and dedicated athletes, horses, coaches, grooms, owners, supporters and team personnel. We look forward to joining the other nations in Normandy next month,” continued O’Shaughnessy.

As a result of a very successful spring competition season in North America and Europe, Canada is currently ranked second as a nation in the FEI world para-dressage rankings.

Leading the team in England is O’Shaughnessy, Longden, Quigg and Dr. Jennifer Miller, team veterinarian. The grooming team includes Skye Hanlon, Laura Dixon, Lauren Massey and Justine Bowers.

The Canadian riders’ participation in these competitions has been made possible through the Own the Podium program, a national sport technical initiative designed to help Canada’s summer and winter athletes achieve podium success at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.