Canadian endurance athletes captured a total of three medals at the 2015 North American Endurance Team Challenge (NAETC), held August 21, 2015 at Cayuse Creek Ranch in Millbrook, ON.
Canada fielded five teams for the 2015 NAETC, which is an FEI sanctioned endurance competition held bi-annually, and attracting competitors from Canada, Mexico and the United States.
In the senior division, featuring a CEI 2* 120km race, the North East Mid Atlantic Menace Team from the U.S. took gold, while the Canada East A Team finished silver, followed by the U.S. Central Team in bronze.
The Canada East A Team was comprised of Wendy MacCoubrey of Ste. Justine de Newton, QC, Yvette Vinton of Morriston, FL, Robert Gielen of Flesherton, ON, Dessia Miller of Berwick, ON, and Michele Watling of Kirkfield, ON.
Canada’s remaining two medals came in the Junior/Young Rider division, a CEIYJ 2* 120km race, where the Canada West Team finished just behind the winning USA Combined Team to earn silver.
Stepping up to the podium as part of the Canada West Team were Heather Nielsen of Lamont, AB, Lena Gray of Montney, BC, Ariel MacLeod of Montney, BC, Coletan MacLeod of Montney, BC, and Avery Delannoy of Beausejour, MB.
Nielsen also claimed the individual silver medal riding Nightwind’s Indigo Bey (Dakotas Keyanti x Bold Strike V), a 13-year-old Arabian gelding owned by Colleen DeVry. The pair finished in a time of 08:01:35. Not far behind in fourth place after posting a time of 08:08:36 was Solstice Pecile of Bailieboro, ON, paired with her 19-year-old mare, Glorious Song IA.
The highest placed Canadian individual in the senior division proved to be Gielen, after riding his six-year-old Arabian gelding More Bang for Your Buck (Doran x Forty Thieves) through the finish line in a time of 08:06:27 for fifth place. Right behind him in sixth place with a time of 08:16:48 was MacCoubrey atop her eight-year-old Arabian mare, Am Mysterious Mopsa. DeVry also rode to a top 10 finish (08:46:46) aboard Nightwind’s Bey Infiniti, her seven-year-old Arabian gelding.
“We had a great ride – the mare was strong all day on a very tough, well-marked course,” MacCoubrey said of Am Mysterious Mopsa, who was also honoured with the Vet High Score prestige award at NAETC. “Mopsa and I would not have been able to achieve all our accomplishments as a team without the never-ending support from my Mom, Lynda Townsend, Valerie Kanavy, Scott Hie and Natasha Buss. The easy work is riding; those on the ground make it all possible. Their help is priceless.”
For more information on the 2015 NAETC, click here.