Blainville, Quebec – Quebecâ€™s own Evi Strasser of Ste-Adele enjoyed success on Friday at the CDI-W Blainville International Classic taking place June 26 to 28 north of Montreal, QC.
While the Canadian Olympian usually earns accolades as a competitor at the international dressage competition, on Friday she was celebrating victories as an owner and as a coach. Her horse, Right Tyme, won the FEI Five-Year-Old Young Horse Finale while her student, Julie Watchorn, won the Intermediaire I test.
â€œHe was excellent,â€ said Strasser of Right Tyme, a chestnut Oldenburg gelding owned by her Good Tyme Stables of Ste-Adele and shown by Neil McIntosh. â€œI bought him as a four-year-old in Germany, he was a premium Oldenburg stallion, but I gelded him due to the quarantine requirements of bringing him to Canada.â€
Right Tyme features impressive breeding â€“ his sire is Royal Olymp while his dam is Doris Day by the legendary Donnerhall. Strasser hopes that Right Tyme will be competitive in the six-year-old division at next yearâ€™s World Young Horse Breeding Championships in Europe.
â€œWe are very excited about him because he has three super paces,â€ noted Strasser in reference to the movements of walk, trot and canter which are evaluated by the panel of international judges. â€œThe judges were especially impressed by his walk â€“ it is not only active behind, but also in front. Neil has been doing a super job with him and has trained him fantastically well for me.â€
A multiple Grand Prix winner at past editions of the CDI-W Blainville International, Strasser has been based in Germany for the past year. Following this yearâ€™s CDI-W Blainville International, she will return to Europe and continue to campaign her top horse, Quantum Tyme, with the goal of qualifying to represent Canada at the 2009 World Cup Final in Las Vegas.
Strasserâ€™s student, Julie Watchorn, 22, of Schomberg, ON, enjoyed her first victory since stepping out of the Young Ridersâ€™ ranks and into the Intermediaire division. Watchorn claimed the Intermediaire I test over 12 other entries with a score of 66.083%. Her mount is her former North American Young Ridersâ€™ Championship partner, Quintesse, a 15-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare sired by Latano.
â€œIt was only Julieâ€™s second time competing in the Intermediaire I, so it was very exciting,â€ said Strasser who was also coaching her own daughter, Tanya, in the FEI Pony division. â€œWe were really working on getting ready for this show, to have the horse steady and consistent in the Intermediaire division. The mare was fantastic, and Julie rode very strong and competitively. It is very different to ride in the Young Ridersâ€™ division compared to the Intermediaire I against all the professionals.â€
Athens Olympian Belinda Trussell of Stouffville, ON, scored 65.667% to place second with Anton, an eight-year-old Saxon-bred gelding owned by her mother, Robyn Eames. 1988 Olympic bronze medalist Gina Smith of Brockville, ON, was third after earning 64.833% for her performance on Frappuccino.
In the Six-Year-Old Finale, Simone Williams of Navan, ON, rode Da Vinci to victory with a score of 72.40%. The bay Hannoverian gelding by Di Caprio out of Shoga by Shogun was purchased one year ago in Germany by Queenswood Stables, a training and sales facility operated by Williams.
â€œThey loved his forward energy and rideability, as well as his talent for flying changes,â€ said Williams of the judgeâ€™s impressions. â€œHe has three quality gaits and even though it is our second consecutive week of competition, he is focused on his job.â€
Williams, a member of the Canadian Team at the 1999 Pan American Games, is one of the favourites to win the Grand Prix Freestyle with her top mount, Wunder Ein, during Saturday eveningâ€™s Freestyle Gala. The highlight and grand finale of the historic back-to-back CDI-W World Cup qualifying competitions in Blainville begins at 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 28. Tickets for the event, which has been a sell-out since it was first introduced, can be purchased by contacting Karin Ouellette at 450-434-5261 or info @ parcequestreblainville . com.
CDI-W Intermediaire I â€“ Final Results
Rider Hometown Horse Score
1. Julie Watchorn Schomberg, ON Quintesse 66.083%
2. Belinda Trussell Stouffville, ON Anton 65.667%
3. Gina Smith Brockville, ON Frappuccino 64.833%
4. Gary Vander Ploeg King City, ON Degas 64.250%
5. Lee Tubman Smithville, ON De La Rosa 64.167%