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The Difference Makers: Ashley Gowanlock & Andrea Taylor

Paralympian Ashley Gowanlock and team coach Andrea Taylor

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By: Karen Robinson |

When Ashley Gowanlock began her journey toward the 2008 Paralympics in Hong Kong, she was in a relatively new partnership with a leased horse, a black Hanoverian gelding named Donny Maskell, owned by Sandy Mitchell. At the same time, Canada's Para-Dressage Team coach, Andrea Taylor, was preparing for the biggest moment of her coaching career just one year into her role - leading the Paralympic Team. Ashley has been riding for 22 years - since age two, when a physiotherapist told her parents that therapeutic riding would be good for her stretching and balance issues that were a result of cerebral palsy. Riding for therapeutic purposes eventually became an athletic pursuit; Ashley has been on Canada's Para-Dressage Team on an ongoing basis ever since Hong Kong. She has had a number of coaches over the years, all of whom have contributed to the rider she is today. “I think every…

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