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Canadian Dressage Star Jill Irving: Moving Forward While Giving Back

Jill Irving’s first experiences in the equestrian world were a far cry from the glitz and glamour of Wellington, Florida, where she now competes.

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By: Alison King |

Jill Irving’s first experiences in the equestrian world were a far cry from the glitz and glamour of Wellington, Florida, where she now competes against North America’s best throughout the winter season. Back then, her mount was a $75 backyard pony named Coco; her competition was her fellow members of the Sudbury Pony Club. In those early days, she couldn’t have imagined that a passion for horses and a teenage friendship would some day lead her to a place among Canada’s elite dressage athletes. “We were first introduced to dressage through Pony Club. I could never remember the tests and always wanted to be jumping instead,” Irving says, laughing. “At first I showed in the pony hunters and then took up eventing. I always had good dressage results while eventing, so when I went to university I began to focus more seriously on dressage.” The lure of jumping led Irving…

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