Sunday June 03, 2007

2007 Pan American Games Canadian Dressage Team Announced

Pan American Games Canadian Dressage Team

Following 5 days of intense competition, Dressage Canada is pleased to announce the 2007 Pan American Games Dressage Team who will be traveling to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil:

Andrea Bresee & Raffles (owner: Gina Smith & Faith Berghuis) – Ontario
Diane Creech & Wiona (owner: Doug & Louise Leatherdale) – Ontario
Tom Dvorak & Beaumarchais (owner: Susan Holden) - Ontario
Reserve: Karen Pavicic & Lionheart (owner: Karen Pavicic) – British Columbia

Competition was certainly hot during the two final selection trials held May 30 – June 3rd at Saddlewood Equestrian Centre (Bethany, ON) and CornerStone Spring Into Dressage (Palgrave, ON). With weather reaching over 30 degrees Celsius at times, the top 8 Pan American Games (PAG) finalists treated spectators to a very tight race which culminated with the Intermediaire Freestyle held on June 3rd.

A total of 8 horse/rider combinations vied for a team spot during the two head-to-head final selection trials including:

• Gillian Sutherland & Great Tyme (owner: Gillian Sutherland) – Ontario
• Dominique Culham & Matisse (owner: Dominique Culham) – British Columbia
• Evi Strasser & Foto Tyme (owner: Evi Strasser) – Quebec
• Jacqueline Brooks & Balmoral (owner: Brinc Ltd, Anne & John Welch, Nick & Jean Vinios) – Ontario

With results always in the top 3 during the final selection trials, Andrea Bresee and Raffles proved their consistency and composure under pressure. “It was such a close race - very exciting, although a little nerve racking!,” exclaimed Bresee. “Raffles is getting so steady and really knows her job, and likes to show off. It was a joy to go out and perform with her every day - she felt great!” Bresee admitted that her favourite class is always the Freestyle performance. The pair rode to the music of “Quest of the Dream Warrior” by David Arkenstone and was arranged by Canada’s Karen Robinson of Applause Dressage. “I can’t wait to represent Canada at the games. It has always been a dream of mine to be able to do something like this - so I am very excited to go, and I think we have a very strong team going.”

The team will enjoy a well deserved rest before preparing for the trip to Miami Florida where they will meet up with Senior National Team Coach Norbert van Laak before heading to Brazil at the beginning of July. The Canadian dressage team will also include chef d’equipe Gwynne Rook, FEI veterinarian Dr. Alan Young, and grooms Laurel Bacher (Wiona), Emily Dexter (Raffles), Marcie Doyle (Lionheart) and Ellen Dvorak (Beaumarchais).

The 2007 Pan American Games take place July 13 – 29 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. There will be approximately 7,500 athletes and officials from 42 different nations participating in these Games. Competing dressage nations will include Canada, USA, Columbia, Brazil, Mexico and the Dominican Republic.

Canadian dressage has a long and illustrious history with the Pan American Games, achieving over 16 medals in the past 30 years including the Team Silver and Individual Gold at the Pan American Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

(l-r) Andrea Bresee, Karen Pavicic, Tom Dvorak & Diane Creech
photo ©


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