With a record-setting 249 horses entered, Canada’s largest dressage show got underway Friday at the Caledon Equestrian Park, north of Toronto.
While the National show offers Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Western dressage divisions, the CDI classes are generating the most buzz in this all-important Pan-Am Games qualifying season. With just a handful of opportunities to earn qualifying CDI scores on home soil, these international competitions are especially important for Canadian riders who did not compete in the USA during the winter season.
“We are thrilled to be back at the beautiful Caledon Equestrian Park, hosting a record-breaking competition at a world-class facility like this,” said Caledon Dressage President Andrew Woodley. “We’re proud to develop the grassroots of the sport with a top quality National show. With classes from Intro to FEI, Bronze to Gold, and even a Western dressage division, we truly offer something for everyone in a welcoming, competitor-friendly environment. The CDI competition is a valuable opportunity for Canada’s top riders to shine on the international stage and get feedback from a panel of renowned FEI judges before the upcoming Pan American Games in Santiago.”
As Pan Am teams are a mix of Small Tour and Grand Prix competitors, all eyes were on the hotly-contested CDI Grand Prix and PSG classes. It was a good day for Quebec’s Good Tyme Stables in the CDI*** Grand Prix, as founder Evi Strasser finished first aboard her own Deja Vu Tyme with 67.891%, while taking third place aboard Disney Tyme on 66.413%. Rounding out the top three was Evi’s daughter Tanya Strasser Shostak, who scored 66.587% riding Fidelis Tyme.
“I’m so happy and proud of my boys Deja Vu Tyme and Disney Tyme getting personal best scores,” said Strasser, who has represented Canada at the Olympics (1996), World Equestrian Games (2006) and multiple World Cup Finals. “Both of them were amazing to ride; they felt effortless throughout the Grand Prix. To see Tanya riding Fidelis Tyme to a 2nd place finish and personal best score in just his second CDI was wonderful. It was always my dream to share the winner’s circle in a CDI Grand Prix with my daughter. As you can see, dreams do come true!”
Nineteen horse / rider combinations cantered down centre line in the CDI* Prix St-Georges class. Lori Bell of Beaverton, Ontario scored the win on her own Flirt, finishing with a total 72.451% and edging out Megan Lane on Deer Ridge Equestrian’s lovely Furst Foundation with 72.059. Rounding out the top three was Beatrice Boucher and Summerwood’s Limei with 70.343.
“Flirt felt amazing,” said Lori Bell. “Confident, forward and ready to do his job. This horse will give me the moon if he’s able. The ride was so much fun!”
CDI and National show action continues Saturday and Sunday at Caledon Equestrian Park. Full scores and live scoring are available on the Compete Easy app.
ABOUT CALEDON DRESSAGE
Canada’s largest dressage show series is organized entirely by volunteers from Caledon Dressage, a non-profit organization committed to encouraging the sport of dressage at the local, provincial and national level. For more information visit caledondressage.ca.