Welcome to the Lima Lowdown! To introduce myself, I’m Jessie Christie, the Media Attaché for the Canadian Equestrian Team in Lima. I’m proud and honoured to be part of the ‘team behind the team’ – and each day of the Games, I’ll be bringing you exclusive stories and photos from our Canadian athletes, grooms, owners, and team personnel here in Lima.


With the dressage athletes poised to kick off the equestrian portion of the Lima 2019 Pan American Games today, I thought it was fitting to start the Lima Lowdown off with a peek inside the athletes’ pre-competition rituals. From good luck charms to hallway human dressage test practice, CET athletes each have their own unique way to get their game face on!

Jill Irving – Dressage

CET on the Go | Charms and Rituals: How the CET Gets Their Game Face On

Photo Credit: Cealy Tetley

I watch a recent video of a ride of the class I’m going to do. I ride the test in the hallway on foot, and plan every stride – very funny to see! (Editor’s Note: stay tuned, we’ll be doing our best to capture this on video!)

I also do some yoga poses to relax, stretch and breathe. I’m very quiet and introverted at the stall 1 – 1.5 hours before I ride.

I go to the ring and mentally imagine the test. And, I drink lots of water to hydrate the night before, and try to get to bed early for three nights prior to competition.

Tina Irwin – Dressage

CET on the Go | Charms and Rituals: How the CET Gets Their Game Face On

Photo Credit: Cealy Tetley

I like to stick to my routine and don’t like having a lot of people around me before I compete, so that I can get in the zone.

Lindsay Kellock – Dressage

CET on the Go | Charms and Rituals: How the CET Gets Their Game Face On

Photo Credit: Cealy Tetley

I always have a ritual of spending at least one hour prior to getting on alone in a quiet place to visualize my test. I will also put headphones on and listen to music that pumps me up for the competition.

Dana Cooke – Eventing

CET on the Go | Charms and Rituals: How the CET Gets Their Game Face On

Photo Credit: Cealy Tetley

I do a lot of visualization and a little meditation. And, before a serious cross-country round, you can usually find me in my tack stall with my ear buds in, jamming out!

Holly Jacks-Smither – Eventing (Reserve)

CET on the Go | Charms and Rituals: How the CET Gets Their Game Face On

Photo Credit: Cealy Tetley

I never use anything new at a competition – I always ride in it first! I also have a locket with a picture in it of a very important person to me. He bought me my first Quarter Horse, and he taught me to always get back on. I keep the locket attached to my cross-country helmet.

Erynn Ballard – Jumping

CET on the Go | Charms and Rituals: How the CET Gets Their Game Face On

Photo Credit: Betty Cooper

When I was younger, if I had a good class wearing a particular pair of boot socks or shirt, I would revert back to that particular pair of socks and/or shirt for the next big class I was in.

After walking the course for a big class, I always make sure my boots are polished and sticky-sprayed, my spurs are on, and I’m dressed and ready to get on. Then, I watch and focus on my plan for the class.

Nicole Walker – Jumping

CET on the Go | Charms and Rituals: How the CET Gets Their Game Face On

Photo Credit: Cealy Tetley

I try to keep things consistent leading up to competitions. I know my horses are in a fantastic program, so I stick to my usual training leading up to the shows. I love sport and being in the competition ring is the thrilling part!

My horses get a lucky bling braid and/or a charm on their bonnet that says “Bounce Back” on big Grand Prix days.

CET on the Go | Charms and Rituals: How the CET Gets Their Game Face On

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