Each of our three dressage athletes – Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu, Lindsay Kellock and Chris von Martels – scored over 79% in competitions leading up to the Games. While we may look at the handful of above-80% scores handed out to European powerhouses such as Germany and be discouraged, this is actually extremely promising for Canada. Those countries are at a bit of an advantage in our sport in terms of history and access to horses and competitions. The fact that Canadians are steadily gaining ground in the points against countries where dressage is engrained in their national fabric is thrilling!

Brittany gave Canada another reason to celebrate during the Games themselves, becoming the second Canadian to ever qualify for the Olympic Freestyle. She and All In took it one step further, posting a Canadian record Olympic Freestyle score of 76.404%.

The mood of the team as we watched Brittany do her final salute was ecstatic. Those scores might not have secured a medal but again, they spoke volumes about the direction dressage in Canada is heading.

And Brittany’s success isn’t just inspiring for her own career as an athlete – it’s also extremely promising because she is a coach to some of our talented up-and-comers, such as Camille Carier-Bergeron, who’s had amazing success at the North American Youth Championships under Brittany’s guidance. Brittany is even sharing her knowledge with teammates in other disciplines. She is the current coach of Tokyo 2020 eventer, Colleen Loach. As Brittany’s expertise grows along with her scores, she’s bringing that knowledge back home and spreading it to the benefit of the entire Canadian dressage community.

There’s a similar trend happening in para-dressage with the four athletes set to compete in the upcoming Paralympics – Lauren Barwick, Winona “Noni” Hartvikson, Jody Schloss and Roberta “Bert” Sheffield. Lauren is constantly scoring in the 70s and recently posted a personal best Freestyle score with Sandrino of 77.656%. Bert and Fairuza have earned top-three placings in her last five classes.

This is the first Games for Brittany, Lindsay, Chris, Noni and each of their mounts. Lauren and Roberta, while each Paralympic veterans, will be showing horses new to major games. And while Jody debuted Lieutenant Lobin at the Tryon 2018 World Equestrian Games, this will be his first Paralympics.

Our current stars are still early in their Olympic and Paralympic careers. Keep an eye on these Canadians – and the others waiting in the wings – as we look towards Paris 2024. We’re only getting stronger.

Sincerely,

Christine Peters
Senior Manager
Dressage Olympic/Paralympic Program

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