Equestrian Canada Nominates Para-Dressage Team for Rio 2016 Paralympic Games

OTTAWA, July 25, 2016 /CNW/ - Equestrian Canada and the Canadian Paralympic Committee are proud to announce the four athletes nominated to represent Team Canada in para-dressage at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games this September.

Para-dressage is one of Canada's most successful international equestrian disciplines and many of the athletes nominated for Rio have a long and accomplished competition record. Since equestrian sport was introduced to the Paralympic Games program in 1996, Canada has earned a total of five individual medals, including gold and silver at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games by Lauren Barwick.

''Congratulations to our para-equestrian nominees,'' said Chef de Mission Chantal Petitclerc. ''It's exciting to see the four accomplished athletes who have been nominated this year. It really shows that Equestrian Canada has put in a lot of work in preparing riders to be competitive at the Games.''

The athletes nominated to the Canadian Para-Dressage Team are as follows:

Athlete

Hometown

Horse

Owner

Robyn Andrews

St. John's, N.L.

Fancianna

Robyn Andrews

Lauren Barwick

Langley, B.C.

Onyx

Equestrian Canada

Ashley Gowanlock

Surrey, B.C.

Di Scansano

Wendy Christoff

Roberta Sheffield

Lincolnshire, UK

Double Agent

Roberta Sheffield

 

The nominated athletes will be supported by team coach Andrea Taylor (Surrey, B.C.).

"I'm really excited about the para-dressage athletes who will be representing Canada at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games," said team coach Andrea Taylor. "They have all worked extremely hard to earn a spot on the team. Everyone sees them at their competitions on the stepping stones toward a successful result in Rio, but they don't see them putting in all of the many hours, both on and off the horses, at home. Between competitions they focus on bringing together what works best for them and their horse – mentally, physically, and strategically – resulting in the most tried and true path to the podium. I wish them all the best in Rio."

The Rio 2016 Paralympic Games are set for Sept. 7 to 18. Para-dressage gets underway Sept. 11 and runs through to Sept. 16.

"On behalf of the Government of Canada, congratulations to the equestrian athletes and coaches who will wear the Maple Leaf and represent all Canadians in Rio," said the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities. "As you fine tune your preparations over the next few months, know that you have the strength of Team Canada – 35 million strong – behind you."

"I will wear the Canadian maple leaf at my fourth Paralympic Games with the utmost pride," said Barwick, who has won more medals at major games than any other Canadian rider to date and was inducted to the Canadian Disability Hall of Fame in 2015. "Earning a spot on the team has been a journey with many miles, and an unbelievable support system. When I ride down the centreline, I will not only be representing my country, but will be riding for the horse owners, grooms, sponsors, federations, friends and family. I'm excited to work together with my teammates to inspire and motivate Canadians to achieve personal excellence."

Athlete and coach biographies are available at Paralympic.ca/athletes. Bios and high resolution photos can be downloaded at https://www.dropbox.com/sh/5cd0iqdu143wtps/AAA3K2OytlfH0lbYa5chQrFSa?dl=0

About Equestrian Canada: www.equestrian.ca  
About the Canadian Paralympic Committee: www.paralympic.ca  

Follow the Canadian Paralympic Team:
www.paralympic.ca 
www.facebook.com/CDNParalympics   
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SOURCE Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC)

Image with caption: "Since equestrian sport was introduced to the Paralympic Games program in 1996, Canada has earned a total of five individual medals, including gold and silver at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games by Lauren Barwick. Photo: Shannon Brinkman / Equestrian Canada (CNW Group/Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC))". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160725_C2395_PHOTO_EN_740780.jpg

For further information: Jessie Christie, Manager, Communications & Media Relations, Equestrian Canada, Email: jchristie@equestrian.ca, Tel: 613-287-1515 x 133 / Cell: 613-619-9049; Alison Korn, Senior Manager, Media Relations and Communications, Canadian Paralympic Committee, Email: akorn@paralympic.ca , Tel: 613-569-4333 x 243 / Cell: 613-298-4927

RELATED LINKS
http://www.paralympic.ca

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