Equestrian Canada (EC) announced that two up-and-coming Hanoverian talents have achieved national ranking recognition during the inaugural year of the Dressage Young Horse Development Program.
To be ranked, the horses earned a minimum of four scores of 68% or better at EC Gold, Foreign National or CDI competitions.
As You Wish (by Wilkens x Contendro I), a gelding known affectionately as “Westley” and ridden by owner, Shannon Dueck of Loxahatchee, FL, far surpassed the minimum qualifications for six-year-old horses with an average score of 77.45%.
“I am thrilled to be part of the Young Horse Program; I think it’s a very important step in supporting the development of future international stars for Canada,” said Dueck. “Through this program, I was able to get some great feedback to help me in training Westley and he improved throughout the year. I look forward to working with EC next year as we progress to the seven-year-old work.”
In the seven-year-old division, Frieda (by Furstenball OLD X Rouletto) impressed with a high ranking score of 81.892% under the guidance of rider and 2012 London Olympics reserve for the Canadian Dressage Team, Pia Fortmuller of Foothills, AB.
Fortmuller, who co-owns the expressive black mare with Lars Busch, commented, “Lars discovered Frieda as a two-year-old and saw very special potential when he first laid eyes on her. As a young horse, Frieda has always has captivated her audience, but this last year the potential that Lars caught a glimpse of is starting to take shape. Thank you, EC, for having this Young Horse Program. The support it offers is greatly appreciated.”
About the Dressage Young Horse Development Program
The Dressage Young Horse Development Program promotes the proper development of young horses in anticipation of future international success. Aimed at horses between the ages of four and seven, the program serves to identify up-and-coming talent and provide national ranking recognition. Horses will be expected to progress in their training to achieve minimum performance standards throughout the season.
To participate, owners must be current EC Sport Licence Holders in good standing who have selected dressage as their primary discipline. Once enrolled in the program, participants will receive invitations to a minimum of two training sessions per year with FEI certified young horse dressage judges and international young horse development experts. The sessions will provide:
Analysis using state-of-the-art technology;
Assessment from the EC Equine and Human Registered Massage Therapist; and,
Evaluation from the primary clinician.
To participate, a completed application form for each horse must be on file with the EC dressage department by the annual deadline of Jan. 1.
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