Canadian Olympic Team for Eventing Prepares for Competition

LONDON, (Canadian Olympic Team ) -The Canadian Olympic Team for Eventing is prepared to begin competition at the 2012 London Olympic Games following the first horse inspection held Friday, July 27, at the equestrian sport venue of Greenwich Park.

All five members of the Canadian Olympic Team for Eventing presented their horses for inspection to the ground jury.  The first of three phases of competition, dressage, will be held over two days, Saturday, July 28, and Sunday, July 29.  The second phase, cross-country, will be held Monday, July 30.  The third and final phase, show jumping, will take place on Tuesday, July 31, following the second horse inspection.  Team medals will be decided following the first round of show jumping, while the top 25 athletes in the individual rankings, limited to a maximum of three representatives per nation, will advance to a second round of show jumping to determine the individual medals.

The Canadian Olympic Team for Eventing will contest the dressage phase in the following order:

Michele Mueller of Port Perry, ON, riding Amistad, owned by Julie Anna Pring;

Hawley Bennett-Awad of Langley, BC, riding Gin & Juice, owned by Bennett-Awad and Linda Paine;

Peter Barry of Dunham, QC, riding Kilrodan Abbott, owned by Peter, Susan and Dylan Barry;

Jessica Phoenix of Uxbridge, ON, riding her own Canadian-bred Exponential; and

Rebecca Howard of Salmon Arm, BC, riding the Canadian-bred Riddle Master, owned by Blithe Hill Farm.

“The strategy behind the order is to draw on each horse’s strengths,” explained Graeme Thom, Chef d’équipe of the Canadian Olympic Team for Eventing.  “The jog went really well.  All of our horses looked to be in great nick and we’re looking forward to the Olympics and having a great competition.  And without a doubt, all of our riders were the best turned out, as were all of our horses.”

“Everybody is in good spirits and the horses look great,” said 2000 U.S. Olympic Eventing Champion David O’Connor, who is acting as Coach and International Technical Advisor of the Canadian Olympic Team for Eventing.  “Now it’s time for everybody to just put their heads down and do their job.  We’re looking forward to it!”

The Canadian Olympic Team for Eventing is supported by Coach/International Technical Advisor David O’Connor; Chef d’Equipe Graeme Thom; Veterinarian Christiana Ober; Stable Manager Deb Furnas; Ferrier Randy Pawlak; Team Manager Fleur Tipton; and Therapist Jo Ann Wilson.

For more information, including results, please visit the equestrian sport section of the official 2012 London Olympic Games website at www.london2012.com/equestrian.