Canadian Para-Equestrian Riders Earn Top Freestyle Placings at CPEDI 3* Moorsele

April 28, 2014

Lauren Barwick and Ferdonia 2. Photo Credit -

Ottawa, ON, April 27, 2014 - Canadian riders once again topped the standings on the final day of international FEI competition at CPEDI 3* Moorsele, BEL, held April 25-27.

Winning their Grade II freestyle by 5.65% was Lauren Barwick of Aldergrove, BC and Equine Canada's 13-year-old Oldenburg mare, Off to Paris. The pair were victorious with a score of 79.150%, and made a clean sweep of Grade II, winning of all their classes.

 "Today our better was our best! The saying 'less is more' was exactly what we did, and it paid off. I've had good scores before, but never across the board from five international judges," said Barwick, who is a three-time Paralympian. "I'm very pleased with Paris. We knew her talent was in there, but just finding how to bring it out has taken time."

"Big thank you to my support here in Europe and all those holding the fort at home in North America. It takes everyone to bring home such great results," Barwick continued.

 Roberta Sheffield of Lincolnshire, UK was just 0.5% out of first to finish in second place in the Grade III Freestyle with Miss Evelyn Little's eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, Bindro T.

Competing in Grade Ib Freestyle was Ashley Gowanlock of Surrey, BC and Collegiate Sweet Leilani, M. Kendalyne Overway's 13-year-old Morgan mare who finished in fourth place with score of 68.000%.

"I'm extremely proud of how Leilani went during the freestyle today. She was with me 100 per cent in the arena," said two-time Paralympian Gowanlock. "It is the first time we have ever ridden our new freestyle as Karen Robinson thankfully rushed it to us before we left for Europe. I am looking forward to riding through it a few more times and getting the feel for everything. It will be a fantastic test for us."

In addition to their outstanding freestyle scores on the last day, the Canadian Para-Equestrian Team finished in third place as a nation out of 10 countries in the team competition and earned nine top three results over the three day competition.

Leading the team on the European tour is Amie O'Shaughnessy, Director of Para-Equestrian, Mary Longden, team coach; Andrea Taylor, team coach; and Elizabeth Quigg, Chef d'équipe. A large support team is also accompanying the athletes, including: Sue McTavish, Diana Andrews, Patty Merrill, Skye Hanlon, Laura Dixon, Grace Catts Tucker and Lauren Massey.

Complete results for CPEDI3* Moorsele may be found at

CPEDI 3* Moorsele is the second stop for the Canadian riders on the European tour. Complete Canadian results are available for the first international stop, CPEDI3* Deauville, FRA, which was held April 4-6, on the Equine Canada website. The final stop on the tour will be the CPEDI3* in Mannheim, GER, being held on May 3-7th.

The Canadian riders' participation in these competitions has been made possible through the Own the Podium program, a national sport technical initiative designed to help Canada's summer and winter athletes achieve podium success at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

About Para-Equestrian Canada 
Para-Equestrian Canada is the Equine Canada committee responsible for developing programs for athletes with a physical disability, and implementing the Para-Dressage high performance program. Para-Equestrian is one of Canada's most successful international disciplines, achieving an individual gold medal and an individual silver medal at the 2008 Paralympic Games, as well as two individual bronze medals at the 2004 Paralympic Games.

About Para-Equestrian Sport

Para-Equestrian sport provides riders with a physical disability the opportunity to compete against other riders with similar abilities. Riders are given a "Grade" based on their functional ability, and are judged on their riding skill against other athletes of the same Grade. There are five grades of competitions in dressage, with Grade 1a representing the more severely impaired riders, and Grade 4 representing the least severely impaired riders. Many Para-Equestrian athletes also compete alongside able-bodied competitors in Equine Canada competitions. At the grass roots level, Para-Equestrian encompasses a number of different disciplines, while the international stream focuses only on Para-Dressage. For more information, please visit