TRYON, North Carolina – In her first major international appearance, Winona Hartvikson of Langley, B.C., led the Canadian Para dressage team in an eighth-place finish in the Team Test at the FEI World Equestrian Games which concluded on Sunday.
The gold medal went to the Netherlands, Great Britain took silver and Germany was third.
Hartvikson, diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, was the top-placed athlete for Canada riding Ultimo, an 11-year-old Andalusian gelding. Their score of 70.000% was particularly impressive considering the duo have only been competing at the international level since September 2017.
“I am ecstatic to get that result from this horse,” said Hartvikson, 59. “We took a horse that had not competed before last year, got him to the World Equestrian Games, and got him to 70%.”
Competing in the Grade III division, four-time Paralympian Lauren Barwick took eighth place individually with Engelbrecht, the nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding.
“I liked his walk work; he was connected in taking me,” said Barwick, a 40-year-old paraplegic. “I have a good horse, but the partnership is very new; I think the advantage we have is that I have experience.”
Barwick’s teammate from the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Jody Schloss of Toronto, was right behind Hartvikson at ninth individually. Roberta Sheffield, based in Lincolnshire, England, was 12th.