Canadian dressage athletes had the opportunity to test out the environment of the future site of the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) during the CDI 3* Tryon, held April 20-23, 2017 at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring, NC.
Canadian Olympian, Belinda Trussell of Stouffville, ON danced into the top three in the big tour aboard Tattoo 15 (Tuareg x Ramiro’s Son), her 14-year-old Westphalian gelding. One of Canada’s most successful dressage athletes, fans are accustomed to seeing Trussell paired with Anton, her long-time partner that took her all the way to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. However, following Anton’s retirement from international competition in 2017, Trussell has stepped Tattoo 15 up to the big leagues.
“This is Tattoo’s first year competing at the grand prix level,” explained Trussell. “We did three national shows in Florida, and Tryon was our first CDI. A horse in their first year of grand prix often has ups and downs. We had some amazing tests in Florida. Considering we had quite a number of errors in Tryon, I was pleased with his scores. The judges were all very positive and encouraging.”
Despite the few bobbles, Trussell and Tattoo 15 earned a top-10 finish in the CDI 3* FEI Grand Prix, then moved on to take third place in the CDI 3* FEI Grand Prix Special, scoring 66.961%.
“It’s a very strange feeling not having Anton at the shows,” continued Trussell. “Anton was such a professional and knew his job so well. Bringing along the green horses, you never know what you might get in the ring. But it is also nice to bring along new horses and learn about their personalities. I enjoy the process of learning how to develop each horse to their top potential. It takes time and patience. Each horse is on their own personal journey which cannot be rushed.”
Fellow Rio 2016 Olympian, Megan Lane from Loretto, ON was also successful in the big tour, with her best result coming in the CDI 3* FEI Grand Prix Freestyle, where she placed second with San d’Or on a score of 72.660%. Also relatively new to the CDI big tour, San d’Or (Sandro Hit x Cocktail), an 11-year-old Westphalian gelding owned by Deer Ridge Equestrian, is Lane’s chosen partner in her bid for WEG 2018.
“This is a really exciting time for San d’Or, who has been very successful in his debut year at the big tour CDI level,” said Lane, who debuted San d’Or at the CDI level during the Adequan Global Dressage Festival this past winter, earning many top-five results. “I came to Tryon in preparation for next year’s WEG. It’s not often we can show in the venue where such an event takes place, and with WEG potentially being San d’Or’s first real international event, I wanted to allow him to experience the impressive stadium prior to next year.”
In the small tour, Canada was well represented by six-time Olympian, Christilot Boylen aboard Rockylane (Rock Forever x Rica), her 11-year-old Westphalian mare. After taking third place with 69.553% in the FEI Intermediate I, the duo moved on to the FEI Intermediate I Freestyle, where they scored 72.600% for second place.
Ariana Chia of Winnipeg, MB, swept the Young Horse division at Tryon, partnered with her Oldenburg gelding Fiderflame (Fidertanz x Abanos). Together they scored 70.200% in the FEI Preliminary Test for 7 Year Olds, and then wrapped up with 72.400% in the FEI Final Test for 7 Year Olds.
For more information and complete results from CDI 3* Tryon, visit http://tryon.coth.com.