Ashley Holzer to Become US Citizen, Plans to Continue Riding for Canada

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Ashley Holzer and Pop Art at the Beijing Olympic Games. © 2008 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Ashley Holzer and Pop Art at the Beijing Olympic Games. © 2008 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

WELLINGTON, Florida, June 1–Ashley Holzer expects to become a U.S. citizen in the next few months but she plans to continue to ride for Canada which she has represented in three Olympics.

Holzer, 45, was born in Toronto but lives in New York City with her husband, Rusty, who competed at the World Equestrian Games in 1990 and 1992 Olympics. They have two children, Emma and Harry.

The Holzers founded the Riverdale Equestrian Center in the Bronx in New York City in 1994. She spends winter in Wellington, Florida, where she has been a major figure in dressage competition.

Ashley confirmed to dressage-news.com that she expects to be interviewed within the next couple of months by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services as a mandatory prelude to citizenship. She was in Canada with her parents, Ian and Moreen Nicoll, who are joint owners with Rusty Holzer of the 1997 Dutch warmblood gelding Pop Art that she competed at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Holzer and Pop Art are 11th on the current FEI World Dressage Rankings and have been placed as high as 7th.

Asked which nation she would ride for as she would have both U.S. and Canadian citizenships, Ashley said: “I have no plans to change my current status.”

The process to change the nation she might ride for after being granted U.S. citizenship later this year would require a two-year wait or agreement of  both the U.S. and Canadian federations to shorten the period.

Ashley was on Canada’s bronze medal team at the 1988 Seoul Olympics and represented her homeland in the 2004 Olympics in Athens and the 2008 Beijing Games. She represented Canada in the first World Equestrian Games in Stockholm in 1990 and also in Jerez, Spain in 2002 and Aachen Germany, in 2006 and the World Cup Finals in Gothenburg, Sweden in 1989 and Las Vegas in 2009. She also won team gold at the 1991 Pan American Games in Havana, Cuba, and team silver at the 2003 Pan Am Games in Santo Domingo.

Her training is in high demand and riders she works with include the USA’s 2007 Pan American Games team gold and individual silver medal winner Lauren Sammis who rode Sagacious to victory at the first event of the 2009/2010 FEI World Cup North American League in Raleigh, North Carolina, last weekend.