Canadian World Games Hopefuls in Kentucky to Begin Final Phase of Qualifying

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Megan Lane and Caravella. © 2014 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Megan Lane and Caravella. © 2014 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

May 20, 2014

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

Megan Lane and Caravella are among eight combinations competing at the Kentucky Dressage Association CDI3* in Lexington this week to begin the final phase of qualification for the Canadian team for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

The 22-year-old Megan and the KWPN mare wrapped up the Florida winter competition schedule to place third on Equine Canada’s WEG rankings behind Belinda Trussell who is aiming Anton for their second straight WEG appearance, and David Marcus and Chrevi’s Capital who were on Canada’s 2012 Olympic team.

Belinda, who competed Royan at the 2002 WEG and the 2004 Olympics in Athens, is the only Canadian rider so far to achieve the 70 per cent Grand Prix average but, like every contending combination has to include a result from May 1 to June 29 in their scores to clinch automatic selection to the team. She will compete at the first Ontario event next month and probably the second one before deciding on her European schedule.

The Kentucky event is the first in North America for the last phase of qualifying with three shows scheduled for Canada before the end of June deadline.

Megan and Caravella were among five combinations to be awarded $20,000 each for training and competition in Europe in their bids for a WEG team berth or to prepare for other championships such as next year’s Pan American Games. The others were Brittany Fraser and All In; Karen Pavicic and Don Daiquiri; Chris Von Martels and Zilverstar as well as Belinda and Anton.

Karen and the 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding are already in Europe and will attempt to improve on their fourth place ranking by competing in Compiègne, France CDI3*, Achleiten, Austria CDI4* and Caen, France CDI3* that is also the test event for the WEG dressage and jumping competitions, all ahead of the June 29 deadline.

Belinda Trussell and Anton. © 2014 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Belinda Trussell and Anton. © 2014 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

With results from Kentucky, Jacqueline Brooks on D Niro; Diane Creech on Devon L; Jill Irving on Degas 12 and Pop Art; Gary Vander Ploeg on Degas; Tom Dvorak on Viva La Salsa SCF and Evi Strasser on Renaissance Tyme could head into the Canadian shows next month with a shot at upsetting the rankings.

Megan’s first mount was a pony given her by a close family friend. She caught the horse bug and even spent a few weeks in Germany when she was 13 years old. Her parents built a farm so she could focus on riding. With agreement from her mother, she skipped college to pursue her dreams.

Megan and the 13-year-old Caravella have been a standout partnership this year, becoming the third ranked Canadian pair on the world standings at No. 76, climbing from 212 at the end of 2013.

When she came to Florida this year after missing the 2013 winter circuit, she had no expectations on the horse her mother bought for her in 2009 as a hunter reject and Megan rode through the junior and young rider ranks.

This year, said Megan, who has been working with the Wellington-based Israeli Oded Shimoni, she “squeezed every ounce of talent” out of Caravella and it paid off with two victories in four top three placings.

She’s clear about her goals–first, the WEG this year, the the World Cup Final in Las Vegas next April followed by the Pan American Games in Toronto in 2015, the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro “for sure.”

“I want to have it all under my belt.”