Ashley Holzer, 4-Time Olympian for Canada, Approved To Ride for USA

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Ashley Holzer riding Sir Carmello in the Grand Prix debut for one of three American-owned horses the four-time Olympian for Canada will seek to ride for the United States at the 2018 World Games in Tryon, North Carolina. © 2017 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Mar. 26, 2017

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

Ashley Holzer, the four-time Olympian for Canada, has been approved to compete for the United States.

The 53-year-old Ashley, whose husband, Rusty, and their two children, Emma and Harry, are Americans, became a citizen of the United States a year ago but held off making what she described as an “emotional decision” to switch which flag to ride under.

“I got the OK from the FEI!!!!” Ashley texted dressage-news.com after she learned of the approval by the International Equestrian Federation. The change to USA from Canada has already been made in the FEI database.

With three horses owned by Americans and being prepared for Big Tour, Ashley decided to begin campaigning to make the United States team for the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina Sept. 10-23,  2018.

Ashley epitomizes the highest standards of international competition and coaching, and is highly admired and respected in Europe as well as North America.

She lives in New York City and Wellington. She became a U.S. citizen in February, 2016 but with dual citizenship held off making the change until now.

This year was most advantageous to make the change with only the annual World Cup Finals as championships until the Tryon WEG.

Ashley Holzer on Breaking Dawn at the Olympics in London in 2012, the fourth Games in which she competed for Canada. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Ashley was on Canada’s bronze medal team at the 1988 Seoul Olympics and represented her homeland in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, the 2008 Beijing Games and the 2012 Olympics in London.

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 as well as 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.

Among the horses she competed at the top of the sport were Imperioso, Gambol, Pop Art and Breaking Dawn that became virtual rock stars that helped fill stadiums when competed by Ashley at premier shows in Canada and America.

In addition to being a multi-Olympian, Ashley is much sought after as a trainer in both Canada and the United States. Among those who work with her are Chris von Martels and Brittany Fraser, team mates on Canada’s 2015 Pan Am silver medal squad.

The same month Ashley became an American citizen in 2016, Lars Petersen who rode for Denmark at Olympics, World Games and World Cups, also became an American.

He put off making a decision on whether to ride for the United States until after the retirement of the Danish Warmblood mare, Mariett, which occurred in February this year.

Lars is a long-time resident of the United States, based in Florida.