Canada’s Pan American Games Dressage Team Announced

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Naima Moreira-Laliberté and Statesman. © 2019 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

OTTAWA, Ontario, June 19, 2019–Canada announced Wednesday its Pan American Games dressage team of four riders and horses–two Small Tour and two Grand Prix–that will seek to earn a start at the Olympics in Tokyo next year. Naima Moreira Laliberté, at 22 years of age, will compete Statesman as the youngest rider on the Canadian dressage, eventing and jumping teams.

The team announced by Equestrian Canada for the Pan Ams in Lima, Peru at the end of July is:

Prix St. Georges/Intermediate 1

Tina Irwin, 38, of Stouffville, Ontario and Laurencio, 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Laurentio x Donnerhall) owned by Tina and Jaimey Irwin

Lindsay Kellock, 29, of Toronto, Ontario and Floratina, 11-year-old Hanoverian mare (Fidertanz x Rubin-Royal) owned by Chloe Gasiorowski

Grand Prix

Naima Moreira Laliberté, 22, of Outremont, Quebec and Statesman, 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Sandro Hit owned by KML S.à r.l. .

Jill Irving, 56, of Moncton, New Brunswick and Degas, 17-year-old Hanoverian gelding (De Niro x Regazzoni) owned by Jill Irving’s Windhaven Farm

Reserves are: Megan Lane of Loretto, Ontario on Zodiac MW and Belinda Trussell of Stouffville, Ontario on Carlucci

Jill Irving and Degas. © 2019 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

The team is a mix of experience and first time championship competition outside North America.

Tina, born in Germany, was on the 2011 Pan Am Games silver medal team. On Laurencio, the 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding she owns with her husband, Jaimey, she was highly successful at Small Tour including leading Canada to CDIO3* Nations Cup team gold in Wellington, Florida in 2017 as well as taking individual gold.

The pair moved to Grand Prix in 2018, but dropped back to Small Tour this year to help boost Canada’s chances at the Pan Ams.

Tina Irwin and Laurencio. File photo © 2019 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Lindsay Kellock has competed in CDIs on eight different horses since starting at Grand Prix more than seven years ago, all within North America.  She and Floratina placed second in the Intermediate 1 that helped Canada win Nations Cup silver in Wellington in March.

Naima began competing Statesman in the Under-25 division in Europe a year ago after the horse was acquired from Jordi Domingo Coll who rode the gelding for Spain at the 2017 European Championships.

Naima has an outstanding youth rider resume for Canada whose record includes medal winning petrformances at North American Youth Championships as a junior in 2012 and 2013 and young rider in 2014 and 2015. In the Pan Am qualifying period in 2019, Naima and Statesman logged three wins and three second places.

Jill Irving has competed the 17-year-old Hanoverian gelding at Big Tour for more than six years and on both sides of the Atlantic.

The duo, the highest ranked Canadian combination in the world at No. 73, was on Canada’s team at last year’s Tryon World Games and rode on Nations Cup teams in Wellington in 2015, 2017 and 2018.

Lindsay Kellock and Floratina competing in Florida. © 2019 SusanJStickle.com

Three of the four riders–Lindsay Kellock, Naima Moreira Laliberté and Jill Irving–are coached by Ashley Holzer, who competed at four Olympics for Canada, but now rides for the United States. She is currently in Europe to compete this week on Havanna in the Nations Cup in the Netherlands.

The two top teams, not including the United States, will earn a start at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as long as at least one Grand Prix combination is on the competition squad. The USA’s silver medal performance at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon last fall earned a Tokyo berth.

Canada will also be looking to earn team gold to end a string of five straight Pan Am victories by the U.S. and to add to the three Canada has won along with five silver and two bronze medals since the Pan Ams were launched in 1951.

Canada has also won five individual golds, including a record three by Christilot Boylen, a six-time Olympian for Canada, as well as three silver and two bronzes.

Of four teams of mixed Big and Small Tour combinations, Mexico has announced its lineup that includes two Grand Prix pairs that will each receive a bonus of 1.5% in both the Grand Prix and the Special that will decide the team competition. Brazil will announce its team next week, as will the United States.