Canada’s Pan Am Games Dressage Team Ready for Training Camp

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OTTAWA, Ontario, Sept. 24–Canada’s dressage team of two veterans and two rookies goes into training camp Sunday to prepare for the Pan American Games starting in three weeks where they have to win a medal to qualify a team for the Olympics in London next year.

The team comprises Diane Creech, 48, and Robbie W, Tom Dvorak, 46, and Viva’s Salieri W, Tina Irwin, 30, and Winston and Crystal Kroetch, 54, and Lymrix. Diane and Tom were on Canada’s 2007 Pan Am team that won team silver at the championships that are held once every four years at Prix St. Georges/Intermediaire level as a team qualifier for the Olympics.

Canada must win one of the two places remaining for teams from the Americas to qualify for London. The U.S. qualified an Olympic team at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky last year and at these Games is fielding perhaps the strongest team ever.

The Canadian and U.S. teams will fly together to Guadalajara, Mexico, on Oct. 11 to be ready for the start of dressage competition at the Guadalajara Country Club on Sunday, Oct. 16. Team medals will be decided on Monday, Oct. 17 and individual medals on Wednesday, Oct. 19.

Dressage-news.com will be in Guadalajara to provide complete coverage of the Pan Ams.

–Diane Creech is from Caistor Centre, Ontario, and will ride Robbie W, an eight-year-old gray Oldenburg gelding, (Rubin Royal x Rolling Home), owned by her long time sponsor, Douglas Leatherdale.

–Tom Dvorak is from Hillsburgh, Ontario and will ride Viva’s Salieri W, a 10-year-old chestnut Hanoverian stallion (Viva Voltaire x Salinja) owned by Augustin Walch and Christine Eppinger. Tom also qualified Corrigan, an 11-year-old Westphalen gelding (Cordobes I x Galaxy x Grosso Z), owned by Karen Thompson-Harry. Tom will ride Corrigan if Viva’s Salieri W is unable to compete.

–Tina Irwin from Stouffville, Ontario is new to the Canadian team and will ride Winston, a 14-year-old bay Dutch Warmblood gelding (Whinny Jackson x Bianca x Onyx) and owned by Mary Ellen Horgan.

–Crystal Kroetch is from Calgary, Alberta, and is also new to the Canadian team. She will ride Lymrix, her 10-year-old bay Hanoverian gelding (Loerke x EM Felicitous x ES Wertherson).

Team alternate is Roberta Byng-Morris, 48, of Godmanchester, Quebec, and Reiki Tyme, a 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Royal Diamond x Winette x Warkant) and will also attend training camp.

The status of Robbie W was uncertain for a while as the horse suffered a minor injury at the last selection trial and could not finish the competition. But the gelding passed veterinary inspection and Diane and Robbie were named to the team.

Training camp is at Horses and Hounds Stable in Gardiner, New York. The 100-acre (40Ha) facility in the Hudson River Valley has both indoor and outdoor arenas.

Riders can bring their own coaches to training camp to work with Markus Gribbe of Germany who was appointed Technical Leader earlier this year.