Canadian Riders’ Olympic Quests Heat Up With Qualifying CDIs in California & Florida

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Belinda Trussell on Anton at the Pan American Games qualifying Canada for an individual start at the 2016 Olympics. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Belinda Trussell on Anton at the Pan American Games qualifying Canada for an individual start at the 2016 Olympics. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Jan. 25, 2016

Canadian riders and their horses competing for individual starts at the summer Olympic Games are in the lineups of the World Cup events in California and Florida this week.

Leah Wilson Wilkins on Fabian JS, the leading Canadian after the 2016 first CDI3 or higher that was the World Cup event at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival two weeks ago, is scheduled to compete in Wellington, Florida again this week. Leah, seven months pregnant, placed third in the Grand Prix and first in the Grand Prix Special, both scores that could count toward qualifying for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Belinda Trussell on Anton, the 2010 and 2014 World Games pair that won an individual slot for Canada as the nation’s top finishing duo at the Pan American Games, are scheduled to compete in Wellington for the first time this year.

Brittany Fraser on All In, on the Pan Am silver medal team at Small Tour, are also in the lineup for Florida along with the 2012 Olympic and 2013 World Cup Final pair of Jacqueline Brooks and D Niro, 2014 World Games combinations of Megan Lane on Caravella and Karen Pavicic on Don Daiquiri and Evi Strasser on Renaissance Tyme and Jill Irving on Degas.

Wendy Christoff on Treffer and Joni Lynn Peters on Travolta are on the start list at the World Cup event at Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank.

Equine Canada has maintained secrecy about the country’s Olympic selection criteria as well as riders declared for the Games in August and their standings.

However, dressage-news.com has been informed though it cannot confirm officially, that the average of the best four Grand Prix scores at CDI3* events or higher, but that could include a Grand Prix Special result, will count from the beginning of 2016 into July.

Canada has one confirmed individual slot so far, that awarded to Belinda Trussell and Anton at the Pan Ams, and is almost certain to earn a second individual position through the standings in the North American Olympic group.

The country needs a minimum of three combinations to qualify a team and the only chance of doing that is capturing one of the top six spots in the world rankings up to Mar. 6. Canada does not have a pair in the top six as of the end of 2015, the latest rankings.