Pan American Games Gold Medal Rider Tina Irwin Named Canada Equestrian of Year, Her Equine Partner Laurencio is Horse of Year

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Tina Irwin and Laurencio leading Canada to Pan American Games gold and 2020 Tokyo Olympic berth. © Cealy Tetley/www.tetleyphoto.com

April 14, 2020

Tina Irwin has been named Canadian Equestrian of the Year for 2019 and her Pan American Games gold medal mount Laurencio the Horse of the Year.

The 39-year-old Tina and Laurencio led Canada’s team at the Lima, Peru Games of mixed Big and Small Tour combinations to the nation’s first Pan Am gold in 28 years and earn the nation a start at the Tokyo Olympics.

The German-born rider was cited by Equestrian Canada for achieving “extraordinary competition results within the current award year, while acting as an exceptional role model and demonstrating true sportsmanship and dedication to the vision and mission of EC.”

With Laurencio, an Oldenburg gelding now 13 years old, Tina notched nine straight victories at Small Tour in 2016 and followed up in 2017 with a string of five wins at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida including a sweep of the CDIO3* Nations Cup three Small Tour competitions.

Laurencio was moved to Grand Prix in 2018 but in an effort to qualify Canada for a team start at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics was dropped back to Small Tour for the Lima Pan Ams. The move was successful as Tina and Laurencio led Canada to team gold and also captured individual silver behind America’s Sarah Lockman and First Apple.

A month later, Julie Barrett, a working student for Tina and her husband, Jaimey, was on the North American Youth Championships Junior Rider team that took silver.

Laurencio (Laurentio x Donnerhall) was sold earlier this year by the Irwins.

Christilot Boylen, a six-time Olympian for Canada, received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Christilot was the youngest-ever Olympic dressage rider at the age of 17 when she competed in her first Games, at Tokyo in 1964.

At Pan Ams, she earned individual gold medals in 1971, 1975 and 1985.

 She celebrated her 73rd birthday two days ago,

Canadian Bred Horse of the Year award went to Ladybug, a Hanoverian mare (Lapallo x Anforan xx) bred by John Kmita Ltd. ridden Kiara Williams-Brown on Ladybug, now 18 years old, competed as a junior to earn team bronze at the 2018  North American Youth Championships among other achievements.