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Canadian Contingent at Wellpride AEC
Raeford, NC, USA
by Amber Heintzberger

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Kyle Carter (CAN) on Madison Park
Over 540 entries and more than 520 starters competed at the Wellpride AEC in Raeford, NC September 20-24, 2006. Five of those competitors represented Canada, with Canadians - most of them based in the US -  represented at Training through Intermediate level.

Mike Winter who is based in Newnan, Georgia probably had the best and worst luck of any competitor this weekend. With Wonderful Will, owned by Sher Schwartz, Winter moved up from fifteenth place after dressage to sixth place after cross-country. They were the only pair to perform a double-clear round on the challenging course designed by John Williams. With one rail down they still moved up to fifth place overall following show jumping, just behind fellow Canadian Kyle Carter on Madison Park in fourth.

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Mike Winter (CAN) Wonderful Will
Both the Intermediate and Advanced courses were challenging, and the Duck Pond was by far the most influential fence on course, causing the fall of Maura Teal's horse DeCordova and the end of the road for several other competitors, though problems did occur elsewhere -the corner at 13b aalso caught a number of horses out, for one. The time was exceeding tight, and Winter and Wonderful Will were the only combination to finish within the optimum time.

Winter also placed eleventh in the advanced division riding Kingpin. Things looked promising for Winter after a fourth place finish in dressage but his hopes were dashed on cross-country when midway around the track Kingpin ran Winter into the edge of a corner and ripped the stirrup and leather completely off. Winter proceeded to finish the course without his right hand stirrup, taking a couple long routes and finishing last in the division, but earning lots of points for determination!

Kyle Carter, based in Ocala, Florida rode two horses at the Wellpride AEC. Gibson's bid for an Intermediate placing came to an early end when he refused twice at the influential vertical with a drop landing into the Duck Pond and Carter decided to retire from the course. Carter showed his professionalism when he came back later in the day to ride a clear round with 7.6 time penalties on Madison Park.

Nicole Shinton, who divides her time between Stouffville, ON and Ocala, FL was the only Canadian who actually drove down from Canada for the championships. She and The Grey Pony took fifteenth place in the Preliminary Horse DeBroke Championship, and on Rose Tremiere she finished 21st out of 35 horses in the Training Horse championship. Shinton was also entered in Open Training on Internet but retired from the competition.


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