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Canadian Eventers Compete Against the Rest of the World in UK Tour
Ottawa, ON, Canada
Waylon Roberts and Myrddin's Sebastian
Canadian eventers recently completed a successful competition tour in England in September. Competitions included CCI 3* Blenheim International Three Day Event in Woodstock, Oxon, September 10th - 13th, and at the CCI 4* Land Rover Burghley Three Day Event in Stamford, Lincolnshire, September 3rd - 6th.

The top Canadian in the CCI 3* Blenheim Three Day Event was Jessica Phoenix, 25, of Cannington, ON, and her 11-year-old Canadian Thoroughbred gelding, Exponential. Out of extremely high caliber field of 80 starters, Exponential and Phoenix placed 24th on a score of 54.4 dressage penalty points plus 17.2 cross country time penalties, over a course which saw only six riders jump clear within the time, and an eight penalty jumping round.

Waylon Roberts, 20, of Port Perry, ON, and Myrddin's Sebastian, his nine-year-old Canadian Sport Horse gelding, finished in 32nd place overall. The pair sat in 67th place on a dressage score of 65.6 penalties but moved up the leader board by adding only 20.8 cross country time penalties to complete the competition with a score of 86.4.

Jessica Hampf of London, ON, who currently resides in Auburn Alabama riding High Society II, her 13-year-old Australian Thoroughbred gelding finished in 37th place on a score of 96.8 which featured another Canadian cross country round with no jumping penalties.

Phoenix and her second horse Exploring, her 12-year-old American Thoroughbred gelding rounded out the Canadian entries finishing in 40th spot.

Earlier in September at the prestigious CCI 4* Land Rover Burghley Three Day Event Diana Burnett of Blackstock, ON, and Manny, nine-year-old bay Thoroughbred cross gelding owned by Burnett and John & Nadia Lennox, finished in 48th place out of start list of 81 entries. Also competing at Burghley was Olympic team member Kyle Carter who currently resides in Reddick, FL, and Madison Park, an 11-year-old American thoroughbred gelding. After a best ever dressage on a best ever score of 58.3 the pair experienced an uncharacteristic mishap towards the end of the cross country course and were unable to complete the competition.
Jessica Phoenix and Exploring
"The experience that all of our riders enjoyed in England was invaluable. The opportunity to have a great base camp at David and Jacky Green's to work from as well, the concentrated time with International Technical Advisor David O'Connor showed in the results of many," said chef d'equipe of the Canadian Eventing Team, Graeme Thom. "Dr. Ober, our team veterinarian's attendance gave the veterinary help and assurance necessary for the riders to be able to concentrate on their competitive riding. I would also like to recognize the excellent work by our riders' grooms who performed in a very professional manner and likewise benefitted from the experience. We are very thankful and appreciative of the support from the Own the Podium program that contributed to making this happen. As well, our riders and owners made huge investments in this trip and it shows the ever increasing commitment towards building a more internationally competitive program. This was a close to a team trip as we could design and thus will be of great benefit to all who participated."

"As we expected, this endeavour was a great experience. While the results were positive, there is clearly a need to keep chipping away with international exposure and experience," added International Technical Advisor, David O'Connor. "There were phases of the competitions that earned personal bests for our riders, which is to say the least, encouraging. The few instances where the results fell short were offset by an obvious strong effort by the riders involved to be competitive. I was very pleased with how all of our riders adapted to their surroundings from the point of view of travel, training and venues with close to one hundred thousand spectators; to say nothing of competing head to head with the best in the world. We must continue to strive to include this type of exposure on annual basis. The Gold medalists in our sport have all gained experience from European competitions. I am very appreciative of all who made this trip happen and am already looking forward to our next one."

The UK tour was made possible through Sport Canada and the Own the Podium program, a national sport technical initiative designed to help Canada's summer and winter athletes achieve podium success.

The Canadian Eventing Team would also like to recognize sponsors Merial Canada Inc. and SnugrugZ for their support of this tour.

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