|September 26, 2011 — Monica Houweling of Delta, BC has been named the Dressage Canada Red Scarf Equestrian Athlete of the Month for August. During her third consecutive appearance at the FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships, held July 27–31, 2011, at the Kentucky Horse Park, in Lexington, KY, Houweling earned scores that kept her at the top of the leaderboard.|
| Head of the nominating committee, Angela Booth Malleau, explained that while Houweling’s achievements took place at the end of July, the committee felt compelled to award this to her for August: “We cannot undervalue the achievements of our junior and young riders for the sake of a few days. They are the future of Canadian dressage, and we need to encourage and celebrate them.”
Houweling, 18, kicked off the competition on July 27 by scoring 65.054% in the Junior Team test riding Stentano, the 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding she co-owns with her mother, Linda Houweling.
On Thursday, July 28, Houweling and Stentano won a bronze medal with their score of 66.605 in the individual Test. On the last day of competition in the Freestyle, the pair continued to top their previous day’s performance and earned 67.700% for a silver medal finish.
“We had record breaking temperatures and severe humidity to acclimatize to in such a short time and Stentano struggled with that especially in our team test so we had to really keep a close eye on him over the remainder of the show especially in our warm up,” said Houweling, who has been riding Stentano for five years. “But then not only was it the heat that we had to face but then a thunderstorm that interrupted our freestyle so that was probably one of the most stressful experiences of my competition career thus far. I still don’t know how to quite describe the feeling of signaling for my music to start and then being told to dismount right then and there in the ring and to return back to the barn.”
“I feel so honoured to be chosen as the Red Scarf Equestrian Athlete of the month for August. I have always dreamed of this but I never knew it would actually come true, so I just want to thank Red Scarf Equestrian so much for supporting riders and especially believing in the youth of the sport.”
The Dressage Canada Red Scarf Equestrian Athlete of the Month is a recognition program that celebrates the achievements of Canadian dressage riders who represent Canada in national and international competition in the FEI Pony, Children, Junior, Young Rider, Advanced, Grand Prix and Young Horse classes.
As the generous sponsor of this award, Red Scarf Equestrian will be providing Houweling with a generous gift certificate that can be used towards the purchase of elegant equestrian luggage, travel bags and accessories that are all made in Canada. For more information about Red Scarf Equestrian, please visit www.RedScarfEquestrian.ca.