Roberta Sheffield Moves on to Freestyle Competition

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(ISN) – Normandy, FRA, August, 28, 2014 — Canada’s Roberta Sheffield earned a sixth place finish in the Grade III Individual Championship Test during the third day of para-dressage competition on Wednesday, August 27, at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy, FRA.

Riding Evelyn Little’s eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, Bindro T, at the para-dressage venue at La Prairie Racecourse, Sheffield, who resides in Bourne, Lincolnshire, UK, moved up two spots from their Team Test to finish in sixth place following the Individual Championship Test. With a score of 68.756%, Sheffield and Bindro T handily move on to the exciting Freestyle test on the final day of para-dressage competition Friday, August 29.

“Today was really good and I had a fantastic ride,” said Sheffield, who is representing Canada for the first time at a major games. “Bindro T was wonderful, I had a much easier and more experienced horse to ride today than I did on Monday. I feel that he has really grown from the experience.”

“I’m so pleased that we got through to the Freestyle. I have made it to every Freestyle at every international show that I have ever done, so I was really battling to make it in to this one.”

Ashley Gowanlock of Surrey, BC, rode Ferdonia 2, Lauren Barwick’s 15-year-old Oldenburg mare, to a score of 68.034% for 11th place out of 25 riders in the Grade Ib Team Test.

“Today was absolutely amazing. The first day, for my Team Test, was frustrating because I have not had very much international experience with Ferdonia, and we were tense and did not get the movement marks that we wanted,” said Gowanlock, who was a member of the Canadian Team at the 2010 World Equestrian Games and the 2008 and 2012 Paralympics. “Today, I rode, had fun and pushed the boundaries to the limit. I wanted to be proud of my test.”

“I want to say a huge thank you to my friend and teammate, Lauren Barwick. She found Collegiate Sweet Leilani for me to ride earlier in the season, she is the owner of Ferdonia and she has encouraged me and always been there for me,” remarked Gowanlock.

August 28 will be the second day of the Individual Championship competition. Canada’s other team members, Lauren Barwick of Langley, BC, who was third in the Grade II Team Test on August 26, will ride Equine Canada’s 13-year-old Oldenburg mare, Off to Paris. Robyn Andrews of St Johns, NL, will ride her horse, Fancianna, a 13-year-old Friesian Andalusian cross in the Grade Ia Individual Championship test.

The last day of team competition, the Individual Championship Tests for Grades IV, II and Ia, will take place on August 28. The scores from the Team and Individual Championship tests will be combined to determine the overall team results and medals. Medals are also awarded for the Individual Championship Test.

The competition wraps up with the Freestyle Tests for all Grades, taking place on August 29.

Leading the Canadian Para-Equestrian Team at the Games is Amie O’Shaughnessy, Director of Para-Equestrian; Mary Longden, team coach; Andrea Taylor, team coach; and Elizabeth Quigg, chef d’équipe. The full team complement also includes Kerry-Anne Bourne, Lauren Massey and Emma Hale as grooms; Diana Andrews, Laura Dixon and Justine Bowers as athlete support; Sue McTavish as coach/groom; Caroline Archambault as RMT; and Anna Johnson, Para-Equestrian Coordinator.

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