Ottawa Ont., April 14, 2015 – Canadian eventers held three of the top five spots in the CCI2* division at the Twin Rivers Spring Three-Day Event and Horse Trials, held April 9-12 in Paso Robles, Calif.

Leading the Canadians was James Atkinson, who currently lives in Ramona, Calif., aboard Nabouco De Lessay (Desir du Chateau x Nightshade), a 14-year-old Selle Francais gelding owned by Martha McDowell and Sarah Broussard-Kelly.

A strong start in dressage placed the pair in fourth place on a score of 49.8 penalties. They moved up to third place after a clear cross country performance, and reached their overall second place finish on a final score of 53.8 penalties after adding four jumping faults in the show jumping phase.

Atkinson adds this success to an impressive spring season with ‘Hugo’ that has included a top five finish at the CIC2* Galway Downs International Horse Trials in March.

Nikki Ayers from Langley, B.C. followed just behind Atkinson in third place with Andree Stow’s 11-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding, Rubicon (Rubignon x Edwin). The pair completed the dressage phase in sixth place with 54.5 penalties before moving on to cross country, where a clear performance brought them up the leaderboard to fifth. Two lowered rails for eight faults in the tricky show jumping phase brought their overall score to 62.5 for third place.

Hawley Bennett-Awad, a veteran from Aldergrove, B.C. who has represented Canada at two Olympic Games and two FEI World Equestrian Games, secured fifth place on a final score of 71.8. Her partner was Bodark, an eight-year-old Thoroughbred gelding she co-owns with Jan and Jerry Hawthorne. The highlight of the weekend for Bennett-Award and the up-and-coming Bodark was the cross country phase, where they incurred no jumping and just four time faults.

For full results on the Twin Rivers Spring Three-Day Event and Horse Trials, click here.