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Team Canada’s Paris 2024 equestrian dressage and eventing teams unveiled

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Team Canada’s Paris 2024 equestrian dressage and eventing teams unveiled

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Both the dressage and eventing teams earned their spots for Paris 2024 at the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games.



TORONTO (July 5, 2024) – Equestrian Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee have announced the roster of Team Canada equestrian dressage and eventing athletes nominated to compete at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Athletes:

Dressage

Athlete/ Hometown/ Horse/ Owner(s)/ Groom
Camille Carier Bergeron, Laval, Que., Finnländerin, Gilles Bergeron, Florence Archambault
Jill Irving, Moncton, NB, Delacroix 11, Jill Irving & Windhaven, Mary Mcgrath 
Naïma Moreira Laliberté, Outremont, Que., Statesman KML Inc., Yasmine Saunders 

 
Alternate Athlete (Travelling):
Athlete: Chris von Martels
Horse: Eclips
Owner: Lisa Kostandoff
Groom: Ida Viljanen

Eventing

Athlete/ Hometown/ Horse/ Owner(s)/ Groom
Jessica Phoenix, Cannington, Ont., Freedom GS, Charlotte Schickedanz & Thomas Nowaskey, Lisa Barry
Karl Slezak, Tottenham, Ont., Hot Bobo, Katlyn Hewson, Slezak & Karl Slezak, Amber Wavryk
Michael Winter, Toronto, Ont., El Mundo, Jonathan Nelson, Emma Winter & Michael Winter, Amy Ferris

Alternate Athlete (Travelling):
Athlete: Colleen Loach
Horse: FE Golden Eye
Owners: Peter Barry, Amanda Bernhard, & Colleen Loach
Groom: Meredith Wright

To be eligible to participate in the Paris 2024 equestrian competitions, the selected athlete-horse combinations must have achieved the Minimum Eligibility Requirements (MER) at selected events during the qualification period. The athletes each qualified for Team Canada based on their performance results during the qualification periods of Jan. 1, 2024 – June 9, 2024 (dressage) and Jan. 1, 2023 – June 16, 2024 (eventing).

Both the dressage and eventing teams earned their spots for Paris 2024 at the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games. With only two dressage team spots available, a determined group of four young Canadian female athletes secured the crucial bronze medal in Chile. In addition to winning the berth, the eventing team exceeded expectations in Santiago, clinching their qualification with a gold medal.

Tokyo 2020 alternate athlete Moreira Laliberté will make her Olympic debut at Paris 2024. After winning team gold in Lima 2019 and contributing to Team Canada’s Paris 2024 qualification in Santiago, she and her longtime partner, Statesman, competed formidably over the qualification period, posting their best scores in two years. The combination has been together since 2018 when Laliberté was 21 years old and have achieved significant success together at the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) level. In her first Olympic appearance, Moreira Laliberté is looking forward to competing with her 17-year-old Hanoverian gelding. 

“I am thrilled and honoured to be heading to Paris with Statesman,” said Moreira Laliberte. “Being the traveling reserve in Tokyo was a challenging task and it was not easy to be in that position. Although I did travel with the team and got an experience out of it, it definitely fuelled me and gave me a lot of determination to chase my dream. For me to now qualify in the number one spot has been really rewarding, after everything Statesman has done for me and we have achieved together, it makes me really proud. We are so thankful to everyone that has helped us, supported and encouraged us along our journey.”

Paris 2024 will mark the Olympic debut for 24-year-old Carier Bergeron who was part of the Santiago 2023 team who earned the Paris 2024 qualification, and for 61-year-old Irving, who competed at Lima 2019. Irving is expected to be the oldest athlete on the Canadian Olympic Team for Paris 2024.

Two-time Pan American Games eventing medallist Slezak has achieved many excellent performances over the qualification period with his Olympic partner and ‘super mare’ Hot Bobo. Starting with Canada’s first win since 1992 at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, Slezak took the top spot in the Cosequin® Lexington 4*-S in April 2023. The pair then went on to win team gold at Santiago 2023. They also came out on top in the CCI4*-S division at the MARS Bromont CCI, the final qualifying event of the season. Slezak will make his Olympic debut with Hot Bobo at Paris 2024. 

“I am overwhelmed with excitement and gratitude with our selection for the Olympics. This lifelong dream would not have been possible without the unwavering support of so many incredible people who have stood behind me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Hot Bobo and I hope to do you proud. Go Canada!”
Paris 2024 will mark Phoenix’s third Olympic appearance after having competed at London 2012 and Rio 2016. Phoenix was named to the Tokyo 2020 team, but was unable to compete because of an injury to horse Pavarotti. Winter will return to the Olympic stage for the first time since Beijing 2008. He also competed at Athens 2004.

Team Canada has previously earned one Olympic medal in each discipline, a team dressage bronze at Seoul 1988, as well as a team eventing bronze at Melbourne 1956 (when the equestrian competitions were held in Stockholm, Sweden).

“Both the dressage and eventing teams worked hard to get us here with team bronze and gold medals at the Pan American Games, and we are looking forward to the next step for them in Paris,” said James Hood, Director of High Performance at Equestrian Canada. “With a support team on the ground with significant Olympic experience amongst them, both teams will have the opportunity to perform at their best. As part of the team around the team, the owners and supporters will also be in place at Games and at home to cheer on Team Canada! We are very appreciative of all the help we have received from coaches, owners, grooms/staff and families that make this possible.”

The Château de Versailles will be host to all equestrian disciplines from July 27 to August 6 (Day 1 to 11) beginning with eventing, which will run July 27-29 followed by dressage from July 30 to August 4. 

Team Canada’s dressage and eventing teams join the jumping team that was announced on June 26

’Congratulations to Team Canada’s dressage and eventing teams nominated to compete at Paris 2024,” said Bruny Surin, Team Canada’s Paris 2024 Chef de Mission. “This sport is the embodiment of partnership and grace. With the iconic Versailles as the backdrop, I can’t wait to cheer on the teams as they create elegant performances and overcome all obstacles swiftly and with pride.”

Team Canada’s equestrian team for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games also includes the following :

Emily Gilbert (Toronto, ON) – Team Manager, Eventing
James Hood (Edmonton, Alta.) – Team Leader
Rebecca Howard (Marlborough, UK)  – Chef D’Equipe, Eventing
Antonio Inghilleri (Palermo, ITA) – Equine Physiotherapist, Eventing
Emily Jantzi  (Guelph, Ont.) – Veterinarian, Dressage & Eventing
Alan Manning (Orton, Ont.) – Veterinarian, Dressage & Eventing
Melanie McLearon (Orillia, Ont.) – Media Attaché
Christine Peters (Ottawa, Ont.) – Team Manager, Dressage
Andy Vergut (Chelmsford, ON) – Farrier, Eventing

Prior to being named to Team Canada, all nominations are subject to approval by the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Team Selection Committee following its receipt of nominations by all National Sport Organizations.

The latest Team Canada Paris 2024 roster can be found here.

Source: Canadian Olympic Committee

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