By Equestrian Canada

Equestrian Canada and the Canadian Paralympic Committee are proud to announce the four athletes nominated to represent Team Canada in para-dressage at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games this coming September. 

Para-dressage is one of Canada’s most successful international equestrian disciplines, and many of the athletes nominated for Rio have a long and accomplished competition record. Since equestrian sport was introduced to the Paralympic Games program in 1996, Canada has earned a total of five individual medals, including gold and silver at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games by Lauren Barwick.

“Congratulations to our para-equestrian nominees,” says Chef de Mission Chantal Petitclerc. “It’s exciting to see the four accomplished athletes who have been nominated this year. It really shows that Equestrian Canada has put in a lot of work in preparing riders to be competitive at the Games.” 

The athletes nominated to the Canadian Para-Dressage Team are as follows:

Athlete – Hometown - Horse 

  • Robyn Andrews - St. John’s, NL - Fancianna
  • Lauren Barwick - Langley, BC - Onyx 
  • Ashley Gowanlock - Surrey, BC - Di Scansano 
  • Roberta Sheffield - Lincolnshire, UK - Double Agent  
  • The nominated athletes will be supported by team coach Andrea Taylor of Surrey, BC. 

“I’m really excited about the para-dressage athletes who will be representing Canada at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games,” says Taylor. “They have all worked extremely hard to earn a spot on the team. Everyone sees them at their competitions on the stepping stones toward a successful result in Rio, but they don’t see them putting in all of the many hours, both on and off the horses at home. Between competitions, they focus on bringing together what works best for them and their horse – mentally, physically, and strategically – resulting in the most tried and true path to the podium. I wish them all the best in Rio.”  

The Rio 2016 Paralympic Games are set for September 7 to 18, 2016. Para-dressage gets underway September 11 and runs through to September 16. 

Equestrian Canada Para-Dressage Team Rio 2016 Paralympic Games Canadian Paralympic Committee Lauren Barwick Robyn Andrews Ashley Gowanlock Roberta Sheffield

Robyn Andrews and Fancianna - Photo: Astrid Bless

Equestrian Canada Para-Dressage Team Rio 2016 Paralympic Games Canadian Paralympic Committee Lauren Barwick Robyn Andrews Ashley Gowanlock Roberta Sheffield

Ashley Gowanlock and Ferdonia II - Photo: Kevin Sparrow Photography 

Equestrian Canada Para-Dressage Team Rio 2016 Paralympic Games Canadian Paralympic Committee Lauren Barwick Robyn Andrews Ashley Gowanlock Roberta Sheffield

Roberta Sheffield & Double Agent - Photo: Petit Phil Photo

“On behalf of the Government of Canada, congratulations to the equestrian athletes and coaches who will wear the Maple Leaf and represent all Canadians in Rio,” says the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities. “As you fine tune your preparations over the next few months, know that you have the strength of Team Canada, 35 million strong, behind you.” 

“I will wear the Canadian maple leaf at my fourth Paralympic Games with the utmost pride,” says Barwick, who has won more medals at major games than any other Canadian rider to date and was inducted to the Canadian Disability Hall of Fame in 2015. “Earning a spot on the team has been a journey with many miles, and an unbelievable support system. When I ride down the centre line, I will not only be representing my country, but will be riding for the horse owners, grooms, sponsors, federations, friends and family. I’m excited to work together with my teammates to inspire and motivate Canadians to achieve personal excellence.”

Main Photo: Lauren Barwick from Langley, BC will be attending her fourth Paralympic Games in Rio, having previously achieved exceptional results, including individual gold and silver medals from the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games. Photo: Shannon Brinkman

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