Canada nominates Pan Am Games equestrian team
All 3 disciplines offer chance to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
Equestrian Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee have announced the 12 athletes nominated to compete in three equestrian disciplines at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games in Peru.
The equestrian teams — dressage, team, and eventing — are made up of a combination of veterans and those making their major games debut. Five athletes have previous experience representing Canada on the world stage, while seven are attending their first senior multi-sport games.
Canadian jumping team athlete, Nicole Walker, 25, of Aurora, Ont. is among the athletes experiencing the Pan Am Games for the first time.
"I feel honoured to compete for Canada in the upcoming Pan American Games in Lima. Wearing the red jacket brings added pressure, but it is an incredible feeling to have a whole nation behind you," Walker, who is the reigning Canadian show jumping champion, said in a release. "This will be my first major games. I am riding alongside an experienced team and my horse, Falco van Spieveld, has been in super form. Together I think we can pull off a great result for Canada."
Walker will be joined on the jumping team by veterans Mario Deslauriers, 54, of Bromont, Que., and Lisa Carlsen, 54, of Okotoks, Alta. Deslauriers and Carlsen were teammates at the Seoul 1988 Olympic Games and Deslauriers also has the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games under his belt. Rounding out the jumping team is Erynn Ballard, 38, of Tottenham, Ont., who made her senior championship debut at WEG 2018 in Tryon, North Carolina
The 2019 Lima Pan American Games will prove especially meaningful for the Canadian Equestrian Team by providing the opportunity for all three disciplines to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan.
"It is an incredible moment for any athlete, in any sport, to be named to the national team for a major games," said Jon Garner, EC Director of Sport. "The hours spent honing their craft to get to this point are likely immeasurable, and for the most part started as a child on a pony. The athletes selected to represent Canada at the upcoming Lima 2019 Pan American Games have done everything asked of them and more to get this far. This is step one."
"Though the CET has a different makeup for the first time in a long time, I have the utmost confidence in this group to achieve the goal of qualifying for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo," Garner continued. "It will require single-minded focus from athletes and support teams alike, and I have no doubt that these teams will produce podium performances in Peru."
The full list of Canadian equestrian athletes nominated for Lima is as follows:
- Jill Irving (Moncton, N.B.) – Horse: Degas 12; Owner: Jill Irving & Windhaven Farm
- Tina Irwin (Stouffville, Ont.) – Horse: Laurencio; Owner: Tina & Jaimey Irwin
- Lindsay Kellock (Toronto) – Horse: Floratina; Owner: Chloe Gasiorowski
- Naima Moreira Laliberté (Outremont, Que.) – Horse: Statesman; Owner: KML S.à r.l.
Reserve: Megan Lane (Loretto, Ont.) – Horse: Zodiac MW; Owner: Deer Ridge Equestrian
Reserve: Belinda Trussell (Stouffville, Ont.) – Horse: Carlucci; Owner: Barbara Holden Sinclair
- Dana Cooke (Merritt, B.C.) – Horse: Mississippi; Owner: FE Mississippi Syndicate LLC
- Colleen Loach (Dunham, Que.) – Horse: FE Golden Eye; Owner: Amanda Bernhard
- Jessica Phoenix (Cannington, Ont.) – Horse: Pavarotti; Owner: Jessica Phoenix
- Karl Slezak (Tottenham, Ont.) – Horse: Fernhill Wishes; Owner: Kirk Hoppner & Karl Slezak
- Reserve: Waylon Roberts (Port Perry, Ont.) – Horse: Lancaster; Owner: Michelle & John Koppin
- Reserve: Hawley Bennett-Awad (Aldergrove, B.C.) – Horse: Jollybo; Owner: Hawley Bennett-Awad & Jollybo Syndicate LLC
- Reserve: Holly Jacks-Smither (Hillsburgh, Ont.) – Horse: Candy King; Owner: Holly Jacks-Smither
- Reserve: Lesley Grant-Law (Toronto) – Horse: Lady Chatterley; Owner: Lesley Grant-Law, Jackie Brown & Steve Brown
- Erynn Ballard (Tottenham, Ont.) – Horse: Fellini S; Owner: Ilan Ferder
- Lisa Carlsen (Okotoks, Alta.) – Horse: Parette; Owner: Lisa Carlsen
- Mario Deslauriers (Bromont, Que.) – Horse: Bardolina 2; Owner: Wishing Well Farm LLC; Horse: Amsterdam 27; Owner: LUJA LLC & Wishing Well Farm LLC
- Nicole Walker (Aurora, Ont.) – Horse: Falco van Spieveld; Owner: Nicole Walker
- Reserve: Beth Underhill (Schomberg, Ont.) – Horse: Count Me In; Owner: Sandy Lupton