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Canadian Olympic Campaign Rollercoaster: Showjumping Edition


Today, to round out our Canadian Olympic Equestrian Team coverage, we will discuss the Canadian Showjumping team who will be vying for a medal in Rio this summer. While there's been plenty of public discontent over the situation with Dressage and Eventing , things have been very quiet on the Jumping front. 

This could be attributed to the fact that while their criteria is also on an exclusive need-to-know basis limited to "high performance riders upon request", Jump has always had a very high level of subjectivity and included certain competitions which acted as observation opportunities in the past.  It would stand to reason that the same approach is likely being used to identify the 2016 Rio Olympic team. And it's interesting to note that unlike Dressage and Eventing, who we understand have both had their high performance committee of experts dissolved by Equine Canada, Jump's various committees have remained untouched.

As has been reported by Horse-Canada.com and the Calgary Herald , it looks like Canada will be represented by: 

Yann Candele - First Choice 15 or Showgirl
Tiffany Foster - Tripple X III or Victor
Eric Lamaze - Fine Lady 5

(see below for who we believe will be named as the complete team!)

Who will be the Fourth Team Member?

In a previous article, we speculated that the fourth team rider would either be Kara Chad or Ben Asselin. Both have enjoyed great success in 2016, although our money was going towards Kara Chad given that she took part in the Rome CSIO5* the other month with teammates Lamaze, Foster & Candele. Chad is also enjoying a fantastic 2016 season at Spruce Meadows and is entered for CHIO Aachen whereas Asselin is notably absent from the competitors list. 

Where's Ian Millar?

Ian Millar was a strong favourite to take part in a record 11th Olympic Games, but unfortunately his top mount Dixson became sidelined after needing to undergo nasal surgery earlier this year. Although the surgery was a complete success and Dixson is back into a fitness program, the timing was such that it meant he would miss out on these Olympic Games.

Watch an interview with Ian

Aachen CHIO the deciding factor?

It looks like this "mini-WEG" venue may be where Canada's Showjumping team will be finalized. This very prestigious FEI competition runs July 8 - 17th, with jumping getting underway as of July 12th.

The list of competitors is a "Who's Who" of the international showjumping world, where you can find many names of those who have already been named to their respective country's Olympic team. 

Canada will be sending: 

Yann Candele  - First Choice 15 & Showgirl
Kara Chad - Bellinda
Tiffany Foster - Tripple X III & Victor
Eric Lamaze - Chacco Kid & Fine Lady 5
Amy Millar - Heros

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, we're feeling pretty confident that this means the above is your Canadian Olympic Showjumping team, with Amy Millar & Heros likely being named as the Reserve. 

The already-named US Olympic Showjumping team appears to be using Aachen as a pre-Rio warm-up as their team members will all be out in full force: 

Lucy Davis
Kent Farrington
Beezie Madden
McLain Ward
Laura Kraut


Eric's Dream Team

Should Kara be named to the Canadian Olympic Showjumping team, it will mean that the entire team is comprised of Eric Lamaze and his students (current & former) - a unique achievement! And it should result in a team that can gel very quickly together in terms of team spirit. 


July 14th

As you know from our previous editorials, this is the date that Equine Canada is announcing all members of the Canadian Equestrian Team. Not only will this be several weeks after most countries have already announced their Olympic team members, but Equine Canada is taking the unusual approach of diluting that message by wrapping it up in what appears to be their "main event" announcement of their new branding and website projects. 

One can only guess why Equine Canada feels their Canadian Olympic Equestrian team deserves third billing as opposed to having an exclusive event announcing the team as so many other sports have done. [The Countdown is on to July 14 ]

Public Not Invited?

Even more curious is that Equine Canada is only promoting these announcements as a "Facebook Live" event - ie. you can only watch via Facebook's livestreaming feature. 

We assumed that this was because the announcement was being made at Equine Canada's office, which understandably has a limited capacity for visitors. 

But in reality, we have heard through the grapevine that the announcement is being made during the Ottawa National Horse Show being held at Wesley Clover Parks

If that is indeed the case, we have trouble understanding why Equine Canada would purposely miss an excellent opportunity to invite the equestrian community to celebrate our athletes who are heading to the Rio Olympics. 



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