Karen Soupcoff To Support Evi Strasser as Competition Rider
Canadian dressage horse owner Karen Soupcoff will be supporting Canadian Olympian Evi Strasser in pursuit of her international dressage career as a competition rider. Soupcoff was proclaimed Dressage Canada Owner of the Year 2003 and has been a major influence in the lives of many talented Canadian dressage riders.
"Evi attracted me with her incredible energy, great sense of humour, enormous knowledge and experience and her commitment to her students and friends," Soupcoff said. "There is nobody who cares more for you or is more fun to be with than Evi. "
Soupcoff has been Strasser's maecenas since 2008 and has secured further support for the future. She provided aid for the Canadian Dressage team since 2006. "I was able to visit the World Equestrian Games at Aachen in 2006 where Evi rode the wonderful Quantum Tyme. I was also able to watch her compete with Quantum at two World Cups in Las Vegas and I hope I am also a good supportive friend," she stated.
A Toronto based business executive, Soupcoff fell in love with dressage in the 1990s and supported Gillian Sutherland with her first show horses Karolos, Notorious and Darius. At the Palgrave horse show, Strasser hooked up with Sutherland and the two started working together. Evi coached Gillian to her biggest achievements so far aboard Justin Tyme and Great Tyme, horses which Evi discovered in Europe and trained to FEI level.
"I assisted Gillian in acquiring Justin Tyme and Great Tyme with the help of my late father Harold Soupcoff. We had extraordinary times showing Justin. With Evi at our side, Justin Tyme came in second in the World Cup qualifier at the 2003 Royal Winter Fair and was the reserve horse. Evi trained Karolos too and he had a wonderful results in the advanced division in those years in U.S. shows."
Soupcoff's generosity and passion for dressage are not limited to supporting one rider. She has allowed her horses to be ridden in competitions by Strasser, Sutherland as well as Evi's student Julie Watchorn. The latter was on Canadian Junior and Young Rider medal winning teams.
In 2003 Dressage Canada named her Owner of the Year. "I was grateful that my late father, Harold, whose support was essential, could enjoy the honour they gave me," Karen explained.
By confirming her sustenance, Soupcoff will help Evi in choosing where she will be showing and which horses she will compete. "I am learning so much from her about the training of young horses and their development. It is exciting to watch her compete against the best in the world. It is always a lot of fun with and it is always about what is best for the health of the horses. Certainly, international dressage requires enormous amounts of money and intense commitment by the riders. I admire Evi for trying so hard to succeed in this difficult but fascinating sport. I hope to be with her as often as I can get away from my business enterprises," she said.
Strasser is extremely grateful for Soupcoff's help and support. "Karen is such a wonderful person. She's my best friend and advisor in many decision I make," Strasser confessed. "She's part of my family as we lived through my great and sad things. She's loyal and straight forward. I love that about her!"
Soupcoff personally enjoys riding the 18-year old Karolos, who is her schoolmaster now. "In the end, it's all about loving the horses," Karen concluded.
Evi Strasser was recently interviewed by Chris Stafford for the Dressage Radio Show. Hear the full interview here