Ariana Chia and Lindsay Seidel-Wassenaar became the 2009 Canadian Junior and Young Rider Champion at the fifth annual Canadian Youth Championships held August 20-23, 2009.
Presented by the Edmonton Area Alberta Dressage Association and Dressage Canada, the Championships were held in conjunction with the 2009 CDI 2* Edmonton Gold Rush Dressage Show at Amberlea Meadows, in Edmonton, AB.
2008 Young Rider Champion, Lindsay Seidel-Wassenaar, 20, of Bluffton, AB, and her horse Oslo, a 13-year-old Canadian-bred Dutch Warmblood gelding sired by Contango, were victorious again in the Young Rider division, winning both the Technical and Freestyle titles. The Technical Championship combines the scores of the Team and Individual tests in the respective division, while the Freestyle Championship is a combination of the Technical scores with the Freestyle scores. Lindsay’s score of 68.50% in the Young Rider Freestyle gave her an overall score of 66.399% for the Freestyle Championship.
In the FEI Junior division, Ariana Chia, 17, of Winnipeg, MB, was Junior Technical Champion with a score of 65.689%. She rode Odilon, a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion sired by Inspekteur, owned by Jennifer Kirschman. The Junior Technical Reserve award was won by Esmee Ingham, 16, of West Vancouver, BC, and her horse Norseman, a 13-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding sired by Flaminko. Sylvie Fraser, 16, of Armstrong, BC, and Magic, Chelsea Balcaen’s nine-year-old Freisian gelding, won the Junior Freestyle Championship with a score of 64.785%. The Reserve Freestyle Champion was awarded to Ingham and Norseman with a score of 64.089%.
Tristyn Mclean was the FEI Children Technical Champion riding her 15-year-old Canadian Warmblood mare, Maartje, sired by Madison.
The judging panel included Elizabeth McMullen (CAN—FEI O), Sarah Geikie (USA— FEI C), Brenda Minor (CAN— FEI I), Doreen Horsey (CAN Senior) and Susan Hewton (CAN Basic).
“Canada's Youth have been showcased again at the Dressage Canada Youth Championships,” said Dressage Canada chair Susan Rothgeb. “We are fortunate that we have such talented young people who will be our future international competitors. Congratulations to you all.”
Started in 2005, the Dressage Canada National Youth Championships provides a terrific platform for Canada's emerging talent. The head-to-head format proves to be an exciting competition as riders sharpen their skills over the competition season, collecting valuable qualifying scores in order to represent their region. The Championships provide excellent training for the future as the qualifying system is structured in a similar fashion to that used for high performance senior athletes.
In the four regions of Pacific (British Columbia and Yukon), West (Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, North West Territories and Nunavut), East (Ontario and Quebec) and Atlantic (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland/Labrador), the rider/horse combinations must achieve a minimum qualifying score of 60% in the Team, Individual and Freestyle tests in order to compete at the Championships.
Successfully qualified competitors make the journey to compete against one another in what proves to be a very competitive environment. Past National Youth Championships competitors have gone on to represent Canada on the international stage at the North American Junior & Young Rider Championships as well as the FEI Young Rider World Cup Finals.