Anna Swackhammer of Rockwood, ON has been named Canadian Junior Equestrian of the Year for 2022 and will receive the Gillian Wilson Trophy.
Swackhammer’s performance winning the team silver medal in the junior division and individual silver medal at the 2022 North American Youth Championships (NAYC) were instrumental in earning her this well-deserved honour. At just 18 years old, Swackhammer won all junior competitions at the national and CDI in Ontario shows consistently, qualifying for NAYC with the highest scores in Canada at 73.02%.
Founded in 1993, the Junior Equestrian of the Year Award honours Gillian Wilson who served as Technical Director of the Canadian Equestrian Federation for more than 15 years. The award is given to a junior equestrian athlete who has excelled in equestrian competition in the current award year while demonstrating exceptional talent, horsemanship, sportsmanship, and dedication to equestrian sport, as well as the vision and mission of EC.
Swackhammer has been around horses on her family farm since she could walk and genuinely loves all aspects of horse care. She fell in love with the sport of dressage when she was eight years old and has been taking lessons at Sonnenhof Stables with Ute Busse ever since.
The Canadian teenager has represented the maple leaf at the North American Youth Championships (NAYC) four times and in 2022, riding her new mount Fabienna GV (Fackeltanz x August der Starke), a Westphalian mare owned by M. Sinclair, K. Bennett and J. Szkotnicki, she anchored Team Canada to a Junior Team Silver and won the Junior Individual Silver medal. “Participating at NAYC is such a valuable riding experience, as well as an opportunity to get to know other young ambitious riders in the sport from North America.”
Swackhammer is known for her horsemanship and amazing work ethic, as well as a formidable passion for Dressage. She has mentored other young riders to prepare for the show ring by providing information, printing off lists of equipment and giving context to any situation. Swackhammer also has been there for her fellow Canadians, giving words of encouragement before and after rides and making others feel included.
Winning this award for Swackhammer is highly motivating for her. “It is a very special honour and has increased my drive to work even harder as an aspiring rider and horsewoman in the equestrian community,” she said. “I am so thankful for this recognition.”
For the future, Swackhammer plans to show with Fabienna GV and their main goal for this upcoming season is to qualify and represent Canada at NAYC at the Young Rider level. Beyond 2023, she plans to continue to work hard, advance and hopes to someday represent the maple leaf at the senior level.
Anna Swackhammer Holds Down the Fort for Canada at the 2021 North American Young Riders Championships
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