I am a Grand Prix rider, an NCCP Level III
Dressage Coach, an EC High Performance Coach and have been the National Coach of the Canadian Para Equestrian Team.
These accomplishments all began with the completion of my Canadian Pony Club ‘A’ on my first horse ‘Martins Gyseyn’. He was a 15 hh gelding who helped teach me how to barrel race, jump, swim (!), event and ride Dressage. In 1989 we earned a spot on the Canadian Team at the North American Young Rider Championships in Chicago, Illinois. Our Team won the Gold medal and Gyseyn and I were 5 th. Individually. That year we were also named the Canadian Individual Young Rider Champions. Gyseyn ended up retiring on my parent’s farm many years later where he lived until the age of 36!
Dressage became the sport I was most passionate about. The inspiration to work hard and excel came from the relationships I developed with the horses.
In 1996 I moved to Germany to train with Udo Lange and Christilot Boylen. I took not only the many years of training and knowledge from my long time coach and mentor, Leslie Reid but also my 18 hh partner, Dior. Leslie helped me find Dior in California as an unbroken 2 year old. From there unfolded an exciting career.
During my three and a half years in Germany, I competed for Canada Nationally and Internationally. I had success from PSG through to GP in Belgium, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Showing horses of different levels and also coaching enabled me to fully immerse herself in the sport at it’s highest level and against the world’s best. An amazing experience!
Upon returning home in 1999 I set up my own business coaching, training and competing Dressage horses and riders. Dior came home too as he was an integral part of my success and an invaluable partner. We continued to compete at Grand Prix up and down the West coast at National shows and CDIs.
In 2000 I was asked to represent Canada at the Trivett Classic CDI*** in Sydney, Australia riding borrowed horses. There I won the Leading Foreign Rider Award and was on the Bronze medal winning Derby Team. This competition was the perfect opportunity to put the skill of ‘figuring out a new horse fast’ to the test!
Following that year Dior and I were the leading pair in the Canadian League of the Swarovski Dressage World Cup. We flew to Toronto for the finals at the Royal Winter Fair in November. The Freestyle was an absolute highlight thanks to Karen of Applause Dressage.
Dior then reached retirement from the Grand Prix level. He embarked on a whole new career in the discipline of Para Dressage. Dior became a Paralympic Team member with Para athlete Lauren Barwick and traveled to Athens in 2004. He loved the job and being the centre of attention!
This successful interaction lead me onto an additional career path; Canadian Para Equestrian, National Team Coach. In this role my coaching beliefs and approaches have been challenged, expanded and broadened.
I have coached the Canadian Para Equestrian Team from 2007-2016 at the following International Competitions and have received the following awards:
- 2007 World Championships at Hartpury College, England
- 2008 Paralympics in Beijing (Hong Kong), China
- 2008 Petro Canada Coaching Excellence Award
- 2009 CPEDI*** at Hartpury College, England
- 2010 World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky
- 2010 and 2011 Two time recipient of Petro Canada FACE Program Funding
- 2011 CPEDI’s in Del Mar, CA, at Hartpury College, England and at Bishop Burton, England
- 2012 Paralympics in London, England
- 2012 Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal recipient
- 2013 CPEDI’s in Florida
- 2013 CPEDI** at Bishop Burton, England
- 2014 CPEDI’s in Belgium and Germany
- 2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France
- 2014 Petro Canada Coaching Excellence Award
- 2015 CPEDI at Hartpury College, England
- 2016 CPEDI’s in Florida
- 2016 CPEDI at Thunderbird Show Park in BC, Canada
- 2016 Paralympics in Rio, Brazil
I work with Adult Amateur’s, Young Riders and Juniors, Open and Para riders. My biggest, unwavering passion is riding, training and competing the wonderful horses that come my way. They all contribute to my education in and my understanding of Dressage.
I have trained many horses to Grand Prix. The majority have been started as green 3 year olds as the cost of a ‘trained’ horse can be prohibitive. This has taught me patience, helped me develop an eye for an ‘athlete’ and shown me that as a trainer I have to be aware that not every horse ends up at Grand Prix. Each horse can specialize at the level at which they show the most talent. Some are perfect Third Level amateur horses, some work their best in the Small Tour (PSG/Int 1) and a few have the mental and physical capacity for Grand Prix.
“The process of developing a relationship with each unique horse is my passion. It is based on developing trust and figuring out how they deal with learning. The path to unlocking the talent within is, for me, an amazing journey. The impact of each journey should never be underestimated. Whether it is an immediate ‘ah ha’ moment or whether it becomes apparent years down the road, every interaction makes an impression and is invaluable.”
I want this website to be a link between myself and the Dressage community. I love to teach and ride and I want to help others reach the goals they set in this amazing sport. I also want to use this platform to thank those horses, riders, owners, businesses and people who support me and cheer me on!! Without you, it would be impossible.