Equestrian Canada and the Canadian Paralympic Committee have announced the four athletes who have been nominated to compete in para-dressage at the 2016 Rio Paralympics.
Robyn Andrews, Lauren Barwick, Ashley Gowanlock, and Roberta Sheffield will form the Canadian team. Coach Andrea Taylor of British Columbia is encouraged by the work that her experienced team has put in leading up to the Games.
“They have all worked extremely hard to earn a spot on the team,” Taylor said in a press release. “Everyone sees them at their competitions on the stepping stones toward a successful result in Rio, but they don’t see them putting in all of the many hours, both on and off the horses, at home. Between competitions they focus on bringing together what works best for them and their horse – mentally, physically, and strategically – resulting in the most tried and true path to the podium.”
Barwick (Langley, B.C.) is appearing in her fourth consecutive Paralympic Games and won a gold medal for Canada in the Individual Freestyle Mixed event at the 2008 Beijing Games. She placed sixth in that same event in 2012. In Beijing, Barwick also won a silver medal in Individual Championship Mixed.
Joining Barwick with Paralympic experience is Gowanlock (Surrey, B.C.), who will be appearing in her third consecutive Games. Her best Paralympic finish came in London (2012) where she placed 6th in both the Individual Freestyle Mixed and Individual Championship Mixed events. Gowanlock is also coming off a trio of first-place finishes in CPEDI 3* Touch of Class in Langley, BC (Grade 1b freestyle, individual, and team).
Sheffield, who calls Lincolnshire, Uniked Kingdom home, changed her sporting nationality to Canada in 2014 and will be making her Paralympic debut. She has also competed in able-bodied dressage competitions, qualifying three horses for the 2014 World Equestrian Games and placing fourth individually.
Andrews (St. John’s, N.L.) is making her Paralympic debut, but has found great success since 2014 and won all three classes in the CPEDI 3* Touch of Class event (Grade 1a freestyle, individual, and team).
The Para-dressage competition begins on September 11th and runs through to the conclusion of the Games on September 18th at the Olympic Equestrian Centre.
Robyn Andrews – Fancianna
Lauren Barwick – Onyx
Ashley Gowanlock – Di Scansano
Roberta Sheffield – Double Agent
(Photo: Phillip MacCallum/Canadian Paralympic Committee)