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MAY 2011 THE RIDER /43

Canadian Para-Equestrian and Parelli Natural Horsemanship Protégé Lauren Barwick To Judge Special Olympics Equestrian Games

Tampa, FL (April 20, 2011) – Canadian Para- Equestrian Team member Lauren Barwick, a para- plegic who won Gold and Silver Medals in the Bei- jing Paralympics in 2008, will use her experience and expertise when she judges the Special Olympics Equestrian Games in Tampa, Florida, May 20- 21. Barwick is a Four Star Parelli Instructor and a Senior Protégé in the Mas- tery program at Linda and Pat Parelli’s Natural Horse- manship Program, and took over the judging duties for the Parellis who will be out of town during the event. “Judging the Special Olympics is a first for me and I think it’s a great way to be involved with other riding programs in the equestrian world. I had a lot of help along my jour- ney to the Beijing Para- lympics and love being able to give back in any way I can,” Barwick said. “With just regular daily challenges it takes a lot of willpower to accomplish your dreams and goals, but these riders have their added disabilities to con- tend with. Seeing them overcome their obstacles inspires me to keep pursu- ing excellence. I also love seeing how much fun they have, it reminds me of what life is all about — having a passion, and enjoying it!”

Barwick grew up in British Columbia, began riding horses as a seven- year-old, and rose quickly through the ranks of Pony Club. She competed in eventing and show jumping and dreamed of becoming a professional stunt person specializing in horseman- ship. In 2000, however, Barwick’s life was changed forever when a bale of hay from a stack fell on her and broke her back, paralyzing her from the waist down. One year after her accident, Barwick switched her focus to the sport of Para-Equestrian and hasn’t slowed down since, which includes working closely

with the Parellis. “Lauren brought home both the Gold and Silver medals from the Beijing Para- lympics and while it was a

get out there and find out exactly what it’s all about and how inspiring and empowering it can be to see how much someone

on the Special Olympics Equestrian Games in Tampa, visit their website at http://www.spe-

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Canadian Para-Equestrian Team member Lauren Barwick will judge the Special Olympics Equestrian Games in Tampa, Florida, May 20-21. Barwick is a Senior Protégé and mentor in the Parelli Natural Horsemanship’s Mastery Program and has her sights set on competing in the 2012 Paralympics in London. (Photo courtesy of Raymond Smith)

personal success for Lau- ren she can also take the credit for training her own horse,” said Linda Parelli. “Lauren has been a Parelli student for many years and came to study personally with Pat for the two years leading up to the 2008 Olympic Games. Her goal was to win Gold and she wanted to train her horse using the fundamental Par- elli principle of putting the relationship before her goals. What better judge for the Special Olympics Equestrian Games in Tampa than someone who has already been to the top.”

Barwick, who now has her sights set on the 2012 Paralympics in Lon- don, said she believes there needs to be a higher level of awareness and under- standing of what the Spe- cial Olympics and Para- lympics are all about. “So many people underestimate what these athletes and rid- ers are capable of. I would encourage more people to

can do with so little,” she said.

Barwick has proven that she has the ability to accomplish a great deal, and is excited about train- ing for London. “I have moved most of my focus to training for the 2012 Para- lympics. I recently acquired two beautiful horses and plan to put a Parelli Foundation on them, allowing them to be mentally, emotionally, and physically fit,” Barwick said. “The Parelli Program gives these amazing equine athletes such an advantage when it comes to the high performance level. It just makes sense to use it. Par- elli has been sponsoring me since 2006 and was a huge part of my win in Beijing. Their support and system has made the equestrian world available to me in a way I never imagined pos- sible. The things I can do with my horses, and the partnerships I have devel- oped, are truly wonderful.” For more information

For more information on Parelli Natural Horseman- ship, visit the website

About Parelli

The Parelli Program, founded in 1981 by life- long horseman and teacher Pat Parelli, combines in- depth equine psychology and common sense com- munication techniques into the ultimate recipe for horse and rider success. The Parelli method allows horse owners at all levels of experience to achieve success without force, part- nership without dominance and harmony without coer- cion. Pat and wife Linda’s mission is to make the world a better place for horses and humans, work- ing to inspire, empower and educate through natu- ral horsemanship. Their award-winning educational TV series can be seen on cable and satellite in the USA and UK. To learn more about Parelli, visit

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