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was irreplaceable,” she says. “It didn’t go as planned, but I learned so much about

myself and Port Authority as athletes and feel like I added so many things to my tool kit throughout the process. You never can appreciate what it takes to get organized, show up, and compete at an event of that caliber until you actually do it!” Despite the frustration of coming so close to

completing the cross-country at Badminton, Stephanie has picked herself up, dusted herself off and is focused on her goal with even more determination. “I am working very hard towards my goal of being selected to represent Canada at the 2012 Olympics,” she says. “It would be amazing to have that opportunity, and I feel like the Badminton experience will serve me well if I get the chance to go back to the U.K.”

atmosphere and support network at the WEG, from her teammates to the vet and our farrier. “We all sort of rallied together and supported the Canadian team.” The WEG was a memorable and wonderful experience for Stephanie.

The U.K. Challenge Having had a taste of international success, Stephanie is even more driven to succeed in her goal of representing Canada at the 2012 Olympic Games. Unfortunately Stephanie’s first trip to England, to

compete in the Badminton CCI4* in the spring of 2011, did not go as planned. A so-so dressage test on Friday was followed by some bad luck on cross-country. About two-thirds of the way the pair was held, meaning they had to stop and wait most likely due to an incident up ahead. Once they were back on track, they had one stop at fence 24, and unfortunately at fence 27 (out of 30) called the Quarry, she and Ollie parted company causing their elimination. Badminton also happened to be the first event

where Stephanie was ever held on course. Though it is impossible to say whether they would have had problems on course if they had not been held, she said that it did feel as though he got distracted and lost his edge and adrenaline after the hold. From the start Stephanie saw the trip to England as an

opportunity to get experience traveling and competing abroad before the Olympic Games. Having completed ten minutes out of eleven and all but four jumps on the cross- country course was certainly a learning opportunity. “I think the experience of travelling over to Badminton

36 September/October 2011

Family Support “I am so proud of the person she has become,” says her mother Trish. “She arrived in Florida in the winter of 2008 after the market had crashed and she literally knocked on every door until she found someone who would give her a job so that she could stay and train with David. Now in order to stay and continue on through London she must try to build a business for herself, riding and training horses for those lucky enough to be able to afford them.” For a parent, watching a child compete in a compe- tition like the 2010 WEG is something that Trish says is hard to express. “I feel lucky that she has the gift of true passion. I’m not convinced everyone goes through life having found theirs. The pride one feels as a parent watching a child be given the opportunity to represent one’s country is a different sense of pride.” Stephanie’s parents are both very supportive of her

adventures in eventing. “They have always encouraged me to have big goals, and have helped me to make a plan to get it done,” she says. “I know that they wish they were able to remove the financial strain of it all, but I think that the fact that all three of us have had to work really hard to get this far makes us appreciate the successes even more. It’s not easy, but they are so dedicated to my brother and me and have really pulled out all the stops to help us get where we want to go.” Trish’s involvement went well beyond hauling her

daughter to events on weekends. She sat on the Horse Trials Board of Directors for many years and also chaired the B.C. Young Rider committee for many years. Trish has always had a love of horses, but wasn’t able to

have one growing up. As for the challenges in supporting Stephanie to achieve her goals, Trish says they are large and many. “We are a family of two working parents and the

Above: The pair during cross country at the WEG. Opposite top: Team victory for the Canadians who took the Silver Medal at the WEG.

Photo by Amber Heintzberger

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