2/ JULY 2017 THE RIDER Para-Dressage

Clinic Continued from Page 1.

followed standard judging procedures during the tests. However, at the comple- tion of the tests, he used video playback to walk the athletes

and auditors

through a detailed explana- tion of his marks and com- ments.

is a great compliment from a clinician of his caliber. His comments really in- creased my self-confidence and encouraged me to strive for more.” EC Para-Dressage

High Performance Techni- cal Leader, Clive Milkins, spoke to the importance of rider feedback from inter- national leaders in the para-dressage sport. “Positive feedback

from a 5* judge is vital to

self - also took the time throughout the clinic to connect with athletes, coaches, and supporters to lay the groundwork for a strong and collaborative National Team Program for the para-dressage com- munity. In addition, he pro- vided participants with an interactive presentation on “What Does Great Look Like?” The presentation was available through Facebook livestream, and

Congratulations to the winners of the

#ECRedandWhite photo contest:

Madison Lawson and Robyn Andrews Donna Percival and Madison Lawson

Carlos Lopes provides feedback to Madison Lawson, who participated in the riding portion of the clinic aboard McGuire, owned by Donna Percival. Photo Credit – Nathalie Lawson

“It was very helpful

and a wonderful experi- ence,” said Sarah Mc- Conaghy, a Grade I Para-Dressage athlete who was named to Talent ID Squad of the Canadian Para-Dressage National Team Program for the 2016-2017

cycle. “I

learned lots of new knowl- edge that will assist me in my future riding. Carlos Lopes complimented my overall riding skills, which

our coaching and training plans,” explained Milkins. “The judges award the medals, so if we want to win, we have to find out what the judges want. Also, when riders have time to talk to judges, they realize that judges are not faceless names in a booth, but real people who want to develop the sport.” Milkins - a renowned

coach and trainer in the para-dressage world him-

can be watched in full on the EC Facebook page. “Creating a team cul-

ture in a sport which is re- alistically an individual sport is vital,” explained Milkins. “Gathering to- gether to pool resources, friendship, support and ideas develops the idea of family – a group of people working together to create the best we all can be. It raises standards and makes the whole dream much for fun as we all pull together.” For Chelsea Perez, a

Canadian Para-Dressage athlete currently residing in Baltimore, MD, the clinic represented her first contact and introduction with the Canadian Para- Dressage National Team Program. “It was an amazing

learning opportunity and team-building exercise to meet so many para-eques- trian athletes from across Canada,” she commented. Perez’s coach, Eiren

Crawford was equally pleased with the experi- ence, stating, “I was sur- prised and impressed at the depth of talent and dedica- tion in the para commu- nity.”

EC Para-Equestrian FEI 5* Para-Dressage Judge, Carlos Lopes of

Portugal provides Canadian Para-Dressage athletes with valuable feedback during the

EC Para-Dressage Clinic in Uxbridge, ON. Photo Credit - Nathalie Lawson

Committee Chair, Eliza- beth Quigg added, “Bring- ing together so many para-equestrian athletes, their coaches and support people from all across Canada has given us new

Jason Surnoski

energy and excitement. The generosity of local owners was incredible, as most riders were mounted on quality borrowed horses, for which we thank them.”

Milkins also led ses-

sions on Horse Veterinary Inspections, speaking to the importance of proper turnout and techniques. Following his demonstra- tions, a competition was held to crown a winner for the best-presented horse. McConaghy’s mount, Cor- nucopia, presented by owner, Carolyn Poliquin was the winner. In order to help create

a strong team culture among all athletes and per- sonnel, athletes participat- ing in the clinic also had the opportunity to meet and work with EC staff and National Team Program Integrated Support Team (IST) personnel. On June 19, clinic

participants took part in Media Relations & Spon- sorship training with EC

Manager of Communica- tions and Media Relations, Jessie Christie, who spoke to best practices in work- ing with media, the impor- tance of a strong social media presence, and tips and techniques for secur- ing personal sponsorships. Throughout the two days, athletes also had the oppor- tunity to work directly with IST personnel, including EC Head of Sport Science, Jessica Dilliott, Team Equine and Human Mas- sage Therapist, Caroline Archambault, Team Physi- cian, Dr. Elisabeth Hob- den, and Team Mental Performance Coach, Dr. Chantale Lussier. The IST personnel in-

vested time to introduce themselves and speak to their background and expe- rience, and how athletes can benefit from their sup- port. Athletes had the op- portunity to meet with IST personnel one-on-one to ask questions and discuss how to utilize the IST serv- ices to reach their full po-

Stephanie Ross and Tristiana Allwood

tential and perform to the best of their ability. “For years we have

treated our equine partners as athletes, with the best veterinary care, the best saddles, farrier, and the best possible welfare. Now it’s time to ensure human athletes have the same care in fitness, nutrition, med- ical and psychological sup- port,” explained Milkins. “These factors influence winning margins. Our ath- letes also must be in the best physical and mental conditions in order to be at their best.” In addition, the clinic

provided the chance for athletes, coaches and sup- porters from across the country to meet, interact and build relationships and bonds that will create a strong team dynamic. So- cial and networking events including the #ECRedand- White BBQ, where ath- letes were encouraged to participate in a photo booth session with Canada- themed props and enter the

Snap a Selfie to Win Con- test. (See photos of win- ners above)

“It was great to meet

and talk with other athletes that share the same passion and interest as myself,” said McConaghy. “Thank you EC for the wonderful opportunity to ride and participate in such a fantas- tic clinic. I really learned a lot.”

EC would like to

thank all participants, as well as the clinicians, pre- senters, volunteers, and horse owners. The clinic would not have been possi- ble with the time, energy and support of these many individuals. EC would also like to give a special thanks to Amanda Kalvoda of Dunraven Farm, and her entire staff for hosting the clinic at their beautiful fa- cility.

For more information

on Para-Equestrian sport in Canada, visit www.eques- trian.

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