JUNE 2019 THE RIDER /3 Dressage Youth Development Fund Kicks Off With $10,000 Donation At 2019 Ottawa Dressage Festival

Ottawa, ON, May 24, 2019 – Eques- trian Canada (EC) is proud to an- nounce the establishment of the Dressage Youth Development Fund, a new initiative in support of dressage athletes representing Canada at the Ad- equan/FEI North American Youth Championships (NAYC), presented by Gotham North. Contributions from the Dressage

Youth Development Fund will go di- rectly towards covering 2019 NAYC entry fees for Canadian dressage ath- letes. The initiative was spearheaded by Dr. Geoff Vernon, the Canadian Dressage Team veterinarian for the 2019 Lima Pan American Games. Alongside several other donors, he contributed $10,000 to give the Fund a strong start at the 2019 Ottawa Dres- sage Festival (ODF), held May 16-19 in Ottawa, ON. “Our young and developing rid-

ers really are the pathway to our future – not only the future of our sport, but Canada’s success internationally,” said Dr. Vernon. “That’s why it’s really im- portant that we specifically embrace our developing rider teams, and we’re very fortunate that we will be sending teams to the North American Youth Championships this year. Through the efforts of my friends in this endeavor,

we hope to start a trend to fund our youth teams so that we can really build to the future. It’s small steps to a final goal, so thank you all for your support and we look forward to having this fund grow.” This generous donation was bol-

stered by a draw to win the value of a stall at ODF ($215), hosted by Jenny Carroll and the National Dressage Pony Club. Through the combined efforts of the draw and donation, a grand total of $15,281 was raised over the weekend

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104 Speed Index. Tony Phillips rode the winner for owners Carol and Jaime Robertson and trainer Bryn Robertson of Hillsburgh, On- tario.

PHOTO – Dr. Geoff Vernon, right, spearheaded the development of the Dressage Youth Development Fund and, along with several collaborators, kick-started the fundraising with a generous $10,000 donation. He is pictured with Christine Pe- ters, Equestrian Canada Senior Manager of the Dressage Olympic/Paralympic Program, at the 2019 Ottawa Dressage Festival. PHOTO CREDIT – ©EC/Erin Foster

on the drying out main track and quickly contested the lead with Country Boy 123 and Alberta champion Bringonthewave before surging clear to remain undefeated from two starts in 2019. The big bark day gelding, who has only lost once in his 11 race ca-

Had to Be Ivory broke sharply

for the Fund. EC extends its heartfelt gratitude

to Dr. Vernon, his collaborators, and everyone who has donated for their support, and is excited to see what young Canadian athletes will accom- plish through the support of the Fund. To contribute to the Dressage

Youth Development Fund, visit and select “Dressage” under “FEI North Ameri- can Youth Championships”. Donate Today!

first stakes race on the exciting 2019 Ajax Downs schedule. Fans of Quarter Horse Racing will be in the spotlight Sunday June 2 for Fan Appreciation Day with the on-track feature being the Trials for the Ontario-Bred Derby. Follow Ajax Downs on Twitter (@AjaxDowns) and on Facebook and Instagram. And for more infor- mation visit http://www.ajax-

reer (last summer in his first meet- ing with Country Boy 123) upped his career earnings to over $136,000 with the victory. The Picov Maturity was the

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