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Ottawa, ON, July 20, 2021 – A team of four para-dressage riders and their horses will be competing for Canada in para-equestrian at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games next month, announced the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) and Equestrian Canada today.

Lauren Barwick (Aldergrove, BC) and Sandrino, Winona Hartvikson (Langley, BC) and Onyx, Jody Schloss (Toronto, ON) and Lieutenant Lobin, and Roberta Sheffield (Lincolnshire, GBR) and Fairuza are set to participate in the individual and team events in Tokyo.

Barwick is the most experienced athlete of the team, heading to her fifth Paralympic Games. One of Canada’s most decorated riders, she made her Paralympic debut 17 years ago at Athens 2004 and is a two-time medallist from 2008, earning gold in the freestyle and silver in the individual event in the Grade II classification.

“It takes commitment, hard work and time to nurture our equestrian craft,” said Barwick. “Over the past five years, Patsy Fyfe helped me acquire Engelbrecht with hopes he would go all the way to Tokyo. He ranked top eight at the World Equestrian Games (WEG) and then had an injury. I met Lee Garrod at WEG and she stepped up and helped me find Sandrino and has been an incredible owner. I want to go to Tokyo and honour both horse owners as without Patsy, I would never have met Lee. My para-equestrian career feels like a marathon and I’m excited to be Canada’s choice.”

Hartvikson will be making her Paralympic debut at the age of 62 aboard Onyx. She has been involved in dressage in multiple roles for more than 30 years but has been a member of the Canadian Para-Dressage Team since 2017. She competes in the Grade Ia class and earned a 10th-place finish at the World Equestrian Games in 2018.

“I began thinking about making the Paralympic team for Tokyo in 2017,” said Hartvikson. “I was a long time coming into para sport. Then, it became a huge and exciting focus to compete to the best of my abilities on a level playing field. When I go to para competitions, disabilities no longer exist.”

Schloss, who will be competing aboard Lieutenant Lobin, will be heading to her second Paralympic Games after first competing at London 2012. She had two 11th-place finishes in London in the Grade 1a category and helped Canada to an eighth-place result in the team event.

“I am very excited to be competing for Team Canada in Tokyo,” said Schloss. “Lobin and I are training hard. My superstar is impressing me with how well he is doing! It feels like I have been preparing for this for a long time. I could never have realized my dream without my team that supports me.”,

Sheffield is a returning member of the Rio 2016 Canadian Paralympic Team, where she placed 14th in the Grade III individual event in her first Games. She joined the Canadian team in 2013 after previously competing for Great Britain.

“I cannot describe how it feels to be nominated for Team Canada for Tokyo with my heart horse, Fairuza,” said Sheffield. “It is such a huge honour to represent my country, such an incredible journey, so many twists and turns. There is nothing like wearing the maple leaf.”

Para-equestrian at the Paralympic Games is contested in three dressage events – individual and team tests where movements are pre-determined and a freestyle test where the riders choose their movements. Athletes compete in five separate classifications, which are mixed gender, based on their level of impairment from highest to lowest: Ia, Ib, II, III, and IV.

Para equestrian competition will run from August 26-30 in Tokyo.

“I am very excited and proud to be working with this team of athletes,” said Clive Milkins, Para-Dressage Chef d’Équipe. “In some ways we are still a developing team, working closely together to create the best possible environment for everyone to build on the own personal performances. Although there is no doubt Tokyo and COVID-19 have thrown us many challenges, I know that Canadian equestrian athletes will rise to the occasion and deliver their best performances.”

Canada has won four Paralympic equestrian medals. Barwick holds a gold and silver from 2008, while Karen Brain won two bronze at Athens 2004.

“Congratulations to Lauren, Winona, Jody and Roberta for qualifying for the Tokyo Paralympics!” said Stephanie Dixon, Chef de Mission, Tokyo 2020 Canadian Paralympic Team. “This is a great group of athletes who I know have committed so much to being able to compete at these Games. I wish each of them the best of luck with their final preparations, and I look forwarding to supporting them and their horses in Tokyo.”

Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games Para-Equestrian Team

AthleteGradeHometownHorseOwner(s)GroomPersonal Support
Lauren BarwickIIAldergrove, BCSandrinoLee GarrodLillie DurbinShannon Dueck
Winona HartviksonIaLangley, BCOnyxWinona Hartvikson & Jane MacdonaldCourtney PallesonJane Macdonald
Jody SchlossIaToronto, ONLieutenant LobinJody SchlossKaris Van EssenMelinda Castillo
Roberta SheffieldIIILincolnshire, GBRFairuzaRoberta SheffieldRichard Neale

Support Team

Equestrian Team Leader & COVID-19 Compliance OfficerJames HoodOttawa, ON
Para-Dressage VeterinarianDr. Alan ManningOrton, ON
Para-Dressage Chef d’ÉquipeClive MilkinsBristol, GBR
Equestrian Media AttachéCaroline SobleOttawa, ON

The postponed Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games will take place from Aug. 24-Sept. 5, 2021, in Japan. Canada is expecting to send a team of approximately 130 athletes and audiences across the country will be able to follow all the action live through coverage from the Canadian Paralympic Media Consortium, including broadcast partners CBC/Radio-Canada, AMI and Sportsnet and digital partners Twitter, Facebook and MXZN.

Click here to see the complete list of athletes named to the Canadian Paralympic Team. The Canadian Paralympic Committee will announce the official full team heading to the Games later this summer.

About the Canadian Paralympic Committee:

About Equestrian Canada:

Media Contacts

Nicole Watts
Manager, Public Relations
Canadian Paralympic Committee / 613-462-2700

Caroline Soble
Manager, Communications
Equestrian Canada / 613-287-1515 x 109