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Equestrian Canada – Ottawa, ON, Aug. 22, 2019 – Equestrian Canada (EC) is pleased to announce that the members of the EC High Performance Advisory Group (HPAG) are recognized as the well-deserving Dressage Volunteers of the Month for July. The group was instrumental in the selection, support and planning for the Lima 2019 Pan American Games, which led to the Canadian Dressage Team gold medal in Peru on July 29.

The HPAG is composed of Christine Peters, EC Senior Manager of the Dressage Olympic/Paralympic Program, and the following four volunteers: Victoria Winter of Toronto, ON; Joan Macartney of Manotick, ON; Wendy Christoff of Delta, BC; and Dr. Geoff Vernon of Calgary, AB.

Winter is the current Chair of the EC Dressage Committee. She, herself, has two Pan Am medals to her name: and individual and team bronze from 1995. Winter was also a Canadian Dressage Team member at the World Equestrian Games (WEG) in 1998 and 2010. She then moved on to the Chef d’Équipe role for the 2003 Pan Ams, where Canada won individual gold and team silver medals in dressage, and was as Chef d’Équipe at WEG 2014. Winter has volunteered on the Canadian Olympic Committee Athletes Council and Executive Committee, the 2015 Toronto Pan Am Organizing Committee, and was a long-time member of the former Dressage Canada Board.

Macartney is an EC Senior Dressage and Para-Dressage Judge, as well as a Senior USEF Dressage, Young Horse and Equitation Judge. She is also well known as a retired FEI 4* Judge, in which capacity she officiated at many national competitions, international CDIs and North American Junior and Young Riders Championships, and also participated in the FEI Challenge Tour. She is past Chair of the former Dressage Canada Officials Committee and remains very involved in judges’ education with particular interest in youth development programs.

Christoff is an accomplished FEI level and former short listed competitor, an EC certified High Performance 1 Coach for Dressage, the President of Dressage BC, a past EC Coaching Committee Chair, and is involved in many more equestrian pursuits. She is one of the originators of the Rising Stars Equitation Program for riders under 21 years of age, which is now being integrated for use at many recognized competitions. Christoff is very involved in the promotion of rider development programs and volunteers on many committees across the equestrian community.

Dr. Geoff Vernon is a world-renowned equine veterinarian and has held FEI Veterinarian status since 2009. He was the official Canadian Dressage Team Veterinarian for WEG 2010 and 2014, the 2012 Olympic Games, and the 2015 and 2019 Pan Ams. Dr.Vernon gave generously of his time and expertise to the HPAG and team athletes, both equine and human, leading up to and during an incredibly successful 2019 Pan Ams.

All four volunteers wish to recognize Peters’ tireless efforts as an integral member of HPAG, as she consistently goes above and beyond for the sport of dressage in Canada. Thank you to all five members of the HPAG for your dedicated work that produces such spectacular results for Canada on the international stage.

If you know of a volunteer who deserves recognition, nominations are quick and easy through the EC website. Nominations for the award are accepted until the 20th day of each month, which made August 20th the next deadline to submit the name of a volunteer who has made a difference to the sport of dressage. Questions and comments on the Dressage Volunteer of the Month Award can be directed to Christine Peters at

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PHOTO – The High Performance Advisory Group has been awarded the title of July 2019 Dressage Volunteers of the Month for their support and planning for the Pan American Games. Clockwise from top right: Christine Peters, Victoria Winter, Joan Macartney Wendy Christoff, Dr. Geoff Vernon.

PHOTO CREDIT – Clockwise from top right: Cealy Tetley, Cealy Tetley, courtesy of Shelia Skene, Motiontide Media, Cealy Tetley