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Equestrian Canada – Ottawa, ON, June 21, 2018 ­– Equestrian Canada (EC) is pleased to announce the Sandy Mitchell Para-Dressage Owner of the Year Award, named after its inaugural recipient for 2017, the late Alexander “Sandy” Mitchell of Port Perry, ON.

Born with Cerebral Palsy, Mitchell was a three-time Paralympian (2000 Sydney; 2004 Athens; 2008 Beijing), riding for his childhood home of Bermuda. During that time, Mitchell was hard at work developing a purpose-built para-equestrian facility in his adopted home of Canada. In 1989, WindReach Farm in Ashburn, ON opened its doors, and has since welcomed thousands of visitors and supported a variety of needs and disabilities through its equestrian programs. Additionally, WindReach Farm hosted an FEI CPEDI 3* competition in 2010, helping to make international competition an accessible goal for the Canadian para-dressage community.

Mitchell was also heavily involved with the Canadian Para-Equestrian Team. He generously donated horses to many high performance para-dressage athletes over the years, including Ashley Gowanlock’s 2008 Beijing Paralympics partner, DonnyMaskell.

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The late Alexander “Sandy” Mitchell of Port Perry, ON, provided several horses to high performance para-dressage athletes over the years, including DonnyMaskell (far right), who was donated to Ashley Gowanlock for the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games.
L to R: Bonnie Brown, Eleonore Elstone, Sharon Burton, Karen Brain, Sandra Verda, Jennifer McKenzie, Andrea Taylor, Alice Beatty, Lauren Barwick, Sandy Mitchell, Ashley Gowanlock
Photo Credit: © EC

“Sandy Mitchell was a most generous donor to the Canadian Paralympic dressage community,” said Elizabeth Quigg, EC Para-Dressage Committee Chair. “He always wanted to be a part of the Canadian Team, and this award is our way of honouring him. His legacy will live on as a man who truly inspired all our athletes.”

On June 18, 2018, the 2017 Para-Dressage Owner of the Year Award was presented in Mitchell’s honour to his grandson, Noah Semerjian, at a reception at WindReach Farm.

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The title of 2017 Para-Dressage Owner of the Year was awarded to Mitchell posthumously at the para-equestrian facility he founded, WindReach Farm in Ashburn, ON, on June 18, 2018.
L to R: Sarah Cummings, Elizabeth Quigg, Noah Semerjian
Photo Credit: Hunter Currie

Moving forward, the Sandy Mitchell Para-Dressage Owner of the Year Award will be presented annually in conjunction with EC’s para-dressage awards.

EC Media Contact:
Jessie Christie 

jchristie@equestrian.ca