Daughter April Simmonds Represents Canada North American Young Riders

Uxbridge native April Simmonds to represent Canada North American Young Riders, Colorado July 26-31, 2016

For Immediate Release
Uxbridge, Ontario, July 8, 2016: 18 year old April Simmonds, an Equestrian athlete in the discipline of 3 Day Eventing, has been selected with her mount “Impressively Done” to represent Canada at the North American Young Riders International 2-star level competition. The event takes place at the Colorado Horse Park in Parker, Colorado from July 26 – 31, 2016.

4-1The North American Young Riders Championship is a prestigious event for youth ages 16 – 21. It is held annually and
teams of four riders represent their area or country. This will be April’s fourth time representing Canada at Young Riders where she has previously brought home two bronze medals!

After graduating from Uxbridge Secondary School, April left in October 2015 for the winter in Ocala, Florida. She deferred her university entrance for a year to train intensively with the goal of being selected for the RIO Olympics in August.

At age 18 she was the youngest in the field of some 15 Canadian FEI 3 star riders. The Olympics operate at the 3*** level and in equestrian sports national teams have no age or gender differentiation.

4-2The Canadian selectors identified four North American competitions at this level that would be used as selection events located in North Carolina, New Jersey and Quebec.

The time spent training in Florida proved successful as Simmonds used the winter show circuit to experience competition at the Olympic level. The 4 selection events included many high profile riders from several Continents, but most importantly the Canadian pairs declared for selection for RIO. With her 13-year- old

4-3New Zealand Performance Horse named “Quebec”, she was the 2 nd placed Canadian at “The Carolinas” in North Carolina in March, and the 3 rd placed Canadian at Bromont, Quebec in June.
While April was not selected to the 4 person Olympic team (the team has still not been officially announced as the selection is under protest) she and “Quebec”, earned the respect of the Eventing community throughout North America. She is currently the 7 th ranked USEA young rider of the year in the United States where she is also credentialed.

Her contingency plan was to try out for the Canadian Young Riders CIC 2** team which was announced on July 7 th and includes:

• Emma Joan Green and Raniki
• Jamie Kellock and Don’t Blink (also from the Uxbridge area)
• April Simmonds and Impressively Done
• Emily Thompson and Paddington

Both previous medals were won with her partner Impressively Done (whose barn name is Preston), an 11-year-old American Thoroughbred. April explains, “ ‘Preston’ loves competing so he and I intend to come back with both Team and Individual medals—preferably gold ones!” The top level of competition at NAJYR is CCI 2* which is the same level as that of the Pan American games held in Toronto in July 2015.

Simmonds, who started riding at the age of 6 as a student of local Olympian Jessica Phoenix, will be heading to Liberty University, Lynchburg, Virginia in August. Liberty has an expanding Equestrian facility and program that is welcoming her and three of her horses back to school!

You can follow April at:

Facebook: Blyth Equestrian
Instragram: @blythequestrian
Website: http://www.blythequestrian.com

For further information contact:

The Sport of 3 Day Eventing

3 Day Eventing can be best explained as the triathlon of equestrian riding with 3 disciplines ridden by the same horse and rider. It is claimed to be the most dangerous sport within the Summer Olympic games.

Dressage: Is the test of obedience held on Day 1.

Cross Country: held on Day 2 displays the athletic ability and trust between horse and rider The horses gallop at speed over large fixed obstacles, ditches & banks, stone walls sometimes dropping into water. The horse does not see the course in advance.

Stadium Jumping: occurs on Day 3 in an arena and the horse & rider must jump traditional fences with poles. Knocking down a pole or exceeding the time limit results in penalty points. This is a test of the horse and rider’s accuracy especially with the fatigue factor after Cross Country.

Courtney Lawson
Blyth Equestrian
905-862- 4026

April Simmonds Named Alternate in Pan American Games

17 year-old April Simmonds Named Alternate to Pan Am Eventing Team Uxbridge “Quest for Gold” recipient readies 2 horses for Toronto and Kentucky

For Immediate Release

Uxbridge, Ontario, June 23, 2015: April Simmonds, an Equestrian athlete in the discipline of Eventing, and her mount “Quebec NZPH” have been selected as an alternate pair for the 4 person Eventing Team to compete for Canada in the Pan American Games to be held in Toronto (Caledon) July 16-19. As an alternate, she is one of several riders that could be suddenly called into service in the event of an injury to one of the horses or a rider being unable to compete for any reason in the days leading up to the event.

April is also the only Ontario rider qualified for the North American Young Riders International 2-star level competition to be held at the famous Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky the same week. As the bronze medal winner in 2014, the Canadian high performance committee has encouraged April to be prepared for Kentucky if she is not required for the Pan Am games. This means keeping both of her 2-star horses in top form until the last possible moment.

“Three years ago, I set a goal to try and be part of the Pan Am Team knowing how special it would be to compete when the games were right here where we live,” says Simmonds. “It would have been really cool to be on the same team as my coach Jessica Phoenix who is also from Uxbridge,” she continued. “I feel I gave my best in the process and now my focus is cheering our Canadian team on to the gold medal.”

Both Jessica Phoenix, the defending gold medal champion from the last Pan Am games, and Port Perry native Waylon Roberts, have been selected to the Canadian team.

In her 18 th year, April is the youngest rider that can be selected for the Pan Ams but she can still compete in the North American Young Rider competition until she is 21 years old. She has two qualified horses for both events that are almost equally matched. “Impressively Done” (whose barn name is Preston) is a 10-year- old thoroughbred gelding that she has owned for 4 years.

“Quebec” (barn name Rex) is a 12-year- old New Zealand Performance Horse gelding that April acquired last September.

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Internationally ranked 8 th in Canada, April is a “Quest for Gold” recipient in the Ontario Athlete Assistance Program through the Ministry of Tourism Culture and Sport. The program contributed $5,000 for her training and competitions. In early June, April competed both horses at the Jaguar Land Rover Horse Trials at Bromont Horse Park in Quebec, a well known equestrian venue made famous during the 1976 Montreal Olympics. She and her “boys” as she likes to call them, finished 6 th and 8 th in a quality class of competitors from North and Central America.

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For further information contact:
Courtney Lawson
Blyth Equestrian
905-862- 4026
clawson@faydon.ca

About Three Day Eventing:

“Eventing” is the equine equivalent of the triathlon — which combines the disciplines of dressage, show jumping and cross-country. Eventing is perhaps the most dangerous sport in the Summer Olympics—where Eventing has claimed a spot since 1912. The Dressage phase begins every eventing competition. Originally designed to show the horse’s ability to perform intricate movements on the parade involved with reviewing troops, today the dressage test comprises a set series of movements performed in an enclosed arena. Precision, smoothness, suppleness and complete obedience show off the horse’s responsiveness. The Cross-Country test takes place on the second day of competition. The object of this test is to prove the partnership of the horse and rider, and the horse’s courage, speed, endurance, and
jumping ability over varied terrain, through water and over obstacles such as logs, stone walls or hedges.

This is gruelling as they gallop to complete the course in a required time. The third and final test takes place in the show jumping arena. A show jumping course comprises a series of coloured fences made up of rails that are easily knocked down. This final phase tests the stamina and recovery of the horse after the Cross Country phase and shows the precision and jumping ability of the partnership.