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.
The 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.
The 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
New 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
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.