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Para dressage needs horses that are “sensitive but safe…”

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By Chris Gould / CWHBA
Photography: Tom von Kapherr and Courtesy Susan J. Stickle

“Sensitive but safe.” That’s the way para dressage rider Sharon Buffitt of Point Clare, Quebec, describes her horse, Elektra, who passed away recently due to complications from equine herpes virus 5. This put an end to a partnership that began in 2012 and was intended to culminate with the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Milestones in Sharon’s career have included: CWHBA Lifetime Achievement Award 2018; Ontario and Canadian Champions 2018; 2018 WEG Eligibility; 2020 Tokyo Paralympics Eligibility; and 2022 WEG Declaration.
Sharon’s international career began with the leased Canadian Warmblood mare Gitane d'Aubrac (Goldschlager - Excellence Julo Bagatelle) at the Kentucky World Equestrian Games in 2010. Gitane was bred by Jean-Michel Bergault of Ecuries d’Aubrac, in Saint-Eustache, Quebec.
Shortly after she acqired the 2005 Canadian Warmblood Elektra II (Radja Z - Nikita IV x Rastar) from breeder Jennifer Verhulst of Norwood, Ontario. Their career together brought them the Equestrian Canada 2018 Para-Dressage Developing Athlete of the Year award which recognized a season of firsts and seconds. It included top place in the CPEDI-3* Grade II individual and team tests at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games test event in Mill Spring, NC, and their season best score of 68.384% one month later in the CPEDI-3* Grade II team test at the Ottawa Dressage Festival in Ottawa, ON.
The loss of her mare at the peak of her career has left Sharon with some hard choices to make: Start again with a young horse that she and coach Amanda Kalvoda can bring along, or find another trained horse with the talent and ability to allow her to achieve her Paris Olympic ambitions... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber

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