*HJU blogger Alison Martin is Canada’s Dressage Team’s chef d’équipe for the 2015 Toronto Pan American Games.*

Team Canada!!!! - photo via Belinda Trussell

Team Canada!!!! – photo via Belinda Trussell

I actually can’t remember where I left off blogging. All the days blur together now!

We have had an absolutely brilliant time at training camp at Deer Ridge Equestrian.  Beautiful place, awesome horses, fabulous training and lots of fun.  We spent the first few days wearing the same red shirts  – yes, wear your red shirt again tomorrow. And the next day and the next day.

Finally, we could wear something else and then we went to the Athletes Village for our accreditation and Canadian Olympic Committee clothing and, you guessed it – more RED shirts! Now, I love red, so it won’t be a problem for me!

We have had other adventures as well.  On Sunday, we were invited to the Queens Plate by Jennifer Anstey from Horse Sport and thanks also to Woodbine Entertainment for having us on the red carpet no less! We were there with the eventers. Co-mingling with another Canadian equestrian team was awkward at first during the media training, but stuck together on a bus after an afternoon of racing and we were laughing and telling jokes over the sound system somewhere between Woodbine and Bolton.

Moving a team!

Moving a team is no easy feat

Yesterday was moving day into the Caledon Equestrian Park, which is absolutely phenomenal.  What an amazing legacy from Toronto 2015 for the area.  Equestrian sport will benefit for a long time from the upgrades to this facility.

Brittany Fraser and All In - photo by Ashley Holzer

Brittany Fraser and All In – photo by Ashley Holzer

Pan Am show grounds

Pan Am show grounds

Chris Von Martels and Brittany Fraser at the Pan Ams!!!  Photo by Ashley Holzer

Chris Von Martels and Brittany Fraser by the main arena – Photo by Ashley Holzer

All the horses moved well and the move in/horse inspection was fast and easy.  The Jog is today and we have a top class team heading into competition on Saturday. We had to leave our reserve rider, Shannon Dueck, at Deer Ridge and if you have seen the videos of her and Chester online (see below) you get an idea of how strong our team is because that was what we left behind!  We could have fielded a strong team of six top combinations!

I have really good feelings about this competition.  I found five dollars in the parking lot and more than one lucky penny! So we have lots of luck and lots of talent on our side to go for that Gold.

Send the team best wishes on the Dressage Canada Facebook page! We are Team Canada!

Alison