Future View Dressage

Truro Daily News

At home with horses

Lynn Curwin

Published on February 05, 2016

Cheryl Meisner calls Paganini "the hose of a lifetime." She has competed in many international dressage competitions with him in North America and Europe.

International dressage rider opens training facility in Harmony

HARMONY – A quiet corner of Colchester County is a long way from the bright show rings of Europe for Cheryl Meisner and Paganini.

For more than 10 years, Meisner and her Grand Prix horse have been a team. Together, they have competed in international dressage events across Europe and North America.

But after purchasing land in Harmony last summer, Meisner has found a home far removed from competition life on the road.

"I left Nova Scotia 14 years ago and travelled a lot for competitions," said the native of Hubbards. "I came back because of family commitments. I have two children in school."

Meisner's Harmony property – named Future View Dressage – includes a barn and large indoor riding area, where she has been coaching riders and training horses.

Her relationship with Paganini began after she was given the opportunity to train with two-time Olympian Bert Rutten of the Netherlands. At the time, she was the head rider for Lobster Point Farms in Chester, however, it was an offer that was too good to pass up.

Next stop - Europe, where she was based out of the barn where Paganini was stabled. She was able to ride him and quickly fell in love.

"He was just the whole package, his training was so finely tuned and he's nice to work around," she said. "He's the horse of a lifetime."

Paganini, who is now 19, was seven when she purchased him. In 2008 he was named Best Stallion in Holland. In 2010 Paganini and Meisner were ranked as the first reserve for Canada during the World Equestrian Games.

"That was very exciting for me as a Canadian rider in Europe," recalled Meisner. "I've had some great rides on him but a personal favourite was in 2011 when it was pouring rain. We were drenched but I was so proud of him; he had given so much effort. When the score came up I started crying."

Paganini is semi-retired now because of his age and is the sire of several horses currently excelling in dressage.

Meisner hopes to have her nine-year-old gelding, Calando, ready for Federation Equestre Internationale competition soon, and will be showing him throughout the Maritimes during this summer.

She has other Grand Prix horses - 23-year-old gelding Lucky Strike (Floyd) and 16-year-old gelding Tango, as well as a four-year-old she recently purchased.


Future View Dressage

- 70-ft. by 200-ft. indoor arena

- 10 stalls, which can be rented for clinics and other events (equestrian or canine)

- Meisner offers individual lessons, training and full-care board. She willalso travel within the Maritimes, Ontario and the U.S. for clinics.

- Meisner can be reached by email: hesperos10@yahoo.com or by calling 902-456-4088

Strong rides by Canadians at 2013 World Dressage Masters

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By Shelley Higgins, MacMillan Photography & Media Services

Jacqueline Brooks and D Niro were third in the Grand Prix Special CDI5*. Photo by Shelley Higgins/MacMillan Photography

Jacqueline Brooks and D Niro were third in the Grand Prix Special CDI5*. Photo by Shelley Higgins/MacMillan Photography

Fun in the sun and prize money too – both big incentives for our top Canadian riders to make the trip to compete at the 2013 World Dressage Masters in West Palm Beach, Florida, which took place from Jan. 24 – 26.

Competition in the World Dressage Masters was by invitation and consisted of two divisions: a CDI3* and a CDI5* with 100,000 Euros in prize money offered in the five-star division. The top two qualified (must have completed two CDI3* classes) riders from the CDI3* World Dressage Masters Qualifier on the Thursday of the event, who did not already have a horse in the CDI5*event, moved on to compete in the five-star Grand Prix on Friday.

Sweden had a good show, with Patrik Kittel riding Watermill Scandic H B C taking the top ribbon in the Grand Prix CDI5* on Friday and Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven riding Don Auriello finishing second. On Saturday night in the 70,000 Euro Grand Prix Freestyle, the two Swedes switched places with Vilhemlson-Silfven taking home the top share of the purse.

Diane Creech competed in the CDI5* division on Devon L. Photo by Shelley Higgins/MacMillan Photography

Diane Creech competed in the CDI5* division on Devon L. Photo by Shelley Higgins/MacMillan Photography

The Canadian riders at the World Dressage Masters included David Marcus on his 2012 Olympic horse Chrevi’s Capital; Jacqueline Brooks on her Olympic horse D Niro; Diane Creech on Devon L, and Cheryl Meisner with two horses, Tango and Paganini.

Marcus and Chrevi’s Capital had a lovely ride in Friday’s Nürnberger Grand Prix CDI5* class to score 70.660% and move on to the Saturday night main event, the Exquis CDI5* Freestyle with 70,000 Euros up for grabs. In the freestyle they scored a 70.750% to take sixth.

Brooks and D Niro just got better and better as the competition went along. They scored 66.362% in the CDI5* Grand Prix on Friday for an 11th place finish and went on to compete in the Grand Prix Special CDI5* on Saturday afternoon where they took third with a score of 66.833% Renowned dressage judge Stephen Clarke of Great Britain (also a judge at the London Olympics) who sat at E rewarded their Grand Prix Special ride with a 70.417%.

Cheryl Meisner on Paganini finished third with a 65.729% in the Grand Prix Special CDI3*. Photo by Allen MacMillan/MacMillan Photography

Cheryl Meisner on Paganini finished third with a 65.729% in the Grand Prix Special CDI3*. Photo by Allen MacMillan/MacMillan Photography

Meisner did some horse swapping from her two performances in Thursday’s CDI3* World Dressage Masters 5* qualifying class. Even though she scored higher with Paganini (fourth, 66.894%) which qualified her to compete in the 5* division on Friday, she chose to take her other horse Tango (who took 7th with a score of 64.957%) on to the higher division. Riding Tango, she scored a 65.404% to end up 12th in Friday’s CDI5*

Cheryl Meisner and  Tango took fourth in the Grand Prix Special CDI5*.  Photo by Shelley Higgins/MacMillan Photography

Cheryl Meisner and Tango took fourth in the Grand Prix Special CDI5*. Photo by Shelley Higgins/MacMillan Photography

Grand Prix class. They then took fourth in the Saturday afternoon CDI5* Special with a 66.208%. With Paganini, Meisner finished third with a 65.729% in the Grand Prix Special CDI3* on Friday morning.

Diane Creech on Devon L had some bobbles in Friday’s CDI5* Grand Prix and they scored 65.319% to move on to the Saturday afternoon CDI5* Grand Prix Special. They entered the ring as first out in the class and began a very nice test before stopping. Creech spoke with one of the judges and it was determined that she was riding the 2012 Special test created for the London Games, which was not the correct test.

The World Dressage Masters is an international series founded in 2008 that attracts some of the world’s top dressage riders.

David Marcus and Chrevi’s Capital placed sixth in the Grand Prix Freestyle CDI5*. Photo by Shelley Higgins/MacMillan Photography

David Marcus and Chrevi’s Capital placed sixth in the Grand Prix Freestyle CDI5*. Photo by Shelley Higgins/MacMillan Photography


Open house and day of Dressage with Canadian Team rider Cheryl Meisner at Lobster Point stables in Chester, Nova Scotia on Saturday, February 5th 2011.

 Come and watch the horses in their daily schooling sessions with step by step commentary from Cheryl as she rides. Three horses will be featured, two at Grand prix level and one at training level. Questions about the rides, training and horses will be welcomed at the beginning and end of each ride. No photos or video please.

 Admission is free, seating and hot beverages will be provided. Please RSVP to shore46@yahoo.ca if you plan to attend. Stable address and Directions: From exit 7 on the 103 turn right, fallow number 3 highway approx 7 kilometres stables will be on the left hand side. From exit 8 on the 103 turn right, fallow number 3 highway approx 5 kilometres, pass Tim Hortins, stables will be on the right hand side. Stable has a bright blue roof.

 We hope to see you there!


Liebling II Bought for Canada’s Cheryl Meisner as WEG Hopefull

Cheryl Meisner and Paganini. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Cheryl Meisner and Paganini. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

WELLINGTON, Florida, Mar. 3–Cheryl Meisner has become the rider of Liebling II, European Championship team silver medalist for Great Britain, in her quest to represent Canada at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky later this year.

The 13-year-old Holsteiner gelding, ridden by Carl Hester at the 2009 European Championships, has been sold to Canada.

Cheryl will leave for Holland within the next few days to work with longtime coach Bert Ruttan to prepare for the European circuit with the goal of winning a place on the Canadian team for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky in September.

The 28-year-old mother of a 16-month-old girl, Scarlet, will take with her the other two Grand Prix horses, Paganini and Tango, also owned by John Risley.

Liebling II, by Lorentin I and owned by Donald McTaggart, was ridden by Carl at Europe’s biggest shows, including the CHIO Aachen, and the 2009 European Championships for the team silver medal in the 18 months the horse was in his barn.

Carl Hester on Liebling II. © 2009 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Carl Hester on Liebling II. © 2009 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Robert Dover, the coach of the Canadian dressage team, arranged for Cheryl to try the horse at Carl’s facility in England.

“I could tell from the start he was the right type of horse for me,” Cheryl told dressage-news.com of the horse whose barn name is “Lennie.”

“It was just perfect. I rode him for two weeks and started to develop a very good partnership.”

Thanks to Carl and the owner, she said, that allowed her a two-week “trial” period in which every help was provided.

She said she plans to join up with the Canadian squad that will tour Europe after the Florida winter circuit.

“I plan to take it day by day and build a strong partnership with the help of Bert, Carl and Robert, I am very lucky and grateful to have an opportunity to ride such a fantastic horse,” Cheryl said.

She will compete both Liebling and Paganini and try to qualify both for the WEG.

Robert Dover said he was “excited and thrilled” about the acquisition of Liebling to be a part of Canada’s high performance dressage squad along with the 2008 Olympic partnership of Ashley Holzer and Pop Art, Belinda Trussell and Anton, Diane Creech and other Grand Prix combinations.

The European tour planned for Canadian WEG team prospects includes competitions at Wiesbaden and Aachen in Germany and Rotterdam in The Netherlands.




Canadian Cheryl Meisner Awarded Wildcard Spot at Exquis World Dressage Masters
Ottawa, ON, Canada
Photo: StockImageServices.com

EWB News Service
Cheryl Meisner and Paganini
Cheryl Meisner of Blandford, NS, and Paganini, John Risley's 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion (Havidoff x Statuar), will also represent Canada at the $145,000 Exquis World Dressage Masters, scheduled for February 4-6, 2010 at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, in Wellington, FL, USA.  

The pair, who had a very successful 2009 competition season, was awarded a wildcard invitation to the competition by the Exquis World Dressage Masters (WDM) organizing committee based on their FEI Rider Ranking. Meisner will join Canadian Olympians Ashley Holzer of Toronto, ON, and Pop Art, and Belinda Trussell of Stouffville, ON, and Anton as the Canadian representatives at the prestigious CDI5* competition in Florida.

A maximum of 20 rider/horse combinations, including Steffen Peters (USA) on Ravel, Isabell Werth (GER) on Satchmo and Anky van Grunsven (NED) on Salinero, will compete in the Grand Prix test with prize money of $14,500. The top eight riders will advance to the $87,000 Grand Prix Freestyle with the remaining riders performing the Grand Prix Special test with a purse of $43,500.

The international judging panel will include Dr. Wojtek Markowski (FEI O-POL), Gary Rockwell (FEI O-USA), Axel Steiner (FEI O-USA), Victoire Mandl (FEI I-AUT) and Freddy Leyman (FEI I-BEL).

In addition to this competition in Florida, Exquis World Dressage Masters (WDM) CDI5* will also have events in Munich, Germany and Hickstead, England each with €100,000 (US$145,000) in prize money for 2010 and 2011


Dressage Canada Announces 2010 Short and Long Lists

January 21, 2010

Ottawa, ON - Dressage Canada’s Senior High Performance Committee is pleased to announce the 2010 Dressage Short and Long Lists. The horse/rider combinations were selected based on criteria that considered 2009 competition results.

The following horse/rider combinations have been identified as official members of the 2010 Dressage Canada Short List A

Listing Criteria - Rider - Horse - Owner
A1 - Ashley Holzer - Pop Art - Rusty Holzer & Moreen Nicoll
A1 - Jacqueline Brooks - Gran Gesto - Brinc Ltc. & Anne Welch
A1 - Leslie Reid - Orion - Patricia Hatch
A3 - Diane Creech - Devon L - Douglas & Louise Leatherdale
A3 - Cheryl Meisner - Paganini - John Risley
A3 - Belinda Trussell - Anton - Robyn Eames

The following rider/horse combinations have been named to the Dressage Canada Short List B
Listing Criteria - Rider - Horse - Owner
B1 - Tina Irwin - Amicelli - Ute Busse & Wendy Beresford
B1 - Wendy Christoff - Pfalstaff - Wendy Christoff
B1 - Jacqueline Brooks - Balmoral - Brinc Ltd., John and Anne Welch
B1 - Diane Creech - Wiona - Douglas and Louise Leatherdale
B1 - Simone Williams - Wunder Ein - Simone, Margaret and Bob Williams
B1 - Evi Strasser - Quantum Tyme - Evi Strasser
B1 - Denielle Gallagher-Legriffon - Gallaway’s Abrikos - Denielle Gallagher-Legriffon
B1 - Lorraine Chappell - Carpatino - Lorraine Chappell
B3 - Lee Tubman - De La Rosa - Ducat Developments
B3 - Cheryl Meisner - Lucky Strike - John Risley

The following horse/rider combinations have been named to the Dressage Canada Long List
Listing Criteria - Rider - Horse - Owner                                   
A1 - Victoria Winter - Proton - Cynthia Ishoy
A1 - Jaimey Irwin - Dover - Jaimey Irwin
A1 - Sharon Merkel-Beattie - Essence of Glory - Donna Stott
A1 - Ute Busse - Lindor’s Finest - Ute Busse & Silvia Carlton
A1 - Evi Strasser - Action Tyme - Evi Strasser
A1 - Cheryl Meisner - Tango - John Risley
A1 - Chris Sanders - Van Gogh - Gary and Jean Vander Ploeg
A1 - Victoria Winter - Gotcha - Victoria and Patricia Winter
B1 - Janine Little - Dominic LHF - Susan Berger
B1 - Tom Dvoarak - Viva’s Salieri W - Augustin and Christine Walch
B1 - Belinda Trussell - Laconit - Robert Bradshaw
B1 - Krystalann Shingler - Tividor - Krystalann Shingler
B1 - Julie Watchorn - Quintess - Julie Watchorn
B1 - Nancy MacLachlan - Deniros Tyme - Julia Fogel
B1 - Tom Dvorak - Raconteur - Kelly Murray
B1 - Crystal Kroetch - Lymrix - Crystal Kroetch
B1 - Leah Wilson - Amusant - Leah Wilson
B1 - Belinda Trussell - Brynn - Stephanie Jeffrey
B1 - Lindsay Stroh - Lancelot - Vickie Argals
B1 - Erin Josey - Regala - Leslie Wood
B1 - Julie Watchorn - Dobble Tyme - Julie Watchorn
B1 - Gina Smith - Rhythmix - Jane Haslett and Diana Wetherall
B1 - Roberta Morris - Reiki Tyme - Roberta Morris
B1 - Peter Gray - Collo 5  - Peter Gray
B1 - Norma Jean Clayton - Diego - Norma Jean Clayton
C1 - Amy Jager - Jive - Amy Jager
C1 - Jaimie Holland - Fleurina - Jaimie Holland
C1 - Paula Fedeyko - Fragonard - Steve Williamson
C1 - Annie-Pier Venn - Step Up - Annie-Pier Venne

Canada’s Cheryl Meisner Stays Atop FEI World Cup North American League Standings

LAUSANNE, Switzerland, Oct. 16–Canada’s Cheryl Meisner and Paganini remained atop the latest FEI World Cup North American League standings released by the International Equestrian Federation.

Cheryl Meisner and Paganini. © 2009 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Cheryl Meisner and Paganini. © 2009 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

With an average of 72.583 per cent of their top three results that are required in the North American League, Cheryl of Blandford, Nova Scotia, remains slightly ahead of Lauren Sammis and Sagacious HF of South Orange, New Jersey whose average of her three results is 72.116 per cent and Canadian Jacqueline Brooks on 71/216 per cent in third place.

However, with three more qualifying events to go–all in Florida’s Palm Beach winter circuit–major changes could occur. As no World Cup competitions are scheduled for the U.S. West Coast, the major opportunities are in Florida.

World Cup veteran Leslie Morse of Beverly Hills, California, is considering competing with her Tip Top in the three Florida events or going to Europe.

World Cup title holder Steffen Peters of San Diego, California, is undecided on his schedule that requires two starts in World Cup classes with Ravel to qualify for the final in ’s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands, next March.


Dressage Canada Announces 2009 European Fall Competition Tour

Dressage Canada and the Own the Podium Task Force are pleased to confirm that three athletes will be participating in the Dressage Canada 2009 European Fall Competition Tour.  The upcoming European Fall Competition Tour is a development tour aimed at providing valuable European competition experience for some of Canada's up and coming combinations. 

The participating athletes are Cheryl Meisner of Blandford, NS, with Paganini; Belinda Trussell of Stouffville, ON, with Anton; and Diane Creech of Caistor Centre, ON, with Wiona.  The Dressage Canada Own the Podium Task Force has been working with the identified athletes and their personal coaches to determine the most appropriate competitions for each of the combinations.  At this point it is anticipated that Trussell and Creech and their young Grand Prix horses will begin the competition tour at the Kaposvar CDI3*, Hungary, October 9–11, followed by the Weikersdorf CDI3*, Austria, on October 14–18. Trussell and Creech will then meet up with Meisner and her more experienced mount, Paganini, at larger CDI3* competitions in Germany.  From there Meisner and Paganini will continue to compete in Germany throughout December. 

One of the initiatives of the Dressage Canada Own the Podium Task Force is to provide Canadian athletes with opportunities for international competition exposure.  Ashley Holzer and Pop Art were recipients of an Own the Podium grant earlier this year to compete at the Hickstead CDI5* where they finished in the top five against some of the highest ranked combinations in the world.].  


Cheryl Meisner and Paganini Win at CDI-W Beaulieu

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Cheryl Meisner and Paganini (Cealy Tetley Photo)September 2, 2009 — Cheryl Meisner won both the Grand Prix and the Grand Prix Freestyle at CDI-W Beaulieu International Dressage Classic, held at Beaulieu Farm in St Justine de Newton, QC, August 6-9, 2009.

During the Freestyle, Meisner of Blandford, NS, and Paganini, John Risley’s 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion (Havidoff x Statuar) performed another very strong test to powerful piano music to score 73.750%. Jacqueline Brooks of Mount Albert, ON, and her 2008 Olympic partner Gran Gesto (Grannox x Goldstern), a 14-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Brinc Ltd. and Anne Welch, received a score of 70.950% for second. In third place, with 69.700%, was Tina Irwin of Stouffville, ON, and Amicelli, Wendy Beresford and Ute Busse’s 13-year-old Holsteiner gelding sired by Amigo xx. Simone Williams of Navan, ON, and Wunder Ein, an 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Wolkenstein II x Maat) owned by Simone, Margaret and Robert Williams, earned fourth place, with 69.150%. Olympian Evi Strasser of St. Adele, QC, and her young Grand Prix mount, Action Tyme, a nine-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Aktuell x Aleksander), finished in fifth scoring 67.050%.
Cheryl Meisner and Paganini (Cealy Tetley Photo)
In the Grand Prix test, Meisner and Paganini earned 68.426% for the win. Strasser and Action Tyme earned second place, scoring 65.787%. Olympian Belinda Trussell of Stouffville, ON, riding Robyn Eames’ nine-year-old Oldenburg gelding Anton (Antaeus x Melit), finished in third, with 65.404%. Fourth place, with 64.851%, went to Irwin and Amicelli. Rounding out the top five were Brooks and Gran Gesto with 64.766%.

“Paganini was so consistent and so honest in his performances at Blainville. I was very pleased with the majority of his tests especially his passage and piaffe,” said Meisner. “I was happy that his scores were in the ballpark of the Dressage Canada World Equestrian Games selection criteria, and hopefully he continues to improve on these scores and proves to be a serious contender for the WEG team."

Trussell and Anton won the Grand Prix Special with 66.375%. Devon L, Douglas Leatherdale’s nine-year-old Hanoverian gelding (De Niro x Wolkenstein II), and Diane Creech of Caistor Centre, ON, were second with 65.042%.

In the Advanced division, Julie Watchorn, Schomberg ON, won the Intermediaire I Freestyle with a score of 70.300% riding her 16-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare Quintesse. Second place went to Trussell, who scored 68.000% with Brynn, Stephanie Jeffrey’s 11-year-old Hanoverian mare sired by Belcanto. Lee Tubman of Dunnville, ON took third place after scoring 68.000% aboard Ducat Developments Ltd’s eight-year-old Hanoverian mare De La Rosa, sired by De Niro. Nicole Shinton of Uxbridge, ON, riding GB Classic, her 15-year-old Rheinlander gelding (Print Miro x Argentan) finished in fourth with 65.000%.

Tubman won the Intermediaire I after scoring 70.877% with De La Rosa. Meisner and Lucky Strike, John Risley’s 16-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Ferro x Aktion), finished second with 69.561%. In third, with 66.930%, was Nancy MacLachlan of Terra Cotta, ON, with Deniros Tyme, Julia Fogel’s 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding sired by De Niro. Tom Dvorak of Hillsburgh, ON, and Kelly Murray’s Raconteur, an 11-year-old Westphalian gelding sired by Rockwell, finished in fourth with 65.614%. Watchorn and Quintesse were fifth, scoring 65.088%.

In the large Prix St. Georges class, Tubman earned another win with De La Rosa, this time out of 16 entries, scoring 66.930%, while MacLachlan and Deniros Tyme were second with 65.789%. Meisner and Lucky Strike were third with 65.614%, and Olympian Gina Smith of Brockville, and Rhythmix, Diana Weatherall’s 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding, placed fourth with 64.825%. Riding her horse Huno, an eight-year-old Trakehner, Lyne Joly of Sherbrooke, QC, was fifth with 64.474%.

Up-and-coming young talent, both human and equine, was also featured at CDI-W Beaulieu International Dressage Classic. Lyne Joly and Rubinio, an Oldenburg gelding owned by Fondation Equestre Rainville and sired by Rubin-Royal, won the Young Horse Six-Year-Old Preliminary and Final classes with 64.200% and 65.000% respectively.

In Young Horse Five-Year-Old Division, Diane Creech rode Douglas Leatherdale’s Hanoverian Gelding, Hallmark (sired by His Highness), to wins in both classes, scoring 76.400% in the Preliminary, and 84.400% in the Final. Andrea Bresee of Uxbridge, ON, and Pericles, a Hanoverian gelding owned by Loretta Flynn, finished second in both classes, scoring 70.800% (Preliminary) and 76.000% (Final). Remember Tyme, Leo E. Hakka’s Oldenburg gelding sired by Rohdiamant ridden by Roberta Morris of Godmanchester, QC, finished third, scoring 64.800% in both.

In Young Riders division, Amy Jager of Puslinch, ON, won all three tests riding Jive, her 18-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding sired by Ulft, scoring 66.053% in the Individual test and 69.850% in the Freestyle. American Kaylee Hollingsworth and Raffles placed second in all three tests, with her best mark being 65.850% in the Freestyle.

Noemie Gagnon-Bergeron of Kanata, ON, rode Vavite Fortuna to victories in both the Junior Team and the Junior Freestyle (67.000%). Anais Hebert of Boucherville, QC, and Belle Allure, finished second in the Team and Freestyle (64.400%) tests and won the Junior Individual test with 64.123%.

Tanya Strasser-Shostak of Ste-Adele, QC, made a clean sweep in FEI Pony division, winning all the tests in the division riding her pony Nemo Tyme.

The international judging panel included Stephen Clarke (FEI O— GBR), Peter Holler (FEI I—GER), Liselotte Fore (FEI I—USA), Alison King (FEI I—HKG), Joan Macartney (FEI I—CAN) and Brenda Minor (FEI C—CAN).
Canadian Riders Victorious in CDI Saugerties Small Tour Classes | Print |
September 2, 2009 - Canadian riders won two out of three small tour FEI classes at the Centerline Events at HITS on the Hudson, CDI-W Saugerties, held in Saugerties, NY, August 14–16, 2009.

Cheryl Meisner of Blandford, NS, and Lucky Strike, John Risley’s 16-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Ferro x Aktion), started the Canadian winning streak with a victory in the Intermediaire I, scoring 67.368%. Lee Tubman of Dunnville, ON, secured second place after scoring 66.754% aboard Ducat Developments Ltd’s eight-year-old Hanoverian mare De La Rosa, sired by De Niro. Julie Watchorn, of Schomberg ON, finished in third with a score of 66.228% riding her 16-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare Quintesse.

In the Intermediaire I Freestyle, Watchorn and Quintesse scored 68.167% for second place, and Tubman and De La Rosa were close behind with 67.250%, earning them third.

Watchorn continued her winning ways in the Prix St. Georges class, scoring 66.491% for top spot with Quintesse. Second went to Tubman and De La Rosa with 66.053%, and Meisner and Lucky Strike rounded out the top four with 65.263%.

“I was absolutely thrilled with Quintesse’s performance despite the extreme heat,” said Watchorn, 23. “I owe a huge thanks to Evi Strasser who helped us prepare for the competition in weather conditions like they were. I could not have done it without her help.”

In the Grand Prix test, Meisner and Paganini, John Risley’s 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion (Havidoff x Statuar) finished in fifth place with 64.000% . Olympian Evi Strasser of St. Adele, QC, and her young Grand Prix mount, Action Tyme, a nine-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Aktuell x Aleksander), finished in sixth. Simone Williams of Navan, ON, riding Wunder Ein, an 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Wolkenstein II x Maat) owned by Simone, Margaret & Robert Williams, finished in 10th place.

In the Grand Prix Freestyle, Meisner and Paganini moved up two spots to finish in third place, scoring 69.500%. Williams and Wunder Ein finished in fourth with 67.450%.

The international judging panel included Dr. Wojciech Markowski (POL—FEI O), Col. Axel Steiner (USA—FEI O), Gabriel Armando (ARG—FEI I), Janet Foy (USA—FEI I) and Joan Macartney (CAN—FEI I).

Cheryl Meisner Named Dressage Canada Red Scarf Equestrian Athlete of the Month for July | Print |
Cheryl Meisner (Cealy Tetley Photo)August 17, 2009 — Cheryl Meisner of Blandford, NS, has been named the Dressage Canada Red Scarf Equestrian Athlete of the Month for July.

At the CDI-W Blainville Summer Classic, held June 18–21, Meisner and Paganini, John Risley’s 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion (Havidoff x Statuar), executed a beautiful performance to powerful piano music in the Freestyle to score 72.150%. The pair also finished second in the Grand Prix test with 66.426%.  Aboard her second horse Tango (Obelisk x Lohengrin), a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood she co-owns with John Risley, Meisner placed fifth in the Grand Prix and second in the Grand Prix Special.
Cheryl Meisner (Cealy Tetley Photo)
At the CDI-W Blainville International Classic held the following week, Meisner and Paganini won the Grand Prix with 67.105%.  During the gala evening performance on June 27, the pair finished second in Grand Prix Freestyle with an impressive 71.850%.

“The Blainville shows were the first competitions we have done since coming home from Europe. My results showed that going away to Europe has made a difference,” said Meisner, who trained and competed for two years in Europe with coach Bert Rutten. “I am very pleased with how well my horses performed. I would like to thank the owner of the horses, John Risley, and my sponsors Prestige Saddles and Road Apples Tack Shoppe.”

Dressage Canada Red Scarf Equestrian Athlete of the Month is a recognition program to celebrate the achievements of Canadian dressage riders who represent Canada in national and international competition at the FEI Pony, Children, Junior, Young Rider, Advanced, Grand Prix and Young Horses classes.

Red Scarf Equestrian is the generous sponsor Dressage Canada Athlete of the Month. Red Scarf Equestrian will be providing Meisner with a generous gift certificate that can be used towards the purchase of elegant equestrian luggage, travel bags and accessories that are all made in Canada.

For more information about Red Scarf Equestrian, please visit www.RedScarfEquestrian.ca.

Cheryl Meisner Beats the Heat at CDI-W Blainville International Classic

June 26, 2009

Cheryl Meisner

 Blainville, Quebec – On the opening day of FEI competition at the CDI-W Blainville International Classic running June 24-28 at the Blainville Equestrian Park north of Montreal, Cheryl Meisner of Blandford, NS, won the Grand Prix.

The 33 degree temperatures had no apparent effect on Meisner’s mount Paganini, John Risley’s 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion, whose expressive passage, piaffe and canter tour earned a score of 67.106% from the panel of five FEI judges.

“I was trying to do better today than I did last week,” said Meisner who, in the previous week’s competition, placed second in the Grand Prix before winning Sunday’s Grand Prix Freestyle.

Not only did she improve on her second place finish a week ago at the CDI Blainville Summer Classic, but her score was also a personal best in the Grand Prix test. Meisner attributes her success partly to the fact that she has spent the past seven years training with former Dutch dressage team coach Bert Rutten.

“He is really an effective trainer, and he knows my horses like the back of his hand,” said Meisner. “That makes a huge difference.”

The two back-to-back CDI events held in Blainville, QC, are qualifying events for the 2010 World Cup Final, putting Meisner in a strong position early in the season.

Belinda Trussell of Stouffville, ON, received 66.468% riding Anton, owned by Robyn Eames, to place second. One of the youngest horses contesting the grand prix at just nine years of age, Anton belied his youth with a correct test that showed great ability for the piaffe and transitions from piaffe to passage. Olympian Jacqueline Brooks of Mt. Albert, ON, and Gran Gesto, owned by Anne Welch and Brinc Ltd, placed third with a score of 65.830%.

Extending his winning streak into a second week of competition, Lee Tubman of Dunnville, ON, won the largest class of the day, the FEI Prix St. Georges. Riding Ducat Developments’ De La Rosa, Tubman earned a winning score of 70.175% for his test which included an expressive trot tour and confident, correct canter work.

“This is our fourth season together,” said Tubman of the eight-year-old Hannoverian mare, adding that “she shows a lot of maturity. She has the whole showing thing nailed down. She comes quietly off the trailer and into her stall, sleeps after her tests and just generally manages her energy really well.”

With the North American Junior and Young Riders’ Championship fast approaching in July, a large number of FEI Junior and FEI Young Riders’ competitors are at the Blainville International in the hopes of achieving qualifying scores that will entitle them to compete at North America’s most important championship for riders’ aged 14-21. Brittany Fraser of Ottawa, ON, bested a field of 14 entries in the FEI Young Riders’ Team test with a score of 66.316%. Fraser was riding Ricardos, a horse that she has been partnered with for two weeks. Owned by Phelisha Chandler of Florida, Ricardos has proven to be an excellent last-minute mount.

“He is perfectly well behaved in the ring,” said Fraser, who is originally from New Glasgow, NS. “Now I just need to learn how to get all the exercises solid.”

Second in the class was former North American Junior Champion Jade Deter of Kemptville, ON, with Mastermind. Her score of 65.965% kept her just ahead of third placed Jaimie Holland of Caledon, ON, who scored 65.526% on Fleurina.

Alexandra Dvorak of Hillsburgh, ON, began her second week in Blainville with a win in the FEI Junior Team test, earning 66.847% on Fling. The FEI Children’s Team test was won by Allison Lalonde of North Lancaster, ON, with Royal Dalton while St-Adele, Quebec’s Tanya Strasser-Shostak and Nemo Tyme won the FEI Pony Team test.

The FEI Young Horse division showcased several future international horses, with Canadian Olympian Evi Strasser of St-Adele, QC, handily winning the FEI Six-Year-Old test on Renaissance with a score of 7.94. Diane Creech of Caistor Centre, ON, rode Hallmark to first place in the FEI Five-Year-Old test with an impressive score of 8.30%.

The grand finale to two weeks of international dressage competition at the Blainville Equestrian Park is Saturday evening’s Freestyle Gala Dinner. In addition to FEI freestyles, Equine Extremist Tommie Turvey (www.equineextremist.net) will perform. General admission tickets, which include seating in covered grandstands, are $20.

For more information on the CDI-W Blainville International Classic and Equine Canada National Show, please visit www.equivents.com. Complete scores from the CDI and national shows are available at www.foxvillage.com.

CDI-W Grand Prix Test – Final Results

Rider Hometown Horse Score
1. Cheryl Meisner Blandford, NS Paganini 67.106%
2. Belinda Trussell Stouffville, ON Anton 66.468%
3. Jacqueline Brooks Mt. Albert, ON Gran Gesto 65.830%
4. Tina Irwin Lakefield, ON Amicelli 65.660%
5. Simone Williams Navan, ON Wunder Ein 65.404%
6. Ute Busse Breslau, ON Lindor’s Finest 67.100%

CDI-W Prix St. Georges – Final Results

Rider Hometown Horse Score
1. William Lee Tubman Dunnville, ON De La Rosa 70.175%
2. Leah Wilson Orangeville, ON Amusant 68.246%
3. Julie Watchorn Schomberg, ON Quintesse 66.579%
4. Tom Dvorak Hillsburgh, ON Viva’s Salieri 65.789%
5. Tom Dvorak Hillsburgh, ON Raconteur 65.526%
6. Julie Watchorn Schomberg, ON Dobble Tyme 65.439%

Canada’s Cheryl Meisner Begins Her Olympic Journey in Europe

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Cheryl Meisner and PaganiniIn her quest to represent Canada at the 2008 Olympic Games, Cheryl Meisner of Blandford, NS, will prepare by spending the year competing and training in Europe.

With the equestrian sport of dressage thriving in Europe, particularly in Holland and Germany where the top athletes and coaches are based, Meisner is basing herself in the Netherlands with renowned trainer Bert Rutten, who she has been working with for the past five years. Having departed Canada in September with her top horses, Meisner will be based in Hunsel, in the south of Holland, until the Canadian Dressage Team is made known next summer. If all goes according to plan, she and two teammates will then compete in Hong Kong, host city of the Olympic equestrian events (quarantine concerns prevent the horses from traveling to Beijing).

"I chose to go to Europe because of the high quality of competitions, and the fact that there are more opportunities to get the scores that I need to qualify for the Olympics," said Meisner, 26, noting that this year's Olympic Team will be determined based on qualifying scores and not through formal Selection Trials. "I have been on the road to the Olympics for the past six years and I still have nine months to go. Competing at the Olympics has been my dream since I was a child."

In the meantime, Meisner is competing against the top riders in the world, at the best shows in the world, in Europe. This fall, she competed in five different venues, including International Equestrian Federation (FEI) sanctioned events at CDI3* Bremen and CDI3* Oldenburg in Germany and CDI4* Maastricht in the Netherlands. In her final show of the 2007 season, Meisner enjoyed great success at the Dutch national competition, CDN Hengelo, held the last weekend of November. Riding Paganini, Meisner scored 66.88% in the Grand Prix to finish sixth behind Courtney King and Idocus, who are currently considered the United States' top combination, and earned 67.40% for fourth place while top-ranked Dutch competitor Marlies van Baalen placed fifth with 67.08%. Meisner and Paganini then scored 69.00% in the Grand Prix Freestyle to finish a close second to Dutch rider Kirsten Beckers whose winning score was 69.38%.

"The show was really big for a national competition; it was not what I expected! I walked in and saw the venue, and was wowed," said Meisner of the ambiance in Hengelo. "The feeling that you got from the atmosphere in the arena was definitely international quality, and a lot of Holland's top riders competed."

Of her tests, Meisner remarked, "I was happy with my scores. The Freestyle was held on the same day as the Grand Prix, which is unusual and meant Paganini was getting tired, but he gave me his all. I was happier with my Grand Prix test than with my Freestyle, just because the energy level was higher in the Grand Prix. When Paganini gets tired, his piaffe and passage become less animated."

Meisner has been partnered with Paganini since her sponsor, Lobster Point Farms of Nova Scotia, purchased the 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion three and a half years ago.

"The quality of his work in general keeps improving," she says of the Havidoff son. "His focus in the arena was perfect. He was where I needed him to be with the right amount of energy. Paganini is getting much hotter, which is a good thing. A lot of and stallions are quite lazy, so to have him hot makes him easier to ride."

After spending the 2005 season at the small tour level, Meisner and Paganini made their Grand Prix debut in 2006. Together, their scores have been getting consistently higher, and the new Freestyle program that they debuted in 2007 has received a positive reaction from judges and spectators alike. Compiled by leading freestyle designer Applause Dressage of Vancouver, BC, the freestyle features powerful modern music by the Croatian pianist, Maksim.

In addition to Paganini, Meisner is also competing in Europe with Lucky Strike, a 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Ferro, as well as Vivaldi, a five-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Don Schufro that was purchased six months ago. Another new acquisition that has Meisner has high hopes for is Tango, a seven-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Obelisk out of a Lohengrin dam that Lobster Point Farms purchased in August.

"I have watched the horse progress from the time he was a three-year-old and I always thought he was a fantastic horse," said Meisner of Tango, who was bred and trained by Rutten. "He has terrific movement and a great temperament, and a lot of talent for the Grand Prix. The quality of his work is phenomenal. I am happy to have the opportunity to ride him."

As the horse's breeder, Rutten believes that Tango and Meisner will make a good match.

"Tango is a very elegant type, a lady's type of horse," said the Dutch Olympian who competed Tango's sire, Obelisk, up to the small tour level while his dam's sire, Lohengrin, is a proven Grand Prix horse. "We bred Tango and trained him up; he is basically at Grand Prix level. He has not competed yet, but he does all the movements and is very talented. Cheryl is very competitive, eager to learn, and committed to achieving her goals."

Meisner is focused on her goal of proudly representing her country at the 2008 Olympic Games. Although teams have been reduced from four members to three for the first time, Meisner feels that her chances are good.

"I feel very positive about it and I think that my chances are good," she says. "There are a lot of struggles and hurdles to overcome in order to make this team, but my horse feels good and he keeps improving, so all I can do is continue to work hard every day and hope for the best!"

Having only made her debut at the Olympic level of Grand Prix in 2005, Meisner is currently one of Canada’s top international contenders. Incredibly, Meisner has only been training in the equestrian sport of dressage for the past six years and is one of the youngest Canadian athletes competing at the grand prix level.

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