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Canadian Eventing Horse Donation Program selects Noel Clark to ride Jack of Hearts

The Canadian Eventing High Performance Committee has awarded the ride of Equine Canada’s Canadian Sport Horse (CSH) gelding, Jack of Hearts to Noel Clark, 20, of Calgary, AB.

“I was quite surprised to be chosen. It’s quite an honour to be able to ride for the country and campaign a horse owned by the national federation,” said Clark.

Jack of Hearts is a 17hh 11-year-old dark brown gelding, out of the English bred mare Emily (Miss Spell by Impecunious) and sired by CSH Black Jack II  (Elisabeth Rock by Bunny Boy). Jack of Hearts was bred by Sue Ockendon of Iron Hill, QC, and originally donated to Equine Canada by Alan Sandler of Dollard des Ormeaux, QC.

Eventing riders were recently notified of Jack of Hearts’ availability by the Athlete Development Committee, and invited to send in resumes and supporting letters from their coaches. Twelve applications were received from riders in 4 provinces, and competition experience levels ranged from Pre-Training through Intermediate Horse Trials. A review committee, comprised of Peter Gray of the High Performance and Horse Donation Committees, Mary Howard of the Athlete Development Committee, and Lynne Larson of the Coaching Committee made the recommendation to award the ride to Clark. Their decision was approved and endorsed by the High Performance Committee.

Clark has been riding since the age of four, and was a Pony Club member for 14 years. He competed in his first Event at the age of 14 and since then, has not only moved up the Eventing ranks, but has shown his talent, determination and love of Eventing, granting him a Canadian Eventing Rider Development Scholarship in 2003. A native of Calgary, he is currently training with legendary US Eventer Edward ”Denny” Emerson in Stratford, VA and competing at the Preliminary and Intermediate levels.

“I was immediately struck by what a gentleman Jack is. He is a very stunning boy and has a great deal of presence. He is fun to ride and we are quickly developing an excellent partnership.  I think we will have a great and successful future together,” said Clark.

“My short-term goals for Jack and myself are to compete in some Preliminary horse trials over the next few months and compete in the CCI*J at the North American Young Riders Championships. After that I hope to upgrade to the Intermediate level,” he continued.

At their second competition outing on July 17, the pair won the Preliminary division at the Huntington Horse Trials in South Strafford, VT before going on to finish an impressive 7th place individually, along with helping to achieve the CCI*J Team Gold Medal at the 2005 CN North American Young Riders’ Championship, held July 27-31 in Lexington, VA.

Jack of Hearts was previously awarded to Courtney Olmstead of Delta, ON who successfully competed with him at the CCI international two star three-day event level, including the 2001 North American Young Riders’ Championship. The duo were long listed for the National Team in 2003.

Canadian Eventing is a committee of Equine Canada responsible for the sport of eventing in Canada from the grassroots to the international level. The Canadian Eventing Committee is comprised of 12 members, including two rider representatives elected by the Elite Riders Association. Directed by the Strategic Plan for Eventing, all Eventing activities are administered by this committee via six sub-committees with the support of an Eventing Manager based at the Equine Canada office in Ottawa. For more information about Canadian Eventing, visit www.canadianeventing.com, or www.canadianeventingteam.com.

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