Monday, October 5, 2009

Margot Lefebvre and Brian Morton Top Talent Squad Standings

Margot Lefebvre of Stittsville, ON, emerged the Eastern Division winner of the 2009 Jump Canada National Talent Squad Series while Brian Morton of Langley, BC, was the best in the Western Division.

In the Eastern Division Talent Squad competition held at the Classique Internationale de Blainville Week 1, Lefebvre guided Mister Cash van der Veldmolen, her 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding, to a first place finish for 14 points.  The duo also finished second in the Talent Squad class at the L’International Bromont and secured their Eastern Division win with a second place finish at the Eastern Division Talent Squad Final held at the Canadian Show Jumping Tournament in Palgrave, ON.  They finished the season with a total of 41 points.

“Winning the Eastern Division Talent Squad Final or even making it to the Royal was not even part of the plan this year as it was our first year competing at 1.45m,” said Lefebvre, 19, who trains with 2008 Olympic Team Silver medalist Jill Henselwood.  “I feel so fortunate to win and be able to watch the 2010 World Cup Final in Switzerland.  I would never have had such a great opportunity if it were not for Jump Canada and the Talent Squad program.  I would like to thank Jump Canada for all the support they give up-and-coming riders.”

In the Western Division, Morton piloted Spitfire, a 12-year-old French-bred gelding owned by Linda Opdycke, to a fourth place finish in the Talent Squad class at the Thunderbird Show Park Western Family Horse Show.  They sealed their win in the Western Division with another fourth place finish in the Western Division Talent Squad Final held at the Thunderbird Show Park Summer Festival.

“We had a fantastic experience competing in the Jump Canada Talent Squad classes this summer,” said Morton, 23, who began riding Spitfire in the 2009 season.  “My coach, Mark Laskin, suggested that we do the classes as there are so many potential benefits and publicity from competing in the series.  Our results got better at each show, and the Final was our best class of the year.  We had an amazing summer in the Talent Squad, and it could not have ended better.”

As the top placed riders in the Eastern and Western Divisions, Lefebvre and Morton will be awarded airfare to the 2010 Rolex FEI World Cup™ Final at in Geneva, SUI, to be held April 14–18, 2010.  In addition, the two Division winners will be nominated to Sport Canada to receive Athlete Developmental Funding Cards.

The top 10 riders from both the Eastern and Western Divisions will go head-to-head in the Jump Canada National Talent Squad Championships, which will takes place during the Royal Horse Show in Toronto, ON, from November 6–15, 2009.

The Jump Canada Talent Squad Series is a means of recognizing up-and-coming riders who are preparing to enter the grand prix ranks and gives them a platform to demonstrate their ability to become future members of the Canadian Equestrian Team.  For complete standings, please visit

About Jump Canada

Jump Canada is the committee of Equine Canada responsible for all hunter, equitation and jumper activities in Canada from the grass roots to the international level.  Jump Canada is governed by a board, the majority of whose members are elected by the stakeholders in the sport.  For more information regarding Jump Canada programs and activities, visit

About Equine Canada

Equine Canada is Canada’s national governing body for equestrianism.  A member-driven, charitable institution, it is the executive branch of the Canadian Equestrian Team, and the national authority for equestrian competition; the national voice for recreational riders; and the national association for equine welfare, breeding, and industry.  Equine Canada is recognised by the Government of Canada, the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), and the Canadian Olympic Committee as the national organisation representing equestrian sport and equine interests. For more information about Equine Canada, please visit

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