Athlete Development Resources

Equestrian Canada Long-Term Equine Development Information:

A Parent’s Guide to LTED

Long-Term Athlete Development Backgrounder

10 Key Factors to LTED Success


Equestrian Canada Athlete Development Programs

Equestrian Canada (EC) facilitates the following programs to up-and-coming young athletes to support development and talent identification.

See North American Junior and Young Rider Championships

The FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC) is the premiere equestrian competition in North America for junior and young riders, aged 14-21. Young equestrians vie for team and individual medals in the FEI disciplines of Dressage, Endurance, Eventing, Jumping, Para-Dressage and Reining.

See for more information


Orion Cup

The Orion Cup was created in memory of Orion, a very special horse in Canadian dressage history, to encourage and assist young Canadian athletes in making the transition from the young rider level to the grand prix level. Not only does this program provide an important developmental opportunity for athletes, it also is a means to achieve the goal of putting Canadians on the podium at major games.

The recipient of the Orion Cup will receive:

  • A commemorative jacket and cooler
  • $1,000 cash prize
  • Title of Orion Cup National Champion

About Orion

Orion was first trained to the advanced level by Leslie Reid and represented Canada at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Orion was later sold to one of Reid’s students at that time, Pia Fortmuller. Orion helped Fortmuller break into the grand prix ranks, and carried her all the way to the national team level, with the duo being named the reserve combination for the 2012 London Olympics. Sadly, Orion passed away in 2014. His passing was a devastating personal loss to Fortmuller and her family, and a loss to the sport of dressage in Canada. The Orion Cup was established to pay tribute to this very special gelding.

Dressage Youth High Performance

Dressage Youth High Performance in Canada has been created to educate the dressage youth community and provide the means to achieve international medal performances. The following four youth high performance divisions exist in Canada:

  • FEI Pony
    • Open to youth, from the beginning of the calendar year they reach the age of 12 until the end of the calendar year they reach 16. FEI Pony competitors may compete in FEI Children or Young Rider divisions without losing their status as an FEI Pony competitor. Ponies are classified as 149 cm or less in height at the withers with shoes, or 148 cm without shoes.
  • FEI Children
    • Open to youth, from the beginning of the calendar year they reach the age of 12 until the end of the calendar year they reach 14.
  • FEI Junior
    • Open to youth, from the beginning of the calendar year they reach the age of 14 until the end of the year they reach 18.
  • FEI Young Rider
    • Open to youth, from the beginning of the calendar year they reach the age of 16 until the end of the calendar year they reach 21.



  • Eventing NOBoundaries

Eventing NOBoundaries (ENB) is Canada’s eventing talent identification program. The goal is to provide a platform that promotes the betterment of eventing in Canada, while the deliverable is to create future national team podium athletes.

This long-term program is designed to identify competitive high performance eventing talent through a consistent tracking and monitoring structure for Canadian athletes through a North American competition series.

ENB provides an evidence-based and measurable assessment structure and a high quality learning experience for athlete development at the high performance level. The program entails:

  • Annual event series in Canada and the United States
  • Experienced spotters, coaches and integrated information resources
  • Series of athlete and coach seminars

ENB Competition Series

The ENB Competition Series includes events in Canada and the United States to ensure Canadian athletes have the opportunity to be assessed across a broad geographic area. This affords the ENB spotter team the ability to see athlete and horse performances in a variety of competition scenarios at targeted events. Athletes may also be assessed at additional, non-specified events.

The 2016 ENB Competition series is as follows:

ENB Education Seminar Series

A strategic goal of the ENB program is to ensure that Canadian athletes increase their eventing knowledge and all aspects instrumental to becoming a top eventing performer. To help facilitate this education, an annual ENB Education Seminar Series will take place at select competitions held as part of the ENB Competition Series. The focus of the seminars will include:

  • Technical and tactical sessions
  • Course walks with national team coaching staff
  • Equine management
  • Veterinary management
  • Performance planning, preparation and implementation
  • Integrated support team planning
  • Business skills, including ownership and insurance management
  • Coaching

The 2016 ENB Education Seminar series events are as follows:

ENB Spotters

The ENB Spotter team consists of a group of highly knowledgeable and experienced individuals who are assigned to targeted ENB Competition Series events to identify and assess athletes who demonstrate talent potential as per the talent identification criteria (see ENB Resources below).

Data acquired by ENB Spotters are uploaded to a central database and reviewed in alignment with the EC eventing high performance structure and athlete development pathway by Equestrian Canada eventing staff and ENB Review Committee members throughout the year.

2016 ENB Spotters

ENB Resources

ENB Talent Identification Criteria


Young Riders Development Program

The Young Riders Development Program was spearheaded by the Jumping Committee’s Domestic and Athlete Development Sub-Committee to increase participation and improve performance at the FEI Children, Junior, Young Rider, and Under 25 level. By providing youth with a pathway to become involved in the sport of jumping from an earlier age, the Jumping Committee is paving the way for a strong pool of future Canadian Equestrian Team athletes to represent Canada on the world stage.

The program is overseen by Young Rider Development Program Advisor, Beth Underhill.

Riders interested in participating in the Young Rider Development Program are invited to register through the online portal.

Under 25 (U25) Series

The Under 25 (U25) Series was created as part of the Young Riders Development Program and is a series of competitions open to athletes from the beginning the year they reach the age 16 until the end of the year they turn 25.

  • Athletes who have competed on a Senior Nations’ Cup Team are still eligible to participate in the U25 series.
  • In order to participate, declarations are required for horse-rider combinations.
    • The annual deadline to declare is March 31
    • Riders may declare more than one horse
    • Declarations can be submitted through the Online U25 Declaration Portal
  • Declared athletes must submit their U25 results online within a week of completing U25 classes in order to collect ranking points.


2016 U25 Jumping Series:

Competition Date Class Sponsor
Caledon National May 17-22 $20,000 U25 BDF Equestrian – Younger-Millar Family
Spruce Meadows ‘National’ Tournament June 8-12 $35,000 U25 Spruce Meadows – Southern Family
Spruce Meadows ‘Continental’ Tournament June 15-19 $35,000 U25 Spruce Meadows – Southern Family
Spruce Meadows ‘Pan American’ Tournament June 28 – July 3 $35,000 U25 Spruce Meadows – Southern Family
Spruce Meadows ‘North American’ Tournament July 6-10 $35,000 U25 Spruce Meadows – Southern Family
Angelstone National Aug. 24-28 $20,000 U25 BDF Equestrian – Younger-Millar Family
Fall Finale Sept. 28 – Oct. 2 $15,000 U25 Ontario Hunter Jumper Association
Royal Horse Show Nov. 4-14 $25,000 U25 Jump Canada – Rogers Family

Young Riders Development Program Resources

Jumping Youth Bursary

In recognition of the challenges young riders face as they strive to continue their education while competing at high levels of jumping sport, a Jumping Youth Bursary was developed for competitors between the ages of 14 and 21 who compete in hunter, jumper and equitation divisions.

  • Nominations are welcomed from coaches, show organizers, provincial federations, fellow competitors who are Equestrian Canada (EC) Sport Licence Holders in good standing.
  • Nominations close annually on September 30
  • Nominations must include a letter of support from an EC Sport Licence Holder in good standing who is independent of both the nominee and the nominator

Elements to be considered in the application include:

  • Outline of academic curriculum and grades
  • Future educational plans
  • Equestrian experience
  • Commitment and dedication to jumping sport
  • Position image within jumping sport
  • Notable competition results at local, regional or national level
  • Equestrian-related goals
  • Financial need

Jumping Youth Bursary Resources

Young Riders Development Program Registration
Online U25 Declaration Portal
Online U25 Results Portal
Under 25 Program - Ranking Points
Under 25 Program - Ranking Points


Orion Cup Criteria and Declaration Form
ENB Talent Identification Criteria
U25 Program Criteria
Jump Canada Youth Bursary Nomination Form






Contact Us

Manitoba Horse Council Office
145 Pacific Avenue
Winnipeg, MB, R3B 2Z6

Executive Director, John Savard
Phone: (204) 509-2369 (temporary)
Email: [email protected]

Business Manager, Linda Hazelwood
Phone: (204) 299-0118 (temporary)
Email: [email protected]