Anneka and Kristin Sutton will be the first ever sisters to both make it on a Junior/Young Rider Dressage Team, despite their mother’s early wish of never wanting to involve her daughters in riding.
The Sutton’s local paper, The Ayr News, recently reported their story and began the article noting, “When Blandford-Blenheim resident Gabriele Sutton came to Canada from Germany to marry Steve Sutton and start a family, she swore her children would never become serious horse riders.”
Now over 20+ years later they’ve done just that. Kristin, 19, Anneka, 17 and Mariah, 15 all began the season vying to make the Canadian National Team which will compete in Lexington, KY at the annual 2011 Adequan FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships. Presented by Gotham North, these Championships will be held July 25–31, 2011 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY.
Mariah did her best but with a new horse and as the youngest of the sisters, she’ll be there to lend a helping hand and learn the ropes for when she accomplishes that same goal. “I’m proud of my sisters and their horses, and hope to be in Anneka’s position next year,” said the teenager.
For Anneka this will be her second year in a row achieving this honor. Her Junior Ontario Team just missed getting a Bronze Medal. While Anneka will compete in the 14-18 Junior Rider category, Kristin will be in the 18-21 Young Rider section.
Kristin will be riding Robic, a 17-year-old Belgian gelding. Anneka will be riding Fidelio, a 14-year-old Westphalian gelding.
“Last year we learned the ropes, and now with grown confidence, love and strength between my horse and I, we plan to bring it all this year,” commented Anneka.
“Robic is a fragile, kind and special horse, who’s heart has made the biggest difference in my world. This is our year,” added Kristin.
The sisters will be driving down with the horses and with their coach, dad and mom, noted equine nutritionist Gabriele, whose company, KAM Animal Services specializes in equine health and nutrition and is known for its line of organic GMO free, nutrient specific supplements.
While living in Germany Gabriele experienced the life of an equestrian. Although she recognized the cost and sacrifices the family had to make she also is totally committed to her daughters.
It was their dad, Steve, who first supported their desire to ride and gave up many birthdays and holidays to be with his daughters on one of the many Canadian circuits over the past 10 years. From the beginning, the girls have trained with Ute Busse, a level 3 dressage coach and EC certified dressage judge who has competed successfully in both Germany and Canada.
Three complete teams and one individual, for a total of 13 competitors, have been named to represent Canada at the Junior Rider level. Kristin will join 7 others to represent Canada in the Young Rider Level.
The following are the riders representing each of the sister’s teams.
Jonah Freedman /Toronto, ON / Ulex / Jonah Freedman
Noémie Gagnon-Bergeron / Kanata, ON / Vavite Fortuna / Noémie Gagnon-Bergeron
Ashley Phipps / Nepean, ON / Dark Dandy / Ashley Phipps
Anneka Sutton / Drumbo, ON / Fidelio / Anneka Sutton
Bronwyn Barlow Cash / Branford, ON / Nashua / Lynda Cooper
(Barlow Cash also qualified a second horse Rubirondo owned by Ferdinand Haupt)
Alexandra Dvorak / Hillsburgh, ON / Fling / Thomas Dvorak
Megan Lane / Collingwood, ON / Caravella /
Megan Lane (Lane also qualified a second horse Lord Oldenburg owned by Froukje Staal)
Kristin Sutton / Drumbo, ON / Robic / Kristin Sutton
Competing in the NAJYRC is a real honor, and offers the sisters an opportunity to represent their country in a setting that mimics a world championship event. Awards are presented on podiums and riders and teams will receive medals and ribbons based on their accomplishments. For some this event may be the road that ultimately leads them to a World Equestrian Games or Olympic Games. You can bet those sisters are hoping that’s the road they’ll be on!