Thursday, July 06, 2006

Local rider going to Worlds




When Mary-Anne Dorchester first started with horses, she had dreams of one day becoming an Olympic representative, but little did she know one day she would be on the biggest stage in a different type of horse riding, endurance riding.

Leigh Hammond
Sports
Wednesday July 05, 2006

ary-Anne Dorchester with her horse Shadow. Dorchester will soon head to Germany as part of Team Canada at the World Equestrian Games.
photo by John Robinson/Pics of You


When Mary-Anne Dorchester first started with horses, she had dreams of one day becoming an Olympic representative, but little did she know one day she would be on the biggest stage in a different type of horse riding, endurance riding.
"This wasn?t even on the radar when I started the sport," said Dorchester, who leaves for Aachen, Germany on August 1.
"My goal used to be the Olympics, in Dressage, but it just turned out not to be my forte in riding."
Before Dorchester could be chosen as part of Team Canada for the 2006 World Equestrian Games in Germany, she had to finish a Federation Equestre Internationale sanctioned event, which meant 100 miles in 13-hours-20-minutes.
In an event held last year in Drayton Valley, Dorchester not only made the qualifying time, she thrashed it, finishing in a time of 11:23.
Even though she had made the qualifying time, it didn?t automatically mean she was on Team Canada. She then had to be selected to the team, which she said was a roller-coaster ride all in itself.
"We were told the decision would be made by April 1, but we didn?t find out until the beginning of May. I went from thinking I had a good shot, to thinking there was no shot, back to thinking I did."
Dorchster explained she didn?t have the highest goals when she began with the sport.
"I didn?t even think 50 miles was on the radar, but the sport is like that," she said. "You can start low and move up once you get the confidence."
She also said the training regimen has changed a bit. Early on, she would do slower, longer rides, but now that she and her horse Shadow have moved up, the training at a faster pace.
"I?m not so much nervous, as I am overwhelmed," Dorchester said. "To have to opportunity to go to worlds and be able to ride the only horse I have ever used is really something special."
Shadow, whose show name is SH Rock N? Roll, is 15-years-old, but Dorchester says he is very focused on race day.
The cost of going to Germany for the race is about $30,000. Dorchester has received a great deal fund raising support for the trip.

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