Sports

Rider making a name for herself

 Gisele Winton Sarvis

Collingwood native Megan Lane has returned home from the winter competition season with her riding hat full of accomplishments.

The Team Canada dressage rider now has two horses in the top 100 ranking in the world.

“It’s the highest I’ve been on the ranking list,” said Lane, who has also moved up the rider ladder to sit in 48th spot in the Féderation Equestre Internationale (FEI) rankings, making her the top Canadian dressage rider.

Her long-time mount Caravella is now ranked 48th top horse.

“It’s been a fantastic year for her. We’ve been together for nine years,” said Lane, who was named the Dressage Canada Owner of the year in 2014 because of her training of her Dutch Warmblood mare.

Lane, 26, and Caravella, 16, have an accomplished history together. Lane was named to Canada’s Olympic Team in 2016 and competed with Caravella at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, where they placed 32nd in the individual dressage.

The duo also won a silver medal at the Pan American Games in 2015 in the team event and they placed ninth in the team competition at the World Equestrian Games in 2014 in France.

San D’ Or, who she has been riding since he was three years old, is now ranked 95th with the FEI.

“It’s exciting because he’s only 11, which is young for a Grand Prix Horse. He’s my second horse I’ve brought along to the Grand Prix level,” she said.

Lane has also become the first Canadian to win a gold medal in the Nations Cup event that took place in Florida in March. She won aboard Caravella.

Team Canada also won its first gold medal at the event with team members Lane, Jill Irving and husband and wife Jaimey and Tina Irwin.

Now she is back home she plans to ride only six days a week instead of seven.

“The Florida season is very intense. There is a show every week or every other week, so it’s go, go, go. This is the first quiet summer in five years. It will be nice to have a little home time.”

Lane lives in Loretto near to Deer Ridge Equestrian in Hockley Valley, where she is the head trainer.

Her focus this summer is to “campaign” to get both Caravella and San D’ Or qualified for the 2018 World Equestrian Games in North Carolina.

And she has long-range plans to take San D’ Or (who is owned by Deer Ridge) to the top of the sporting world.

“Ideally he will be my next Olympic horse for 2020 in Tokyo. That will be the main event for him,” she said.

And she’s bringing along Zodiac, another horse owned by Deer Ridge. She recently took him and San D’ Or to a show at the Tryon International Equestrian Center, the site of the next World Equestrian Games. It’s a 647 ha (1,600 acres) site that has 1,200 stables, 12 arenas including a 12,000-seat international arena with full lighting, and all kinds of shops, restaurants and accommodations.

San D’ Or placed in the top three and Zodiac won all his classes with Lane riding.

Lane acknowledges that she has the dream job of any horse lover. She gets paid by Deer Ridge and has Alpha Omega Equine and Albion Saddlery as sponsors.

“It’s a privilege for me to be able to show the horses.”

No matter how long you’ve been riding, there is always something new to learn about the sport, she said.

“That’s the beauty of it. You never top learning. I really enjoy figuring out how to do technique work with what horse.

“You train these horses for so many years and when you bring them to the Grand Prix, it’s almost like you are figuring them out all over again to really finesse the test.”

Lane would also like to dispel the myth that riders just “sit” on a horse while the animal does all the work.

“It’s actually more of a cardio workout than you think. To ride properly you have to have such good balance and coordination and not fight your body.”

Working out away from the horses is essential for Lane to build her strength and cardiovascular fitness.

“You have to be fit to ride and you can’t get fit riding,” she said.

Lane has a website at meganlanedressage.com and a Facebook page where fans can follow her equine adventures.

giselewintonsarvis@yahoo.com

twitter.com/giselesarvis 



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