Robyn Andrews: Para Equestrian Competing for the Worlds.

Robyn Andrews, para equestrian and paralympian ,is the second of my interviews of Canadian dressage riders competing this winter in Wellington Florida with the goal of representing Canada in the World Equestrian Games (WEG) this September. I am asking each of the riders the same set of questions.

IMG_3177

Here are Robyn’s answers to my questions.

When did  you start to ride?  I started to ride for therapy when I was 18 years old. My Physiotherapist thought that it might help with my balance and coordination. I would ride once a month. I had never ridden in my life so it was very difficult for me . I had a leader and two side walkers for 5 years.
When did you decide you could be a para-equestrian and not just a therapy rider?Therapists said I had that competitive drive and asked would I ever consider competing. Then the then coach for Para Dressage came to Newfoundland and saw me ride and again asked me if I would consider riding on a regular basis .So I jumped( not really since I cannot jump) at the chance with my parents’ blessing. Never thinking it would take me all over the world.

What other major championships have you ridden in? I have had the great honour to represent Canada at WEG in France in 2014 and at the Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

What can you tell me about the horse you will be competing with this winter season? I am competing with my partner of 9 years. She is a Friesian Andalusian cross mare , her name is Fancianna. We are trying to qualify for WEG in North Carolina in September 2018. She has been my legs for 9 years. She has a wonderful temperament and she makes me feel safe. She takes such good care of me when I am on her back.

IMG_3240

What is the most difficult or challenging part of a competition season like this ?The most difficult or challenging aspects of qualification for me are all the travelling to the international competitions as there are so few in North America. We travel to Florida, North Carolina, and Ottawa in just the first 5 months of 2018. All the trailering for Fancianna takes its toll. However she is a fabulous traveller. Personally , financially it is such an expensive sport and I require a caregiver and thankfully my Mother accompanies me everywhere. Also as a result of choosing to do this I have to train all year away from home consequently I miss home and my family terribly .IMG_0338

Is there something else you might have done if you had not become a para-equestrian? Had I not chosen this  path of being a Para Equestrian  I have always wanted to work with disabled children. I feel that I could be a role model for some child who feels they may not be able to do something. I want to motivate people as well.  Dreams can come true as I have lived them.

IMG_4296

If you could ride any horse, alive or dead and any discipline what horse would that be? If I could pick any horse in the world to ride I would love to ride Valegro. I feel he would be smooth and easy to sit to. He might get me good scores too!

You might notice that Robyn is riding without stirrups. I asked her about that. Here is her reply.   “I am a Grade 1 rider. Considered the most involved or disabled of the grades. We do the tests at the walk only. Also,yes ,I now ride without stirrups. The coaches feel I sit better in the saddle. Also it is safer than having your feet attached to the stirrups by elastics.”

IMG_3283

 

Thank you so much for answering my questions Robyn. All the very best of luck to you and Fanciana in your journey to ride for Canada at the World Equestrian Games. 

If you would like to know more about Robyn here is a video from You Tube that was made in 2016.  Do take a look, it will give you a glimpse into the story of this very determined equestrian athlete!

20 Comments Add yours

  1. Avery says:

    Great interview. What a good mare, you know I have a soft spot for those with any spanish blood!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Fancy really is a saint. I saw Robyn riding her one time when the sound system went awry and the blaring music from the awards ceremony was transmitted into the arena where the paras were riding their tests. Fancy put her head up but did not stop and did not do anything else and Robyn was able to ride on.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. dray0308 says:

    I’m curious…who shoots the videos?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      For Robyn’s video it was done by Equestrian Canada for team members going to Rio. I don’t know what company did those videos.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. dray0308 says:

        I enjoyed the video a lot.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. dray0308 says:

        Your posts open up a whole new world for me. Keep up the great work!
        Danny

        Liked by 1 person

        1. anne leueen says:

          Thank you Danny! I appreciate that support!

          Liked by 1 person

  3. TAJWAR FATMA says:

    The q&a was amazing.
    I am slowly falling in love with horses. I think I have found a new hobby.
    And I wish Robyn lots of love and good wishes😍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you! I will pass on your kind wishes to Robyn.

      Like

  4. athling2001 says:

    What an inspiring story! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      You are welcome. I am happy to share stories like Robyn’s. Thanks for your comment.

      Like

  5. Inspiring ma’am. My eldest daughter is having dyslexia, we parents knew her strength. I am motivating her and will continue and I am sure one day she will be good enough to motivate others. I won’t reveal this normally to anyone but this post touched me somewhere, thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Subbashini for sharing this. There are many people with issues similar to your daughter who have triumphed. I’m glad you found something in the post about Robyn that spoke to you.

      Like

  6. Kelly MacKay says:

    Good article, I wish Robyn all the best.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you and i will pass on your good wishes to Robyn.

      Like

  7. Emma Cownie says:

    I found it very touching when Robyn said her horse Fancianna, made her feel safe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I think Fanciana knows her job and she does take care of Robyn.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Emma Cownie says:

        That’s why these big intelligent animals are so wonderful.

        Liked by 1 person

I'd love to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.