Jaimey and Tina Irwin answer the Florida Questions!

For the top Canadian Dressage riders there is an annual migration to Wellington Florida. They go as the climate is much more conducive to training through the winter than the climate in most parts of Canada. But there is more to it than that. These riders get a chance to compete alongside other top international riders and be judged by top international judges. There is also the opportunity to get qualifying scores for the major championships such as the Pan American Games , the World Equestrian Games and the Olympics.

But what about this year? The Pandemic has put the kibosh on the plans of many athletes and the Dressage riders are among them. I am following up on the riders I interviewed last winter when life was still normal and they were all competing with the hopes of achieving scores to qualify for the Canadian Dressage Team for Tokyo 2020. Those Olympics were postponed and they may, or may not, go ahead in 2021. So what are the riders plans? I asked three questions. 1. Will you be going to Florida to compete this winter? 2. How did you arrive at that decision? 3. Do you have any concerns about going or not going? Here is the response from Tina and Jaimey Irwin.

JAIMEY AND TINA IRWIN

We are not going to Florida this winter due to the severity of the coronavirus in Florida. We had to consider the safety, health and well being of our entire team. We basically pick up our whole life and business and move it to Wellington for the winter and with twenty horses, four staff members, our clients, kids and family it was a clear decision that we would stay put for the winter. We haven’t stayed home for a Canadian winter since our youngest child was born, seven years ago! It will be a cold winter to stay training, but we used to do it all of the time, so I’m sure we will survive! It’s called long underwear and layers. We will miss the weather and competitions of Wellington, but the risk far outweighs the benefits for us. We also plan to make the most of our winter and take the kids skiing and enjoy some of the best winter sports that they haven’t had a chance to take part in. They are looking forward to it!

Tina Irwin competing at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival March 2020.
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Jaimey Irwin competing at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival 2018
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Jaimey and Tina performed a Pas de Deux at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival at the Freestyle under the lights. 2017

My next post will be about Olympian Belinda Trusell’s answer to my Florida questions.

13 Comments Add yours

  1. Sad to know this pandemic has changed the routine life of some hardworking peoples, but still happy to know how positively they are adapting to the situation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yes it is difficult for these riders. But as you say they are adapting with a positive attitude. 😊

      Like

  2. David says:

    It is a similar situation with showjumping. Ryegate lists practically every showjumping event in the USA, but you will find a blank slate in zone after zone. I found three listings. Whether they are a full go, two next week, one just before Christmas, is a separate issue. Anything that goes on will be without USEF or FEI endorsement. There are a few activities in Wellington on the showjumping side. The top level riders like Beezie Madden, Kent Farrington, McClain Ward, they’re still riding and training, developing horses (just like my daughters, lol). Beezie was planning to semi-retire after Tokyo; I believe she still plans to but the pandemic upset her schedule like everyone else’s. The Rolex and Longines professional tours were supposed to restart on September 21, but didn’t because of travel restrictions.

    A showjumper from France, my daughters are friends with, said she’s racking up training hours. To break-up things for her horses is that she takes them on trail rides. But, if she trailers to the next town over to meet up with her coach, or trail ride a different location, Patrice needs all of her horse documents. She said the local police frowns more than the most sourest FEI official when looking over her documents. 🙂

    Stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      The Adequan Global dressage Festival has a full schedule of CDIs. It is just like nothing has changed . But

      Like

    2. anne leueen says:

      The Adequan Global Dressage Festival has a full schedule of CDIs. Just like nothing has changed. But for Canadians they may be able to transport the horses but we cannot drive across the border without proving we are “athletes pursuing competition for the Olympics”. We can fly but they you end up there and have the added expense of renting a car. We shall see how it all turns out. I suspect Tokyo may get cancelled. I fail to see how all the athletes and the audience can get vaccinated before the July deadline.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. David says:

        Well, it appears I have spoken too soon. It seems WEF is a full go. Daughters received show information in the mail today. They don’t see how they can proceed with what is going on. The girls love the sport, but not to risk their lives over it. Besides, Florida has done absolutely nothing regarding a COVID response. No masks, no physical distancing, etc. Sure, PBIEC will oversee their own restrictions, but that’s not enough. You’re right in that we’ll find out how this will settle out.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. anne leueen says:

          I am.glad your daughters will not be going to WEF. Florida is a Covid hof spot and I can assure you that Equestrian Sport Productions will be making an effort to have safety measures but with an eye to the bottom line.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Emma Cownie says:

    I laughed at the “long underwear and layers”!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      They are necessities for winter here. I was glad they admitted that. It made me chuckle too.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. So sorry you all are unable to come down 😪

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Well we are sorry too. But there are some of the riders that are still coming.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Not my favorite one 😐

        Liked by 1 person

        1. anne leueen says:

          Thank you Susie.💕

          Liked by 1 person

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