There was no shortage of excitement the week of the 2017 Dutta Corp./Fair Hill International CCI3*. After four days of intense competition, spectators saw Selena O’Hanlon make history as the first Canadian winner of the event and the 4th Canadian to win a CCI3* competition over the last decade!
Finding herself back and forth between first and second over the duration of the show, O’Hanlon eventually secured her place at the top after the final show jumping phase. Calm, cool, and calculated, O’Hanlon rode the 14-year-old Canadian Sport Horse Foxwood High owned by John and Judy Rumble to a deliberately slower round on Sunday to ensure that all the poles stayed in place.
“I’m super excited for this horse at this level. It was a personal best all the way through I couldn’t have asked for any more of him,” O’Hanlon commented. “Sunday I got a little worried. He started show jumping by braille which leads to rails usually, so I took the time to have a clear round because that was my goal and I’m glad it all worked out in the end.”
As well as the $15,000 prize money, O’Hanlon was also awarded with The Linda Moore Trophy as the highest placed foreign entry and The Beale Wright Morris Memorial Trophy as the leading lady in the CCI3*.
A wonderful show of talent, the eventing and horse-sport community at large congratulate this Canadian rider who’s just placed herself in the history books!
Ten things you might not know about Selena O’Hanlon:
- Selena was born in England but the O’Hanlon family moved to Canada when she was still very young.
- She grew up riding ponies. Aspecial one in particular, Toby, took Selena through Training level and later would act as a lesson pony for her first students.
- A talented young rider from the beginning, Selena proved her skills winning a team gold NAJYRC 1* title aboard her home bred gelding The Main Man or more affectionately known as “Cameron”.
- A valuable member of the Canadian Eventing team, she has represented Canada at the Olympics, World Equestrian Games and Pan American Games.
- In 2007, Selena was first named to the national team with her horse Colombo. In 2008, the pair made their CCI4* debut at the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event where they finished 20th.
- That same year, Colombo helped Selena earn a spot on the Canadian team for the Beijing Olympic Games placing 20th in the Dressage phase and 46th overall.
- At the 2010 WEG Selena and Colombo impressed once again, helping Canada bring home their silver eventing medal in nearly 32 years!
- Selena’s quote to live by: “team work makes the dream work!”
- Today, Selena runs O’Hanlon Eventing with her mother Morag O’Hanlon. #motherdaughterduo
- Their stables, Balsam Hall, is a 100 acre facility in Kingston, Ontario owned by the Datta family.
Photography by Shannon Brinkman