Posted by Peter Roaf on Oct 12, 2021
Langley based Andrea Taylor spoke to Ladner Rotary members about her international level equestrian experience and that of National Team Coach for Para-Equestrian Canada. Andrea is credited for guiding Canada's Para-Equestrian team to results at the 2007 World Championships and the 2008 Paralympic Games. Rider Lauren Barwick won individual gold and silver medals. She was awarded the Petro Canada Coaching Excellence Award in recognition of her coaching achievements at the 2008 Paralympic Games.
In addition to her extensive coaching background, Andrea also competed as a high performance athlete and has previously been designated as a short and long-listed rider with Dressage Canada.  
In Para equestrian, riders compete in 11 dressage events. There are five disability categories for both the individual championship test and individual freestyle test and there is one team test. Competition is mixed gender and open to athletes with visual and physical disabilities. 
Many Para equestrian athletes also compete alongside able-bodied riders in competitions.  At the grassroots level, Para equestrian encompasses a number of different disciplines, while the international stream focuses only on dressage.
Riders are judged on their ability to perform various patterns, which include changes in pace and direction.  Team medals are awarded to countries based on the combined scores of the team and individual tests of their designated team riders.
Canadian riders earned an individual gold and silver medal at the 2008 Paralympic Games, as well as two individual bronze medals at the 2004 Paralympic Games. 
Andrea Taylor on her horse, Ikonic