Gina Smith started her riding career in the Saskatoon Pony Club at the age of 12, eventually achieving her “A” level certification. Even at that young age, Gina dreamed of competing internationally in dressage, and began riding dressage seriously as a working student for Dietrich von Hopfgarten.
Eventually Gina moved east and started working for Cindy Neale (now Ishoy), grooming for Cindy at the 1982 World Championships, in Lausanne, Switzerland. This ended up being a pivotal trip in Gina’s dressage career - during their stay in Europe, Gina was carded for six months, which eventually turned into her spending the next eight years training in Germany.
In iIn 1984 Gina was named to the Canadian Equestrian Team, and that same year she served as the reserve rider for the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. In 1986 she was a member of the fifth place team at the World Championships in her home country of Canada. Continuing her upward moment, she was named to the 1988 Olympic Team in Seoul, Korea, bringing home team bronze.
Gina returned home from Germany in 1990 and since then has trained at Franklands Farm in Brockville, Ontario, where she has continued to find success at the top level of dressage. Now one of Canada’s most accomplished dressage riders, she won team gold at the 1991 Pan-American Games, had the highest score in the 1996 Olympic selection trials, and represented Canada at the Atlanta Olympics and the World Cup Final in Holland in 2000.
Beyond her accomplishments in the show ring, Gina has also won several awards for coaching, including the German Bereiter Award for competence and teaching skill in all equestrian disciplines. She has also achieved the Level 3 Coaching status in Dressage and is a Level 3 Course Conductor. Her passion for dressage is rivaled only by her passion for teaching – a quality that makes her a fantastic addition to our dressage coach lineup!