Canadian dressage competitor and professional Chris von Martels began his riding career at a young age. Competing through the FEI Junior and FEI Young Rider programs, von Martels success continued into the small tour divisions. In 2007, he began his Grand Prix career aboard Hesperos. In 2015, von Martels represented Canada at the Pan American Games, where he helped the team achieve a silver medal. He then went on to earn the individual Pan American Games Bronze medal.
We caught up with Chris to learn more about what his summer looked like, the up-and-coming horses we will see at AGDF, and learned a fun fact (or five!) about him as well!
What did your summer look like with your horses?
Chris: I spent the summer in Holland training. I did a small selection of shows, building up some up and coming horses for the future.
Can you discuss what your plan is for the upcoming AGDF season, and tell us about the horses that you will be competing?
Chris: I plan to compete a few different horse this season. Firstly, my Grand Prix horse, Bellissimo, a new 7-year-old horse, Figuero, whom I am totally crazy about, as well as a few others. I have high hopes and goals for 2018. WEG in Tryon is of course a dream, but as for now I will take it day by day and step-by-step.
What are five facts about you that some may not know?
I love my daily routine’s…Go to bed early, wake up early.
I am probably a little OCD.
My favorite sport outside of riding is running, especially with my dogs.
Although I love spending the winter in Wellington, I actually really miss Canadian winters.
As a child, a would not go to school unless I could ride my pony first thing in the morning before the school bus.
What is your favorite AGDF memory?
Chris: I think one of my favorite AGDF memories must be winning the Palm Beach Dressage Derby in 2016. This a such a fun event. It seems that most of the professional riders get such a kick out of the Derby. It’s something totally different and although it is a bit of a “fun” event, it really shows the skills of the riders.
Photos courtesy of Chris von Martels.