Meet the Canadian Officials for the 2018 World Equestrian Games: Cara Whitham

Posted by By at 10 December, at 13 : 12 PM Print

Four Canadians have been selected as officials for the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Mill Spring, NC:
  • Donald Larry Hamilton of Saskatoon, SK – Vet Commission 3 (Endurance) Member;
  • Elizabeth “Lib” McMullen of Tottenham, ON – Dressage Appeal Committee Member;
  • John “JT” Taylor of Mono, ON – Jumping Ground Jury Member; and,
  • Cara Whitham of Stoney Creek, ON – Dressage Technical Delegate (TD).

These appointments recognize records of excellence that each official has curated over years of dedication to their sport. Equestrian Canada (EC) will profile the four in a series highlighting their responsibilities as WEG officials, beginning with FEI 5* Dressage and Eventing Judge, Cara Whitham.

It is difficult to grasp the volume of contributions that Whitham has made to equestrian high performance world, as recognized by her 2016 EC Lifetime Achievement Award. Whitham was Chef d’Équipe for the Canadian Dressage Team over a four-year tour in Europe prior to the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, and is heavily credited with helping to produce Canada’s Team Bronze Medal at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. She also lent her talents to the Costa Rican Dressage Team as Chef d’Équipe for the 2013 Central American Games, at which they earned the Team Gold Medal, and for their historic first appearance at the Pan American Games in 2015. As a judge, she officiated on the Dressage Ground Jury at the 2003 and 2011 Pan American Games, as well as at the 2005 European Dressage Championships. To add to her credentials as an equestrian pioneer, Whitham also founded the FEI Youth Championships and was the first Canadian woman to go for her jockey’s licence.

For decades, the equestrian community at large has benefitted from her knowledge and insight at clinics around the world, and through her television commentary during the 2006 WEG and three Olympic Games. As an organizer for over 200 competitions in Canada and 30 abroad, Whitham has demonstrated time and time again her exhaustive understanding of the sport.

With such a remarkable background, it is no surprise that this is not Whitham’s first time as a WEG official. She was previously selected to the Ground Jury for dressage in 2010, and for eventing in 1998 and 2002. EC spoke with her at Caledon Equestrian Park in Palgrave, ON, on Oct. 20 to learn about what her newly-appointed role as TD entails.

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