The Watermark Group Named 2014 Jump Canada Owner of the Year

The Watermark Group, the owner of Showgirl ridden by Yann Candele, has been named the Jump Canada Owner of the Year for 2014.

In the fall of 2013, Albro Creek Farm, Artisan Farms LLC, John Edwards, Eric Lamaze and Uplands Farm joined forces to buy Showgirl, a 14-year-old chestnut selle francais mare (Gold de Becourt x Vedette Normande - Elf III), from Attaché Stables of Calgary, AB. Lamaze orchestrated the purchase of Showgirl in support of Candele's Canadian Show Jumping Team bid for the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy, FRA.

In the pair's competition debut, Candele and Showgirl won the 2013 Canadian Show Jumping Championship at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, ON. The victory marked the fourth consecutive year that Candele had claimed the national championship title.

In 2014, Candele and Showgirl led Canada to victory in the Nations' Cup in Wellington, FL. They were members of the Canadian Nations' Cup teams in Calgary, AB, in June; Aachen, Germany, in July; and the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Final in Barcelona, ESP, in October, where Canada placed second. Meeting their objective of representing Canada at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, Candele and Showgirl were Canada's highest-placed combination, finishing 31st individually.

"On behalf of the Watermark Group, I would like to sincerely thank Equine Canada and Jump Canada for their recognition of us as the owners of the horse, Showgirl," said Jennifer Rogers of Uplands Farm. "Really, this award should go to the mare herself; she and Yann Candele made us look good! Without their stellar contribution, competing on behalf of Canada, we would not be honoured in this way."

Rogers continued, "The Watermark Group was formed in a matter of hours. The brainchild of Eric Lamaze, he rounded up the 'usual suspects' and proposed that we acquire Showgirl. Then aged 13, she had the experience and the talent to compete at the international level. Also, because of her age, her competitive years were limited, which meant that her purchase price was reasonable, especially split several ways, and we viewed the transaction as a sponsorship of Yann and the Canadian Team. Some of us knew each other but not everyone, and over the past year, strong friendships have developed amongst us all. We had success and lots and lots of fun. The Team spirit was 'over the moon' for the riders as well as the owners."

"If there is one message we would like to convey, it would be to encourage everyone involved in the sport to follow our example and band together to acquire horses on behalf of our riders. We see it as being the way of the future to ensure that our Canadian riders can stay in the game."

Deborah Roy of Albro Creek Farm added, "I do not think anyone could have predicted such a wonderful outcome for Showgirl, Yann and the Watermark Group. It has been a privilege and an honour to participate in our sport with such talented partners and friends. Thank you to Eric for the foresight, Yann and Showgirl for 'getting the job done,' and the Watermark Group for the friendship."

Rogers and Roy accepted the 2014 Jump Canada Owner of the Year award on behalf of the Watermark Group at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair during a special presentation held prior to the start of the Hickstead FEI World Cup Grand Prix on November 12. The Watermark Group was also recognized at the Jump Canada Hall of Fame Gala held on Sunday, November 9, in Toronto, ON.