Hawley Bennett-Awad, an equestrian star from Aldergrove, has added another international medal to her collection.
The Canadian eventing team of Bennett-Awad (aboard Five O'Clock Somewhere), Jessica Phoenix, James Atkinson, Rebecca Howard, and Selena O' Hanlon took silver in the team eventing competition at the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.
"I'm so proud to be part of our team," said Howard.
The Olympic sport of eventing encompasses three separate tests: dressage, cross-country, and show jumping held consecutively. Each test ridden by the rider and horse in combination is scored individually but added together for the final results. The rider/horse combination with the fewest number of penalty points over the three days wins the competition.
Most recently, Bennett-Awad earned a spot competing in the 2012 Olympics in London after being a part of a four-person team that won silver at the World Equestrian Games in Lexington, KY.
"It's still just a little overwhelming," she said when it became official last fall [Torchbearer en route to London, Jan. 4, 2011, Langley Advance].
Canada was not expected to do well. The team members themselves were just hoping to get at least fifth place.
Bennett-Awad and teammates came second after Great Britain, but ahead of New Zealand.
The finish also qualifies Canada's team for the Canadian Eventing competition for 2012.
Bennett-Awad has had an Olympic dream since childhood, when she entered a Langley contest to be a torchbearer for the 1988 Olympics, held in Calgary.
At the 2010 Winter Olympics, she carried the torch in Richmond.
She competed in the 2004 Summer Games in Athens, calling it a "learning experience."
"It was one of the best experiences of my life," Bennett-Awad said.