What does success look like? Lauren Barwick, two-time Paralympic medalist.

At 22, Lauren Barwick was an able-bodied, athletic young woman. But after a bale of hay fell on her, Lauren awoke to learn that her back was broken and she was a paraplegic. Yet she soon embarked on a grueling journey of rehabilitation and recovery. A hugely important component of this hope was meeting Linda and Pat Parelli. She credits Parelli Natural Horsemanship with giving her a solid foundation and the competitive edge with which to compete and succeed.
–Susan O’Brien, author of Riding for the Gold, Naturally, Lauren’s biography.

Lauren is now a three-time Paralympic participant and two-time medalist, including taking home gold and silver at the 2008 Beijing Games. She is a 4-Star Senior Parelli Instructor and motivational speaker, she trains her own horses, and she continues to compete internationally, most recently at the 2014 World Equestrian Games, where she took home silver and bronze.

54388682014 Equine Canada Equestrian of the Year

In 1995 EC announced the creation of this trophy in honour of Dr. George Jacobson D. Sc, O.C., F.I.A.N.A., P.ENG. The EC Equestrian of the Year Award is given annually to an equestrian athlete who has excelled in equestrian competition for the current year while demonstrating exceptional talent, horsemanship, sportsmanship and dedication to the sport, vision and mission of EC.

2014 Equestrian of the Year – Lauren Barwick

Equine Canada has named renowned para-equestrian Lauren Barwick of Aldergrove, B.C. the 2014 Equestrian of the Year. This is the second time she has been recognized with the title, having first earned the distinction back in 2004 following her impressive results at the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece.

In 2014, Barwick brought home Canada’s only medals at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France. Her outstanding performances in para-dressage earned her a silver in the Individual Para-Dressage Freestyle Test Grade II and bronze in the Individual Para-Dressage Championship Test Grade II.

A well-respected leader and role model within the equestrian community, Barwick has been an active volunteer, generously donating her time as a spokesperson and mentor. Her continued success on the international stage has helped raise the profile of para-dressage within Canada and beyond.

To view the announcement, click here.


Read more about Lauren’s incredible story.

We’re all familiar with stories of overcoming adversity, triumph over tragedy, beating the odds, and so on. If you’re a little overwhelmed by all of them, well, I don’t blame you. But this one is a little di! erent. Why? Well, it involves a Parelli Professional, for one thing.

Lauren Barwick is pretty well known throughout the Parelli community. You see her updates on Parelli Connect, you read her blogs, and you catch her tweets on Twitter. In addition to being a Parelli Professional, Lauren is also a medal-winning Paralympian. But that’s just where our story starts.


Writing the biography Riding for the Gold, Naturally has truly been a three-year labor of love. Getting to know Lauren has affected me in a profound way. This book chronicles the unlikely journey of a gifted athelete who fought to regain her life and rediscover her passion for riding after a tragic accident. The book is about the power of the human spirit to succeed in spite of extreme obstacles. Lauren’s indomitable strength shines through. The story also relates the amazing power of relationships with horses and the inspiration they can provide.