Canada’s Tanya Strasser-Shostak Borrows her Mother’s Action Tyme to Win Bronze at NAJYRC

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Tanya Strasser-Shostak celebrating her North American Young Rider Freestyle bronze medal with Action Tyme held by Evi Strasser. © 2013 SusanJStickle.com
Tanya Strasser-Shostak celebrating her North American Young Rider Freestyle bronze medal with Action Tyme held by Evi Strasser. © 2013 SusanJStickle.com

Tanya Strasser-Shostak overcame what she admits is a problem with nerves to repeat as a medalist at the North American Junior & Young Rider Championships when she rode Action Tyme borrowed from her mother to become the highest placed Canadian in the Young Rider Freestyle in Lexington, Kentucky.

Tanya of St. Adele, Quebec, turned 18 two days before the Freestyle, winning the bronze medal with a score of 70.500 per cent behind the Americans Ayden Ulir on Sjapoer and Jamie Pestana on Winzalot in her first Freestyle in the championship Young Rider division.

Right before the championships, she was named Dressage Canada Red Scarf Equestrian Athlete of The Month for May.

Action Tyme is a 13-year-old Oldenburg stallion (Aktuell x Aleksander) that Tanya’s mother, Evi Strasser, competed at international Grand Prix on both sides of the Atlantic over the past four years.

Evi, who rode for Canada at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, the 2006 World Equestrian Games and World Cup Finals in 1997, 2005, 2007 and 2008, bought Action Tyme almost eight years ago.

“I always loved him because he’s got the best personality,” Tanya said. “I’ve been trying to convince her for quite a few years, probably eight years now, to let me compete him. She said when her other horse is ready for Grand Prix, she would let me ride Action Tyme. She held up her end of the deal, so I couldn’t be happier right now.”

She took a Freestyle test from another horse and then realized it “suited him quite well,” so they adjusted it to fit Action Tyme.

Tanya was fifth in the championship Individual class and fourth with her team.

“I definitely had high expectations,” she said, “maybe not with the horse, but with myself. As the days went on, I really wanted it more because I was always so close. I tried to go for the scores, and it paid off.”

She enjoyed being on the team, but when riding “the biggest thing is not to think about riding for the team because of the pressure. I’m riding the test for myself, it’s my way of doing it because I used to get really nervous.”

Tanya was born in Montreal but moved to Europe with her mother for a couple of years and traveling to Florida for the winter circuit in recent years.

Although she likes to travel, Tanya still live in the home where she grew up, providing a base “we always come back to.”

And she maintained high grades through high school–making the honor roll for the past three years–that made it easier to convince school officials she is leaving for four months in Florida.

Tanya followed in her mother’s other footstes for a while and took up winter sports but stopped after an accident skiing when she was 14 years old. Among several other sports she tried was badminton and became junior champion in Quebec.

“I always came back to horses,” she said, “it’s allowed me to travel with my Mom and something we share.”

She is intrigued with the movie business in which her father worked. As a kid, she read scripts with him.

Meantime, her goals include doing well in the next stage of riding, the Under-25 division and to compete in Europe with her mother.

“Because of being able to see those big competitions,” Tanya said, “I feel less intimiated, a little more prepared than I would have been.

“I still have idols like Carl Hester and Edward Gal but after being surrounded by them it makes the European idea a little less scary.”