started riding with the Saskatoon Pony Club in 1969 at the
age of twelve, achieving her “A” level in 1976. Even as a pony clubber,
Smith dreamed of competing internationally in dressage. She
began riding dressage seriously in Vancouver as a working student for Dietrich von Hopfgarten after taking several
of his clinics in
Saskatoon. Gina and her friend Nancy MacLachlan traveled east with
their horses in 1981, and Gina started working for Cindy Neale (now
Ishoy). Gina groomed for Cindy at the 1982 World Championships, in Lausanne, Switzerland. During their
stay in Europe, Gina was carded for six months.
Gina decided to stay in Germany
and continue training with the Canadian Team coach Johann Hinnemann. It
was at this time that, in lieu of a university education, Smith’s
parents purchased the seven-year-old Westfalen gelding Malte.
Gina continued to spend the next eight years training
was named to the Canadian Equestrian Team in 1984. That same
year she was named reserve rider for the 1984 Olympic Team in Los
Angeles. In 1986, when the World Championships were held in Cedar
Valley, Ontario, Gina was a member of the fifth placed home team with Malte.
Gina was now training in Germany with Siegfried (Bimbo) Peilicke, and
in 1988 she and Malte were members of the Olympic Team in Seoul, Korea
that brought home the team bronze medal. Gina and Malte also
finished twelfth individually.
Gina returned from Germany in the summer of 1990 and has trained at Franklands Farm in Brockville, Ontario ever since. At the 1991 Pan-American Games in Havana, Cuba, she was a member of the gold medal
winning team riding Franklands Farm-owned Dutch Treat.
1992 Pan Am Games
One of Canada’s most accomplished dressage riders, Gina had the
highest score in the 1996 Olympic selection trials, 66.93%. She was partnered with Faust, owned by The Dressage Collection Inc. Faust and
Gina represented Canada at the Atlanta Olympics as part of the tenth
placed team. In 1997, they were named Grand Prix champion at
every show entered, including the Canadian National Dressage
Championships where she captured the title for the first time ever in
her extensive career. Gina also placed third with Fledermaus, whom she
began training as a three-year-old.
the 1997 North American Dressage Championships in Maryland, Gina was a
member of the bronze medal team with Fledermaus, owned by Franklands
Farm. The pair won the Swarovski Canadian League World Cup Final at
the Royal Horse Show in 1999 and represented Canada at the World Cup
Final in Holland in 2000.
has won several awards, including the Saskatchewan Horse
Federation President’s Award in 1985, and the 1986 German Bereiter Award
for competence and teaching skill in all equestrian disciplines. In 1989, she was named the Saskatchewan Athlete of the Year and
was inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame. In 1991, she
achieved the Level 3 Coaching status in Dressage and is a Level 3