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Lauren Barwick (born 12 September 1977 at Langley, British Columbia) is a member of the Canadian Equestrian Team, in grade II Para-Dressage, who has competed in the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Paralympic Games.[1] She won three medals in those games. Barwick has featured in CBC's Heartland and has several awards.

Lauren Barwick
Personal information
Born (1977-09-12) 12 September 1977 (age 41)
Langley, British Columbia
ResidenceReddick, Florida
Height174 cm (5 ft 9 in)
Weight61 kg (134 lb)
Achievements and titles
Highest world rankingfirst
Updated on 20 August 2014.


Personal lifeEdit

Lauren Barwick was born on 12 September 1977 in Langley, British Columbia. She worked at a place that supplied horses to movie shoots.[2] She now lives in Reddick, Florida. She is classified as Grade II which means she is paralysed from the waist down. Before she was paraplegic, she also enjoyed cross country running and skiing. She says she dreamed of working with horses in the movies.[3] Barwick became paralysed as a result of a ranch accident. In 2000, a 75 kg hay stack fell on her as she worked in the barn.[4] She said, "It was an ordinary accident, but an accident that could have been prevented."[2] After being rushed to the hospital, she was told her back was broken. Soon after, she was parasailing and riding horses again.[2]

Barwick was featured as a stunt double on the Canadian TV series Heartland as a special guest. She always wanted to be in a film. She said, "Looking at how easy it would have been for Heartland to hire an actor to ride a horse around and pretend to be paralyzed made the experience of having me there even more special."[5]

Lauren has 1 child named Viola.


This was Barwick's second appearance at the Paralympics. Her first Paralympics was in 2004 in Athens and she did not make the podium. In 2008, she won two medals, a gold in the Individual Freestyle with a score of 72.7766% and a silver in the Individual Championships. These victories were both with the horse Maile. She said, "All my friends, family, team members, and sponsors have allowed me the opportunity to succeed...But most importantly, I have had the honour to ride a horse with a lot of heart."[1][6]

In the 2012 Paralympics, Barwick did not win any. She got eighth at the Open Equestrian Competition on Off to Paris with her partner Ashley Gowanlock on Maile. The pair scored 72.095% leaving them with eighth place. She was very impressed with their results. "The ring had a lot of energy, but given the circumstances, my horse went really well today," she said.[7][8]

In 2014, Barwick competed at the International FEI competition in Moorsele from April 25–27. She won the Grade II freestyle and individual tests with scores of 73.086% and 79.150% respectively. She was very pleased with the results saying "Today our better was our best! The saying 'less is more' was exactly what we did, and it paid off."[9][10] At the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games, Barwick won a silver medal and a bronze medal in Individual para-dressage freestyle test grade II and Individual para-dressage championship test grade II respectively. She got a score of 76.250% for the silver and a score of 70.914% for the bronze.[11][12]


Barwick currently has two horses, Off to Paris and Ferdonia 2. Equine Canada's Off to Paris is a 13-year-old Oldenburg mare. She also has her own mare, Ferdonia 2, a 15-year-old Oldenburg. Off to Paris is her horse to use in international competitions provided by Equine Canada.[13]


According to the Federation Equestre International (FEI), Barwick is ranked as the number one para-equestrian rider in the world as of 27 May 2014. The rankings were formed with results from 1 January – 30 April 2014[14]


Barwick has been awarded 4 awards:

  • Equine Canada President’s Award[15]
  • Equine Canada Annual Awards[15]
  • Equine Canada Equestrian of the Year[15]
  • Top Foreign Rider Award[16]

She has also appointed Equine Canada’s official Spokesperson for Horse Week 2009. She has also been selected as a torchbearer for the 2010 Olympic Games.[15]

In 2015, Barwick was inducted into the Canadian Disability Hall of Fame.[17]


  1. ^ a b "Lauren Barwick – Canadian Paralympic Committee". Canadian Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
  2. ^ a b c "Young Worker Accidents – Lauren's Story – Fri Aug 22, 2014". Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  3. ^ Barwick, Lauren (30 March 2011). Riding for the Gold, Naturally: Lauren Barwick's Incredible Journey. Createspace. ISBN 978-1453878583.
  4. ^ "'Speechless' Barwick wins equestrian gold". Retrieved 20 August 2014.
  5. ^ "Canada's Double Paralympic Medalist Lauren Barwick to Star on CBC's Heartland". Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  6. ^ "Lauren Barwick Claims Gold Medal at the 2008 Summer Paralympic Games". Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  7. ^ "Lauren Barwick and Ashley Gowanlock Open Equestrian Competition for Canada at 2012 Paralympics". Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  8. ^ "Lauren Barwick and Ashley Gowanlock Earn Top Freestyle Scores for Canada at 2012 Paralympics". EMG. Retrieved 12 November 2014.
  9. ^ "Canadian Para-Equestrian Riders Earn Top Freestyle Placings At CPEDI 3* Moorsele". Canadian Paralympic Committee. 28 April 2014. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  10. ^ "Canada win team para-equestrian event in Moorsele". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  11. ^ "Another Medal for Canada's Lauren Barwick at the 2014 Games in Para-Dressage". SIRC. 30 August 2014. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  12. ^ Equine Canada (29 August 2014). "Lauren Barwick Scores Canada's First Medal at the 2014 Games". Horse-Canada. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  13. ^ "Canada's Lauren Barwick Ranked Number One Para-Dressage Rider in the World". Equestrian Connection. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  14. ^ "Lauren Barwick is World's Top Para-Dressage Rider". Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  15. ^ a b c d "Lauren Barwick Awarded the Inaugural Equine Canada's President's award". Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  16. ^ "Canadian Paralympian Lauren Barwick awarded "Top Foreign Rider" at Hartpury Festival of Dressage CPEDI3*". Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  17. ^ "Previous Hall of Fame Inductees". Canadian Foundation for Physically Disabled Persons. Retrieved 5 January 2018.