Jane Fraser, Maritime Dressage Star

It isn’t often that someone makes an 80 in a dressage test. I don’t personally know anyone (until now) who’s scored an 80 in a gold show, so Jane Fraser pulling off this feat in September is cause for celebration! Here are some highlights of her past competition season along with achievements of some of her partners in crime.

Jane is a Nova Scotia dressage rider and instructor who has been riding since four years of age (her father brought a horse into the kitchen when she was three months old and put her on it!). She and her sister Susan Fraser of Fraser Equestrian Centre were Pony Clubbers (they both received their A certificates with honours) who rode rescues or home bred horses most of their lives. Their achievements come from sweat equity and talent. Riding any breed, at any level from Training to FEI, and doing well is their hallmark. Give them a purpose bred dressage horse and look out!

Let’s start our story with the arrival of Jane’s current dressage partner, Juno (Bugle Boy GCF, soon to be Banjo GCF). Nancy Murray, who has been a huge dressage supporter and sponsor in Nova Scotia, brought Juno and Frankie (Delta Force GCF) to Nova Scotia as yearlings in 2012. In 2013 the two horses went to Fraser Equestrian Centre where Jane started training them. Previous to this they had five weeks of ground work training with Ron Robinson of Aylesford.

Jane did ground work with the horses for the next year and backed them as three year olds, continuing their training under saddle. The horses excelled under her guidance and training, showing early promise for their dressage careers.

Jane took ownership of Juno in March of 2014 and the Carter’s bought Frankie in September 2015 for their daughter Camryn, then twelve. (Jane continued working with Frankie three days a week and Camryn rode him three days a week in her lessons with Susan Fraser.)

Jane Fraser riding in the Arthur Kottas Clinic, May, 2016.

The two horses spent 2015 in training and going on their first off property outings. I’m proud to say that their first outing was to an Arthur Kottas clinic at Five Fires Equestrian Centre, where Arthur remarked on how the youngsters, ridden by Jane, demonstrated correctly started young horses.

This brings us to the stellar season of 2016 – let’s look at Jane’s incredible achievements as well as those of some of her contemporaries. (Note: Jane and the other riders mentioned here are coached by Eastern Canada’s only Equine Canada Level Three dressage coach Susan Fraser.)

Jane and Camryn started Juno and Frankie off for the season by bringing them to the May Arthur Kottas clinic again. The boys excelled and Arthur was visibly impressed. (Arthur is not easily impressed! He trains some of the best trainers in the world.) When answering auditor questions Arthur used Jane and Juno as examples of correct training and riding.

Camryn had outstanding lessons as well, and when the auditors broke into impressed applause as she left the ring, Arthur remarked that it wouldn’t be the last time that she’d be applauded. His words turned out to be true very quickly.

Training Division Champions Jane Fraser and Juno at Bromont, 2016

Jane and Juno began their first year of competition at training level, competing at Equine Canada shows throughout the Maritimes. Competing against some of the Maritime’s top riders and trainers they were Training Level champions and / or high point champions at:

  • Dressage New Brunswick Competition 2 – Bronze Training Level (Open) Champion 75.435%
  • RIDERS Competition 1 – High Point Champion 74.808%
  • Dressage PEI Summer – Training Level (Open) Champion; High Point Champion 75%

Some of Susan Fraser’s students decided to attend the Bromont Fall Classic. Jane, Camryn, Tiffany (Hamilton) Dalton from New Brunswick and Dominique MacEwan from Prince Edward Island made the trip in September. While this is an accomplished group, they were concerned that their coach Susan wasn’t with them.

Then… two of Sue’s friends surprised her with an airline ticket to Bromont which completely changed the game for the riders. Why? because she is a very experienced, talented and successful coach. Jane told me, “personally, I have never experienced rides like I had in Bromont”.

Jane received fifteen scores of 8 and an 8.5 for her riding at this competition, for a total of twenty scores of 8 for her riding this season alone. Would you like to watch a very quiet and effective rider who’s riding is praised by one of the top trainers of trainers in the world (Arthur Kottas) – then watch Jane.

Here are the outstanding Bromont results:

  1. Jane Fraser, Bromont – Training Level, 6 classes 6 First Place Ribbons
  • Fri: Training Test 1- 75.109; Training Test 2-80%
  • Sat: Training Test 3 – 76.705; Training Test 2 – 76.731
  • Sun: Training Test 1 – 74.565; Training Test 3 74.545
  • Training Open Division – Champion
  • Training Division Overall Champion

Training Division Reserve Champions Camryn Carter and Frankie, with Camryn’s super horse dad Clinton Carter.

2. Camryn Carter, Bromont – Training Level

  • Fri: Training Test 1 Jr- 67.609 1st; Training Jr Test 2-67.981 1st
  • Sat: Training Test 3 Jr – 63.977 2nd; Training Jr Test 2 – 67.5 1st
  • Sun: Training Test Jr 1 – 61.957 2nd; Training Jr Test 3 – 67.5 1st
  • Training LevelJunior Champion and Training Division Reserve Champion

Okay, I have to pause here and note Jane Fraser was the Division champion and Camryn Carter was the reserve division champion at this prestigious Ontario event with very large classes. Wow. The other maritime riders were equally as impressive.

  1. Dominque MacEwen (PEI) – Calypso NPF, First Level
  • Fri: First Level Junior Test 1- 66.296 3rd; First Level Junior Test 2 – 71.250 1st
  • Sat: First Level Junior Test 3 – 71.985 1st; First Level Junior Test 2 – 65.469 4th
  • Sun: First Level Junior Test 1 – 66.111 3rd; First Level Junior 3 – 64.559 4th
  • First Level Junior Reserve Champion
  1. Tiffany Dalton — Dacati, competed in the FEI Test of Choice (TOC)
  • Fri TOC2nd Place overall 66.842% (Top PSG score)
  • Sat TOC4th Place overall 63.421% (2nd best Intermediare 1 score)
  • Sun TOC1st Place overall 018%

So there you have it, outstanding results from the Maritime contingent coached by Susan Fraser.

Other Maritime trainers and riders have also been winning in these venues, for example Harma Germs Fraser from Prince Edward Island has a very impressive track record competing and winning from Training Level / Young Horse classes through to FEI. She and her young horse won the Training Division at the Bromont Autumn Classic in 2015. 

This year’s success isn’t an anomaly. Sue and Jane have been excelling in central Canada and the Eastern United States since the 1980’s. I asked Jane about it and received this:

Jane Fraser with the winning Nova Scotia team, 1980. (see post for more detail)

Weve had success in our adventures. We try to hit at least one large show out of province at least once a year and for the most part we have done so. Usually we have students with us.  The first time we left the province we went to the Ontario Championships (1980). We put a team in the Quadrille Championship and won. We were celebrities! It was so fun.

That year we had 6 riders  – Susan Fraser coach and competitor, Eveline (Keyser) Reid, Kathy Marshall, Barb Kinney, Jane Fraser and Diana (MacPherson) Baldwin – competing in Preliminary, Novice, Elementary (equivalent to Training, First and Second level), and Medium 1 (equivalent to 3rd level) and we each had significant ribbons, always placing between 1st and 3rd.

Thanks to hard work and good coaching Susan’s students have always done very well – and have pretty much always come home with a Champion or two in the trailer. We competed in Saugurties New York in 2010 and in addition to all our great placings, FEC came home with a Sportsmanship award. We had no idea that there was such an award, but the organizers had spotters out in the warm-ups and barns. How awesome is that?” 

Susan worked and trained with Cindy Ishoy for close to 20 years before moving back home with her horse Past Springs – a Thoroughbred born and raised in the Fraser’s backyard in Kingston NS. She broke him and brought him up the levels to Grand Prix, competing in Upper Canada and Eastern/Central US.

 Sue has been Jane’s only coach, with the small exception of working with Cindy Ishoy in regular clinics since the 1970’s. And now she’s had the good fortune of riding with Arthur Kottas in the clinics that Five Fires Equestrian Centre has hosted the past couple of years.

Five Fires is VERY fortunate in having Jane teach here weekly. Here’s a slide show of one of our fun and educational lesson days.



*Susan Fraser’s fascinating horse life will be the subject of a future post. It’s safe to say that very few people have any idea how accomplished she is.