After deciding at age 13 that dressage was the route for him, Chris von Martels competed in the FEI Junior and FEI Young Rider programs with much success. He represented Canada numerous times at international competitions, including being invited to the European Junior and Young Riders’ Championships in Hickstead, England in 1998. In 2004 he moved up to the small tour division where he continued to achieve top results and in 2005 he was named to the Dressage Canada Long List for the first time. He was named to the Short List in 2011. In 2013, von Martels began developing a successful partnership with a new mount, his Dutch Warmblood gelding Zilverstar. The pair enjoyed tremendous success in their breakout season and built on that momentum in 2014, earning wins in Florida, Belgium and France. At the start of 2015, von Martels and Zilverstar represented Canada at the FEI Nations’ Cup at the CDIO 3* Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida where von Martels put in an incredible performance in the final class comprising the individual portion of the Nations’ Cup competition. He and Zilverstar topped the Intermediate I Freestyle with a score of 75.600% to take home the individual silver medal, while his impressive scores over the entire Nations’ Cup helped Team Canada I earn a second-place finish.
Family: Sister Cecile and wife Lisa are also avid dressage riders who have competed at the international level… His father and grandfather bred and competed show jumping horses in the Netherlands… Getting into the Sport: Horses have been a part of his family for generations… Began riding as a young child, trying his hand at various disciplines… Odds and Ends: As long as he can remember, his dream was to become a top international rider, and one day to stand on the podium as an Olympian….