Tina was born in Hagen, Germany, and moved to Canada after her ﬁrst birthday. Tina started riding as a young girl with her mother, Canadian Grand Prix dressage rider, Ute Busse. Tina’s successful show career began on her pony, Coco with whom she won many regional and provincial Championships in her junior career. When Tina was 16 years old, she changed her German citizenship to Canadian as she aspired to ride on a Canadian Team as a Young Rider. Tina competed four different horses over her Young Rider career, Legend, La Valse, Grandetto and Amicelli. Tina and Amicelli had the longest partnership and she took the tall Holsteiner gelding from a four-year-old through the levels up to Grand Prix. Tina and Amicelli were listed for the Canadian Team for many years and achieved many accomplishments including winning the CDI Blainville Grand Prix and Freestyle in 2008, and riding in the World Dressage Masters in Wellington, Florida in 2009.
In 2011, when Tina had her ﬁrst child, Gavin, Amicelli was sold to an American dressage rider, Barbara Strawson and the two had a wonderful partnership that continued at the Grand Prix level for many more years. After Amicelli sold, Tina acquired a young horse by the name of Laurencio who was imported from Germany as a four-year-old and a short year later, a mare named Fancy That came into Tina’s life as a 6-year-old.
2011 was an important year for Tina when she and Winston represented Canada at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico and helped the Canadian Team win the Silver Medal and placed ﬁfth individually.
Tina and Jaimey also coached numerous Juniors and Young Riders successfully at the prestigious North American Junior Young Rider Championships over the last decade. Megan Lane, Maura O’Sullivan, Camille Frechette, Alexandra Meghji and Emily Ferguson have all won individual and team medals for Canada due to The Irwin’s expert coaching and guidance. They provide a successful program and match the riders with suitable horses to help them achieve their dreams.
In 2014, The Irwins welcomed their second child to the world, a girl named Marlies. During the time of Tina’s pregnancies she took some time off as a safety precaution. Jaimey was keeping Tina’s mounts in top form so that she was able to ride quickly after the birth of both children.
One of Tina’s top mounts, Fancy That, a 2006 Oldenburg mare by Freiherr x Donnerschwee, has won many small tour classes Nationally and Internationally and declared for the 2015 Pan American Games, as well as being part of the Canadian Bronze Medal Nations Cup Team the same year. She has made the jump to the Intermediare 2 level with over 72% and shows outstanding talent for the Grand Prix.
Laurencio, a 2007 Oldenburg gelding by Laurentio x Donnerhall, and Tina had a stellar year in 2016 winning 9 consecutive classes at the small tour level Internationally and 3 more classes
Nationally, including all three classes at Dressage at Devon. They continued on in Wellington, Florida in 2017 where they hold the current World Record score for the Intermediare Freestyle of 78.7%! The Irwins were both key members on the Canadian Nations Cup Gold Medal winning Team. This is the ﬁrst time in history that Canada has won a Gold Medal as a Team at the Nations Cup and also the ﬁrst time that a husband/wife duo were on a team together! Tina and Laurencio also went on to win the Individual Gold Medal at the Nations Cup. In the Spring of 2017 Equestrian Canada named Laurencio the Horse of the Year for 2016.
In 2019 Tina qualified to be apart of the Canadian Dressage Team at the Pan-American Games in Lima, Peru. For the first time in 28 years Canada was on top of the podium to claim the Gold. Tina and Laurencio were the top scorers for the team and also captured the Individual Silver Medal!
Other future goals for Tina & Laurencio include the World Equestrian Games, Olympics and World Cup.