This weekend’s seventh annual Summer Horse Show, hosted by the Exploits Equestrian Association was a success – and that comes straight from the horse’s mouth.
Well, maybe not the actual horses, but association President Nancy Coish said all the riders and their four-legged companions had a great weekend of riding in Grand Falls-Windsor.
The two-day event featured 17 riders from across the province, and was the third of five in a provincial summer show circuit.
“The weekend went really well,” said Coish. “And the weather, obviously, was just phenomenal.”
Coish added numbers were a little low this year due to scheduling conflicts with other summer events – normally the show gets between 25-30 competitors – but those who attended had a great time.
Eight of the 17 competitors were from Exploits region, and two took top honours in the competition.
In the English division, which took place on Saturday, and included 33 different classes, local rider Heather Butler and her horse Shiloh took top points in the senior division. Alexis Locke and horse Zephyrus from Deer Lake had the highest points in the junior division. In the Western classes, local rider Danielle Mesh and her horse Don’t Rush Me had the highest points in the junior division, and Katrina Butler and horse Poco Mui Twist of St. John’s took top points in the senior division.
According to Coish, the classes are judged by a certified judge hired from Equine Canada. The more classes a rider wins or participates in, means more points for the rider’s yearly totals. Sometimes riders get the opportunity to compete in provincial and national competitions based on those points.
“Each class is judged on different criteria,” Coish explained. “Sometimes the courses are based on who does the pattern right, sometimes it’s based on the behaviour of the horses, sometimes it’s based on the form of the rider.”
With their successful home show in the bag, the Exploits Equestrian Association aren’t finished for the season yet, riders from the group are set to compete in the two remaining shows – one later in August and one in October.
Aside from preparing for their own show and practicing for others, the association still has time to raise money for a good cause. Over the weekend, the Exploits group presented a $300 to Ronald McDonald House Newfoundland and Labrador.
“Over the years McDonald’s has been a major sponsor for our show,” said Coish. “We wanted to give back.”
For more information on equestrian sports in Newfoundland and Labrador, visit www.equestriannl.ca.