Carriage drivers from across B.C. descended on 70 Mile House last month to compete in the Field Driving Trial at Huber Farm.
The event, held Sept. 25-26, drew 20 “hitches,” or 20 carriages and was a “great success,” said Cariboo Country Carriage Club secretary Karyn Greenlees. Besides local drivers, participants travelled from the Lower Mainland, Pritchard, Chase, Princeton and Quesnel. About 50 per cent of the drivers and navigators during the latest event were circuit regulars and the other half were new to her.
“This is a normal practice during the driving circuit [where events are held in numerous communities throughout the province], ” she added.
Most of the competitors camped out on the farm. While there were a few spectators, the event wasn’t advertised due to COVID-19’s fourth wave. Greenlees said they didn’t want to have a lot of people showing up to watch and then be told to leave because there were too many of them.
This was only the third event held this year, due to the wildfires and the pandemic, Greenlees said, noting the smoke from the wildfires really hampered the horses’ conditioning. 2020 was a “real washout” due to COVID-19.
There were three categories in the event, including Very Small Horses (VSE), training, and the highest level Normal Preliminary.
Greenlees said there were many close results in the timed events. A meet-and-greet was held Friday night with soup and buns and beverages provided by the Cariboo Country Carriage Club, followed by a potluck dinner on Saturday night.
Greenlees said hosting the event is a lot of work – setting up the course and then taking down, but club members made short work of it. She also thanked the last-minute volunteers for helping to make the event possible.
“I want to give a big thank-you to all of the volunteers who showed up. There were almost too many because we didn’t have enough jobs for everyone,” she said. “Fun was had by all and everybody had a really good time.”
(from first to fourth)
Day 1: Training VSE
Karyn Greenlees, Elizabeth Schulz, Vicki Schulz, and Laura McLeod.
Marion Roman, Ken Huber, Michelle Davis Ralston, and Joni Peters.
Ellen Hockley, Rosalie Turcotte, Michelle Davis Ralston, and Josh Hoyle.
Elizabeth Schulz, Vicki Schulz, Laura McLeod, and Karyn Greenlees.
Marion Roman, Joni Peters, and Ken Huber.
Rosalie Turcotte, Josh Hoyle, Ellen Hockley, and Joan Bourke.
Training, Karyn Greenlees
Preliminary, Rosalie Turcotte