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Outriders test skills, showmanship in the ring

More than 35 riders came from across B.C. to compete in Fun-in-the-Sun show

More than 35 riders came from across B.C. to compete in the 100 Mile and District Outriders’ Fun-in-the-Sun Schooling Show June 25.

The show saw horses and riders of all ages compete in several classes, including riding, walking, lead lining and showmanship, both English and Western-style. Organizer Amanda Harvey said the level of participation was excellent.

“It is the first show of the season,” Harvey said. “We have lots of ribbons and prizes for the kids just to build their confidence.”

Both Western and English events, separated by the style of saddle used on the horse, were judged on each rider’s control of their horse and its obedience. Many of those in attendance used the event to train their young horses.

Erica Smith, 20, put Jonesy, a one-year-old Gypsy Vanner, through his paces during the show. Smith said she’s training Jonesy for a friend and the event was a good way for him to become familiar with the showmanship scene.

“I brought my warmblood here as well, Brave, and I showed her in some of the English events, which was really awesome. It’s great to take her because she’s green and unsure so it was just a really nice quiet event to get her exposed to everything for the first time,” Smith said.

Kamloop’s Steph Waters agreed that the event is a welcoming entry-level show for equestrians and horses alike. A horse trainer, Waters said she tends to ride English style and focuses on jumping events.

Much like Smith, she took the opportunity to familiarize her horse Justified, 6, with the competition circuit on his first trip away from his home ranch.

“I think a lot of local people are just here to have a good time,” Waters, 24, said. “The weather is great, the footing is great and the judge has done a great job in taking advantage of the chance to work with the kids and teach them as much as she can.”

Waters said she was happy to see so many young riders competing as they’re the “next generation” of the sport.

Harvey said she was happy to have so many riders compete and that several members of the community came to watch. With all the rain, she said they’d only had three contestants sign up and nearly had to cancel.

“They saw it’d be nice out and they came in droves,” Harvey said.

The riding season lasts until fall, Harvey said, adding the Outriders plan to hold another event at a later date. Anyone wanting to get involved is encouraged to join the club by contacting the Outriders via Facebook.

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Patrick Davies

About the Author: Patrick Davies

Originally from Georgetown, PEI, Patrick Davies has spent the bulk of his life in Edmonton, Alberta.
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