Tristiana Allwood is dreaming of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The local 17-year-old is on a mission to reach the top stage of the very competitive world of dressage riding.
The recent graduate of Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School in 100 Mile House is a highly-ranked, award-winning Canadian para-equestrian rider. While her ultimate goal is to represent Canada at the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro in September 2016, she has to first qualify with scores at a number of international shows in the coming months, in places such as Kentucky, California, Europe and Texas.
Needless to say, 2015 has been a very busy year for Allwood, and she has a lot of travelling and competition left. This month, Allwood is competing in Kelowna and Langley.
She’s hoping for the community’s support.
Allwood was born with cerebral palsy. She started riding at the age of two when her mother, Teressa, introduced her to a therapeutic riding clinic.
“I’ve been working with horses all my life,” says Allwood. “When I’m riding, I don’t feel like I have a disability. I feel normal. I don’t have to think about it. I just go out and ride.”
The Log House, a western clothing store on Alder Avenue in 100 Mile House, is currently having a draw for a new outfit, with funds going to support Allwood’s pursuit.
Allwood is also selling hemp bracelets and horse cookies at the store, where she has a display about her journey. Allwood has also set up a GoFundMe site, where she’s looking to raise $10,000. She’s raised close to $6,500 as of May 19.
“No matter what struggles you have in your life, it’s what you make of the journey that counts. I hope my success in riding will encourage other riders and people to live their dreams too.”