The Clearwater Valley Pony Club hosted its 9th Annual Beaumont Horse Trials on Saturday and Sunday June 6 and 7, at the Beaumont And District AG Society Fairgrounds, an impressive facility with a 74-acre cross-country course, two show rings and stables for 120 horses.
The Beaumont Horse Trials is an Equine Canada- sanctioned event. With 180 riders registered hailing from Alberta, Saskatchewan and BC, it was a major fundraising equine event for riders of all ages and levels. Founded 50 years ago, the Clearwater Valley Pony Club (CVPC) is a member of the International Pony Club. Not an event for ponies, the trials’ competing mounts here were Arabians, Thoroughbreds, Irish Sport horses and Paints.
In this club, each rider’s family has responsibilities. Kim LaChappelle and her husband Don Schiewe, whose farm is located north of the international airport, were helping with the cross-country course and dynamically helped to promote the event: their two teen daughters, Taylor (16, a Rabbit Hill ski instructor in winter) and Sydney Schiewe (a ski instructor in the Rockies) are competitive riders who dreamed of Olympic medals when they were little.
The impressive 2,800-meter course, with a total of 26 “jumping efforts” was designed by Barry Tyerman, a professional based in Olds Alberta.
Among several sponsors and 50 volunteers each day, the Trials’ scoring official Tammy Alexander has pushed her equine interest further: she is the mother of Abby Alexander, a teen rider. This year, with good success, event officials were using Start Box for the first time, a sophisticated online scoring system.
Day One was focused on two of the three elements of the competition weekend: Jumping and Dressage. The course was colorful, with interesting, well-built obstacles. The youngest rider was eight years old, and was registered in the entry level of the Beaumont Horse Trials.
Day Two, Sunday, was the Cross-country day: it started with higher jumps for more experienced riders. In particular, the Pond where horses had to land in water, jump over a structure then exit the water and The Hill, where horses had to jump over two large log structures at the very top of the hill, were quite awe-inspiring! The day continued with more admirable riding skills, both of the riders and their mounts!
It is interesting to hear that the Beaumont Ag Society Grounds’ cross-country course is open to all riders, with a fee, and with strict rules such as no solo riders, they must be accompanied by another rider or one on foot.
Passion, dedication and skill development are a common denominator among riders of all ages: the Clearwater Valley Pony Club and its dynamic president Tracy Hughes are a fine example of the concerted efforts of horse-loving, competition-pursuing families who chose Equine Sports for their kids- and themselves! Youths involved in this equine sports are undoubtedly grateful to the parents who encourage, support and sponsor their equine passion.