Jr. High Point winner Hailey Hamilton rides on Lucky

Equestrians showcase skills

The Sooke Saddle Club begins its season with shows

The 2013 Sooke Saddle Club (SSC) show season offers something for almost all types of horse lovers.

Our purpose is to provide safe fun riding experience so we present schooling shows for all levels of equestrian experience.  This includes Dressage (English and Western), a Funshow, and Agility for horses — a new event this year.

SSC events are usually held at the Metchosin arena.  Agility will be at Cherry Lane Equine.

High Point winners for our first Dressage Show (held April 18-19) were: Jr. Rider-Hailey Hamilton and Lucky; Sr. Rider-Christina Nash and Fortissimo.  Overall High Point for the two day show went to Eve Ouradou and Tivoly.  Western Dressage was offered for the first time at this show, and will be included at the next Dressage Show August 3-4 at Metchosin Arena.  Contact is Eila at 250-391-1851 or eila_z@hotmail.com .

The English-Western Funshow will be on Sunday, June 9 at Metchosin Arena. Riders can enter flat classes in the morning, and games on horseback in the afternoon. The morning also includes a couple of ground classes for horses not yet under saddle as well as Leadline for the very young.  New riders, or those with new horses can enter the free non-competitive “Nervous Nellie” class. This is a good opportunity to accustom horse and rider to being in the ring with a group of riders, and to learn what the Judge expects. We have a Best Turned Out Class and this is open to everyone, even if the rider does not have the elegant outfits and tack seen at big show. We emphasize safe clean tack, well-groomed horses, and clean, neat clothes.

If you like music, try the Musical Performance Classes. Choose a piece of music and design your own routine. It is not a Dressage Kur with required patterns. Costumes are allowed. The Judge is looking for creativity and how well the horse and rider work together. Pairs or even larger teams can also enter.

Afternoon games include traditional favourites such as barrel racing, pole bending, trail obstacles, even an egg-on-a spoon race.  The games finish with a bareback class where the rider who keeps a playing card tucked between his or her leg and the horse the longest is the winner. Lots of fun and laughs. For information, contact Gail at 250-642-4515 or email nashramblers@hotmail.com.

If you like to ride horses, come and join us. Riders are required to have BC Horse Council or equivalent liability insurance for any SSC event. Concession will be open at the Funshow. Spectators are welcome, but please leave dogs at home as they can cause a horse to spook. Dressage shows require pre-registration; all others can register on the day.

For the new Agility event at Cherry Lane on Saturday, July 14, riders will be on the ground with their horses and will be taking the horses through various obstacles.  For information, contact Janine at 250-642-4867 or by email jwittich@shaw.ca .

More information at http://members.shaw.ca/nashramblers/Sooke%20Saddle%20Club.htm

Contributed by Gail Nash