This weekend the Cariboo Cowgirls Drill Team Society Ride With Pride will share its Shot in the Dark routine at the Mane Event in Chilliwack, B.C.
“We’re really excited,” said president Tammy Ward. “At the end of the Equine show we will ride into the darkened arena with glow sticks stuck onto us and our horses.”
It’s an amazing routine, and something to have 5,000 spectators screaming in appreciation in the pitch dark, she added.
This will be the fourth year in a row the society has attended the Mane Event Equine Education Trade Fair to represent Williams Lake.
“They call and invite us every year, saying, ‘you have to come,’” Ward said.
By attending they can access horse trainers, clinics, a big exhibition sale of horse trailers and equipment.
“Everything you can think of,” she added.
To transport 10 horses, the society uses four trailers and relies heavily on local sponsors.
Mane Event’s owner Gail Barker said 2014 marks the 11th year of the showcase being held in Chilliwack. One is also held in Red Deer annually.
“The Cariboo Cowgirls are a big hit,” Barker told the Tribune. “People are stomping their feet and going crazy.”
This year’s theme is “Olympians, TV Stars and America’s Most Trusted Horseman.”
Two Olympians — George Morris and Jan Ebeling will be giving clinics, two actors from CBC’s popular Heartland series will be on hand to sign autographs, and John Lyons, known as America’s Most Trusted Horseman will be conducting cowboy church Sunday morning.
“John’s daughter is in the trainer’s challenge, competing against two male trainers, so he’s coming up to support her and help us out,” Barker said.
During the trainer’s challenge, trainers will use colts from Douglas Lake Ranch, she added.
While the Cariboo team is in Chilliwack members will be hosted by Tammy Foot, a local rancher in Chilliwack.
“We stay with Tammy every year and she even provides us with an indoor arena for us to practice,” Ward said, explaining how the manager of Mane Event put the Williams Lake riders in touch with Foot.
This year 10 girls are attending, including the youngest — 10-year-old Shavanna Jalbert — and her mom, Nancy.
Ward joined a drill team 14 years ago and said since then three teams morphed into one.
“I love being with all the girls, going to rodeos, camping out and the excitement of the drills,” she said.
She also voiced kudos for John Young for his “awesome” coaching, along with Alison Everett and Doug White who provide their indoor arena for the team to practice locally.
The Mane Event runs Oct. 24 to Oct. 25.
Baker said 20,000 to 22,000 people attend each year.