Bringing literal definition to the phrase horsin’ around, Williams Lake’s Eagle View Equestrian Centre hosted a vast display of horsemanship over the weekend.
The event, Horsin’ Around in the Cariboo, featured three days from Friday, April 29 to Sunday, May 1 of barrel racing, two-man sorting and, the grand finale, a trainer’s challenge.
The trainer’s challenge featured three horse trainers — Williams Lake’s James Allan and Sean Windt and Kersley’s Ernest Kroeker.
Each trainer was given a two-year-old colt, which were each halter broken and had their feet trimmed with no other handling. From there trainers were given four one-hour round pen sessions and one final 30-minute judged obstacle course session to determine a winner.
“The trainers were judged by three judges on their training programs and their ability to communicate with both the horse and the audience,” said Eagle View Equestrian Centre manager Lori Rankin.
“The trainers had to keep a good balance of working with the horse and going forward while also making sure that they were informing the audience of what they were doing at all times and why.”
By the end of the trainer’s challenge trainers were asked to mount their horse, perform a walk, a trot and a lope around the arena, weave in and out of cones, step over ground poles, walk over a bridge, drag a pole 25 feet and swing a rope over head while mounted.
Trainers also had the option of loading their colt into a trailer or performing a freestyle ride, also scored by the judges.
“James ended up riding with the halter around the horse’s neck instead of his head [for his freestyle portion],” Rankin said. “Ernest ended up not riding his colt and instead created his own show at the end getting the horse to go over a jump.”
Winning the trainer’s challenge was Allan, followed by Windt closely behind in second. In third was Kroeker.
On Saturday, four divisions of barrel racing took centre stage. Winning the peewee division was Williams Lake’s Amy Hume, while Houston’s Kandi Moore took first in the open division. In the junior division Quesnel’s Sharla Hancock took top spot, with Rankin taking first in the senior division.
Later, much of Sunday’s display featured two-man sorting teams — each vying for prize money. Individual sorters were allowed to enter up to three times with a different partner for the event.
Finishing first were Williams Lake’s Katy Kosinski and Lee Ann Crosina with a time of 1:11.60. In second were Crosina and Al Wilson with a time of 1:13.27.
Finishing third were locals Allan and Norm Reynolds (1:13.67) with Allan and Crosina taking the fourth spot (1:19.64). Taking fifth place were Quesnel’s Kelly and Laurie Anderson.
This was the fourth year Horsin’ Around in the Cariboo has been held at the Eagle View Equestrian Centre — located just off Dog Creek Road and owned by Bob and Barb Henson — and the first time a trainer’s challenge has been held at the event.
“This was the first year we’ve had the trainer’s challenge and I think it’s our best idea so far,” Rankin said.
“All the events went really well. Everything ran smoothly. We have a great riding club and volunteers who helped put everything on and did all the prep work.”