Lots of horse lovers filled the stands at the Calnash Ag Event Centre last weekend for the Aurora Arabian Horse Association’s (AAHA) Summer Horse Show.
The event brought exhibition riders who showed off not just their skills in liberty, western pleasure, Arabian hunter pleasure and ladies side saddle, but also brought in young kids to try their hand in the discipline.
Judge Duane Esser and sport horse judge Sue Hewton Waters covered the weekend giving away awards and handy tips on how riders could improve their skills.
Along with the many different riding disciplines, Arabian horse fans were treated to a liberty showcase where horses were let free to run within the arena and show off their majesty. Fans were encouraged to hoot and holler their excitement and provided cheers to which horse that they thought performed the best.
Lorie Fisher, communications and marketing co-ordinator for AAHA, said the group is working to bring more interest to the sport. To help drive interest, kids from the Ponoka Youth Centre were invited Saturday, June 4 to shadow other riders and get a behind the scenes look at an Arabian horse show.
She suggests caring for horses is a great character building exercise. “It just builds up all kinds of characterstics you need in life skills.”
Proceeds from the event will go to the Ponoka Youth Centre, she added. “It was magical actually, seeing them at the event.”
While the sport has been dwindling over the years, the AAHA has been developing ways to engage a younger audience to drive interest. Fisher suggests with further engagement, the program will grow and develop further.