Most people think of rodeo, barrel racing or jumping when they think of horses.
However, there is one event that is in the summer Olympics that many forget about and it involves control, grace, precision and nerves on the part of both the rider and the horse.
That event is called dressage and was on full display over the weekend at the Calnash Ag Event Centre where the Parkland and Area Dressage Association hosted their Dressage Daze III test competition day as well as the Alberta Silver Provincials championship.
More than 45 entries participated on Saturday, April 30 and Sunday, May 1 in a total of 63 classes in both youth and adult categories including traditional dressage, western and English, which were also split between the Wild Rose provincial competition and the Silver elite event that can lead to national and international competitions.
A couple of local riders were among the competitors.
Ponoka’s Alissa Cline on her horse Rebel Without A Cause earned a score of 61.932 in the Wild Rose junior/youth 314 class on Saturday then put up a 64.545 mark in the Wild Rose junior/youth316 class before posting Sunday scores of 65.122 and 62.308 respectively in the Wild Rose junior/youth 415 and 416 classes.
Meanwhile, Jennifer Peers from Tees and her horse Topper took part Sunday in the adult amateur category and in the Wild Rose 412 class finished with a mark of 50.185 then earned a 50.588 in Wild Rose 411 class to go along with her 62.222 mark in the Wild Rose 312 class on Saturday and a 60.938 in Wild Rose 310 class.
The fundamental purpose of dressage is to develop, through standardized progressive training methods, a horse’s natural athletic ability and willingness to perform and maximize its potential. At the peak of a dressage horse’s gymnastic development, the horse responds smoothly to a skilled rider’s effort-free guidance while the horse willingly performs the requested movement.
Modern dressage demonstrates success at the various levels through performance tests – which involve a prescribed series of movements equating to a score for each move and how well it is executed.