Horse and rider teams had the opportunity to compete at equine show jumping at the Calnash Ag Event Centre last weekend.
The Ponoka Indoor Series, which debuted in town in 2017, was hosted by the Calgary-based Pacific Equine Sport Limited.
Co-owner Peter Grant said the goal is to keep the cost of competing low so more young riders and horses can compete.
Horse shows like these especially provide valuable experience for young horses to gain confidence in the challenging sport of show jumping.
“Our objective here is to create an atmosphere where we show the horses different questions and tests, as we say in our discipline. We show them in a way that sets them up for success and teaches them how to do it properly,” Grant explained.
“This leads them into the next stage of now making it more difficult to answer that question.”
While the winner of the more advanced Tbird 1 Metre Jumper Classic on April 7 was veteran Grand Prix rider Beda Wachter, his horse was a seven-year-old named Gossip.
“He’s just learning to go around and jump. He’s a little bit spooky and gets scared of jumps but he’s a quick learner,” he said.
Wachter said the course designer, who was Calgary’s William Dean-Stobie, did a great job.
“He put enough challenges into it especially for some of the younger horses so it’s a good show for us,” he said. “This is a super show to bring young and upcoming horses and they do a really good job.”
For Grant, it’s nice to see young riders come back each year.
“It’s really good to see so many kids that we’ve had over the last year that are new to the sport and look at how far they have progressed.”
Sunday afternoon featured the more advanced competitions, the Tbird 1 Metre Jumper Classic and the Greenhawk Calgary 1.20 Metre Jumper Classic, with the chance to win $500 and $1,000 respectively.
However, show jumping competitions for different age groups and skill levels were held throughout the weekend.
This is the Ponoka Indoor Series’ second season, with three weekend-long competitions a season. The company is looking to add a fourth competition to the mix in 2020.
$500 Tbird 1 Metre Jumper Classic
1 Beda Wachter on Gossip with 240
2 Dani Van De Werfhorst on Pharos D.G. with 249
3 Raechel Wiemer on Cartier with 338
$1,000 Greenhawk Calgary 1.20 Metre Jumper Classic
1 Katya Shepherd on Set Sail with 270
2 Alicia Arnold on Cedric with 119
3 Sydney Simenson on Isaac Fig Newton with 221