The 2012 Island Classic came off without a hitch, and this year’s instalment of the big four-day event held each year at Arbutus Meadows Equestrian Centre saw plenty of sun and some great competition.
Played out last weekend, the Island Classic is one of the last shows of the season, and the summer showcase attracts riders and clubs from up and down the Island and as far away as Langley and Washington State.
Riders and their horses were tested as they face challenging courses with jumps ranging from 2’ to 4’3” in height.
“Isn’t this marvelous — I’ll take sun over rain any day,” one spectator beamed from her vantage point overlooking the main ring. Last year’s Classic was played in the pouring rain.
This year’s event featured 155 riders and was such a success, event director Joy O’Connell said “we plan to do more horse shows next year.”
Spread out over 120 acres, the Arbutus Meadows Equestrian Centre, with its four competition rings and numerous barns, is a show jumpers paradise and an idyllic setting for participants and spectators alike. O’Connell said the event is a full year in the making, “and we’re proud to say we offer the best prizes for a horse show on Vancouver Island.”
All told she said there was around $20,000 in prizes and cash given out.
Local riders well represented
Riders ranged in age from seven years old up to the 60 something Liz Ashton who was chosen for the 1980 Olympic team and was the team captain for Canada in 1978 when she won a gold medal at the World Championships.
As always, Oceanside was well represented at the Island Classic.
Teresa Duerden and her horse Midnight Mariah won Class 64 of the event and took home overall champion honours in the 1.1m Greg Howard Jumper event.
Nanoose Bay mom Chelsea Scruton was champion of the one meter Jumper Division on her horse Matchmaker.
Melanie Roberts and her horse Fandango placed third for 20 per cent piece of the $1,000 purse in the 1.5 meter Equerry Modified Speed Challenge on Sunday.
Parksville’s Emma Edwardson, 11, also had herself a stellar weekend, winning the Pony Hunter Division on her horse Jack Be Nimble, and also winning the 2’9” Hunter Division riding Clockwork.
Ten-year-old Gracie O’connell, one of a number of local riders that trains out of the Flying Changes Riding School in Coombs, showed she has the right stuff when she won the Bridles and Bits Hunter Derby. An open event with a field of 27 riders as old as 50, it was the biggest class in the entire show.
For complete results of the Island Classic go to www.horseshowtime.com.
Arbutus Meadows is hosting a dressage clinch Aug. 4-5. For more e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.