Maybe best Island Classic event ever

Riders of wide age and skill levels have a great day and entertain many spectators

Nanoose Bay's Emily Bau

The 8th annual Island Classic up at Arbutus Meadows Equestrian Centre not only came off without a hitch, it just may have been the best show ever.

“Absolutely. It was a fabulous show,” AMEC event director Joy O’Connell said after the dust had settled. “We had perfect riding weather and everything ran smoothly. Seriously, it was the best one I’ve done in the three years I’ve been involved with the show — it was awesome.”

Fan support she confirmed “was really good too. We may have had the most spectators ever.”

Played out July 11-14, this year’s installment drew 135 riders from up and down the Island and three from the Sunshine Coast.

Riders ranged in age from seven into their 50s.

Nanoose Bay’s Emily Bau, 14, and her horse Coco Chanel finished first out of a field of 18 riders to win the .75 Jumper Derby

“That’s a pretty significant win, and it was her first big win, too,” said O’Connell.

QB’s Teresa ‘Wildcat’ Duerden, 15, and her horse Midnight Mariah finished first in the Equerry Open Modified Speed Challenge 1.15m. Worth noting is Teresa was the youngest rider in that event, with the rest of the field of eight all adults.

Both girls ride out of Flying Changes Riding School out of Coombs.

Other local highlights included Chelsea Scruton from Nanoose and her horse Matchmaker who finished second in the EQSPORT Open Jumper Stake 1m  Saturday morning.

Wendy Walker, the trainer operator of Ticklewood Stables in QB, and her horse Alice claimed champion honors in the 8.5m Open Jumper division.

A REMINDER Arbutus Meadows will be hosting the RCMP Musical Ride Aug. 3-4. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the Oceanside RCMP detachment, selected local businesses, and at the tourist info centres.