Around the Region Horse & Pony Feb-Apr 2017

Celebrating the Canadian Horse
by Shelley Goodwin
    Brilliant fall colours, loaded apple trees, and crispness in the air are all horse and human delights. Such was the scene on Oct. 1, when the Canadian Horse Breeders Association (Atlantic District), which celebrates all things related to the Canadian Horse, got together for their Demonstration Day and AGM at Colette and Sterling Gates’ farm in New Ross, Nova Scotia. The Canadian Horse was shown in all its versatility, including under saddle, both English and Western, as well as in single and double harness. 
After winning the open pattern class at the two-day Windsor Heritage Championships, Sherri Greenough and “Gah’n Ya’ar Hermes Paris” impressed the crowd by presenting their award-winning form. They also won High Point Western Select on Day One and Champion Select Trail Horse for the show (the second year in row no less). Christie Riddell showed “Temis Elf-Esaie Hermes” at halter, while Hailey Levesque demonstrated jumping in fine form on Doris Bisordi’s Canadian “Rily.” 
    Cody Daniels demonstrated single hitch with his mare “Polly.” Two teams demonstrated being hitched to a plough, making short work of a good size patch of ground. However, a spectacular event occurred when the teams of two became four in hand. Teamsters Lyndon Daniels (with Ross Farm’s King and Kate) and Sterling Gates (with Jill and Jade) received many impressive nods and accolades when they hitched their two separate teams to do a four in hand. They circled the arena a few times, invited guests to jump on and then head out for a wagon ride. Sterling Gates then dragged the field with four abreast. Several group members headed off for a trail ride to the lake, enjoying the fall colours. While the stallion “Centre Valley Garou Ladd” was not in attendance, he had six offspring present. His gentle spirit and driving ability was evident during this day’s activities. 
    A fundraising silent auction was held with good success. The trivia challenge always brings out the competitive spirit, a good laugh, and obscure facts, and this year was no different, with Colette and Sterling winning the challenge. After the AGM, a potluck was served to live music, friendly chatter, and reluctant goodbyes.

Fun Driving Trial
by Judith Scrimger    
A grove of ancient hemlocks on the property of Steve and Sue Karrel of Great Village, Nova Scotia, which the Karrels dubbed “Old Friends,” is the site of one of the favourite obstacles in the Fun Driving Trial that the Karrels have hosted for the last eight years. 
    “They were slated to be cut down because they were considered over mature and rotten by the forestry management company, but after they cut the first, it was totally healthy and that was that. They are worth more to us alive than dead,” says Sue. 
    The trial boasts a number of cross-country obstacles designed and built by Steve and Brian Irving of the Nova Scotia Driving Society. Some are exact replicas of what drivers will find at Bromont International in Quebec, including one called “Gary’s Nemesis” (Gary Harris had a problem at that obstacle at Bromont), and a large log obstacle that was carefully measured and built by Steve and assembled by Brian and Keith Congdon. 
    All of the obstacles meet American Driving Society standards. The current marathon course is six kilometres, but the Karrels hope to expand the current road to 12 to meet official Combined Driving Event requirements. A driving trial includes dressage, cones, marathon, and crosscountry obstacles. The event attracts 10 to 15 competitors including horses, ponies, and miniatures, and includes an old fashioned potluck.