Around the Region Horse & Pony Feb-Apr 2018

Memorable 50-mile ride
    Atlantic Canada Trail Riding Association (ACTRA) member Russlyn Patriquin-Dyke along with her pit-crew husband David and her 11-year-old part-Arab mare Addy, travelled at the end of October to Myles Standish State Park in Carver, Massachusetts, to compete in the Flatlanders 50-mile endurance race. The park offered varied terrain and beautiful scenery making for a memorable ride. Patriquin-Dyke and Addy tied for 11th place with her longtime friend and riding partner Cindy Hyson (formally from South Rawdon, N.S.). Her horse Addy won Region 16 Arabian horse association Part-Arab Champion.   
    Russlyn is a strong advocate for the sport. “I enjoy conditioning my mare. It gives me a sense of personal accomplishment when I see and feel her develop into an athlete. I love where this sport takes me – outdoors in scenic countryside while taking on the natural challenges the trail offers, spending time with like minded riders, and getting together with friends at the end of the day to socialize over a meal with a bonfire and a singsong.” For more information on this sport contact Russlyn at

Maritime juniors storm the jumper ring at the Royal Winter Fair
by Judith Scrimger
    “I wouldn’t call it a rivalry. It’s more a friendship that pushes each other to do better.” That’s how Makayla Clarke, 15, of Brookfield, N.S., describes her relationship with fellow competitor, Grace Munro, 17, of Wolfville. These two have been burning up the pony jumper classes in the Maritimes for the last few years, and for the first time, both qualified for the Royal Winter Fair. It was Munro’s third time at the Royal and Clarke’s first in the big ring. With a half-dozen riders qualifying for the jump off round in the final, the tension was high. The result was amazing. The two finished a clear round in exactly the same time of 23.100 seconds and shared the first place ribbon.
    For Munro, who is coached by Jennifer Sarsfield, the win was especially sweet as it was her last show with Ever So Clever, her large pony-Quarter Horse cross. “We had sold her the month before the Royal but with the agreement I could keep her ’til then.”  Last year Munro won the Championship ribbon. “This year was a bit of a challenge because we stepped up to 1.10 meters during the summer and that meant horse distances as well. At the Royal, Pony Jumpers is .9 and the distances are set for pony striding so it was a bit of an adjustment. She was calm and relaxed in the warm-ups but she gets lit up in the ring.”
    Clarke has owned Twisted, her grey 22-year-old Welsh-Arab pony, for the last five years, and this was her best season under coach Danica Ellis. “The Royal was a lot more than I was expecting and it was pretty exciting but when we got in the ring we were just there to ride like any show.” One of the highlights was sharing the warm-up ring with Captain Canada, Olympian Ian Millar. “When we were celebrating back at our stall, Ian Millar came over and congratulated me and said I had a great round.”
    Another great round from a Nova Scotian came in the Junior Jumpers when Campbell Legere of Hammonds Plains won the final class with her Dutch Warmblood, Ennou. Legere is very proud of her seven-year-old. “This was his first full year of showing. He’d only been to two shows when we got him last December. He’s really kind and has the biggest heart. When I miss, he takes care of me.” The two also placed in the CET Medal Final. 
    Legere, the daughter of coach Heidi MacInnes of Restless Pines, has been riding since before she could walk. “I depend on mom to help me a lot but we decided early on it was better if she was just mom and I’m coached by Benoît Bréard from Quebec.” While she’s been to the Royal multiple times starting in the small pony hunters, this was her first time in the jumper division.
    These three were part of a large Atlantic Canadian contingent that showed in everything from Percherons to Welsh Ponies to the hunters. Shawna Rinzler-Johnston took home the Governor General’s Cup (see N.B. Report).