25th anniversary of Campbell Valley Equestrian Society makes for memorable horse trials

Great weather all last weekend and an exciting course made for a good event.

Joy Richardson is a longtime proponent of equestrian sports and facilities in Langley.

The 2014 Campbell Valley Horse Trials took place on Aug. 15, 16, and 17. It was the 25th anniversary of the Campbell Valley Equestrian Society, which puts on this event. A large crowd was in attendance.

Horse people and their equine friends from the B.C. Interior, Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland were there, and they enjoyed perfect weather for the event.

The first day was dressage, with 185 horses and their riders entered. They were judged by Isabel Reinetson and Larry Brinker, in the immaculate riding rings.

On Saturday, the cross country event took place, in the huge grass area of Campbell Valley Regional Park. There were many beautifully-built jumps soaring down to 16 Avenue, from the 208 Street entrance to the park. I have never seen so many new ones. They were painted, with flowers in front or nearby.

Most spectators who were on top of the hill were able to see nearly all the jumps. It was a beautiful scene, with happy riders and horses, well-dressed and beautifully-groomed.

They did their best to keep to the time and splashed through the water ponds. Most horses were not refusing  the jumps, although number 12 seemed to be an exception. For some reason, it was numbered 11, which no one could understand. There was something there that the horses saw, but we never understood it.

Sadly, during the two days, two riders suffered injuries from falls. They were quickly attended to, and taken to hospital for a wrist and lower leg break. Out of 185 entries, that small number of injuries was amazing. First aid was available at all times during the event.

On Sunday, it was jump day in the lower region of the park, with the higher level riders beginning at 7:30 a.m. Many of the cross country jumps had been taken down and erected on the grass footing again, in smaller jump rides. The volunteers who played such a big part in this event are to be congratulated on their precision and detail. It made the event memorable for the horses, riders and trainers.

Judges Monique Fraser and Phil Wright speedily scored each horse and rider in the jumps. This kept the rides on time. Announcer George Trickett ensured that all in the audience were aware of each horse and rider.

On Saturday night, after the cross country event, riders, their families and friends sat down under small awnings, close to the entrance. They enjoyed the memories of their days with their  horses, and a fine meal.

No wonder the Fraser Valley and Langley in particular, is known as horse country. What a fabulous 25th anniversary event this was. Congratulations to all the riders and volunteers, and particularly to chairtman Carol McDonald..

—Contribution by Joy Richardson, long-time president of Langley Horse Federation and a keen equestrian.

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