HCBC 2014 Junior Athlete of the Year Award winner 17-year-old Courtney Palleson riding her horse Beauty and her coach

HCBC 2014 Junior Athlete of the Year Award winner 17-year-old Courtney Palleson riding her horse Beauty and her coach

Locals win Horse Council’s awards

HCBC 2014 Junior Athlete of the Year Award winner 17-year-old Courtney Palleson riding her horse Beauty and her coach, Rochelle Kilberg

Horse Council BC Board member Dr. Susan Thompson presented the HCBC 2014 Junior Athlete of the Year Award to Courtney Palleson at the HCBC Horse Sport Symposium at Thunderbird Show Park in Langley on February 1.

Horse Council BC’s annual awards serve to honour outstanding achievement within BC’s equestrian community. These awards acknowledge those who have stood out from the crowd over the past year and who have made a positive impact on the community as a whole. Each award recipient was nominated by two or more other Horse Council BC members for an award.

Noel Asmar Equestrian is the official sponsor of HCBC’s 2014 Awards. Noel Asmar Equestrian has supplied each 2014 HCBC Award winner with Asmar’s coveted Hunter Jacket. Each jacket is beautifully embroidered to recognize each recipient.

The HCBC Junior Athlete of the Year Award recognizes outstanding athletic performance by an athlete 17 years of age or younger, competing in a recognized equestrian discipline taking part on a team or as an individual representing BC at either the provincial, national and/or international level during the year.

The 2014 Horse Council BC Junior Athlete of the Year Award was presented to Courtney Palleson. Courtney had an amazing 2014, but success did not come easy. Courtney has worked tirelessly to develop and improve her riding skills and has approached each challenge with determination, perseverance, and the vision that failing isn’t an option.  Her outstanding achievements in 2014 in the discipline of dressage were: Touch of Class Champion; BC Heritage Reserve Champion; 4 Gold Medals at the BC Summer Games; Overall Champion in Dressage and Hack classes at Rising Stars Youth Dressage; 3 Silver Medals at the Canadian Interprovincial Equestrian Championships (on a leased horse);  Champion at the Pacific Regional Championship.

Each of these amazing achievements (with the exception of the Canadian Interprovincial Equestrian Championships) Courtney completed with her own horse Beauty. Beauty was a rescued PMU filly from Alberta and had a difficult start in life. Beauty proved to be Courtney’s biggest challenge and also her greatest success. With Courtney’s patience, love, perseverance, and belief that Beauty was more than the sum of her parts, this untrusting mare has turned into the success she is today.

Horse Council BC Board member Noni Hartvikson and Asmar Equestrian CEO and founder, Noel Asmar presented the HCBC 2014 Coach of the Year Award to Rochelle Kilberg at the HCBC Horse Sport Symposium at Thunderbird Show Park in Langley on January 31.

The 2014 Horse Council BC Coach of the Year Award was presented to Rochelle Kilberg of Hazelmere Equestrian Centre in Surrey. Rochelle exemplifies what it means to be a coach. She inspires her students to achieve greatness in all aspects of life, she leads by example, and she believes that practice does indeed make perfect.

Rochelle served as the Zone 3 Team Head Coach for Equestrian at the 2014 BC Summer Games where she helped to coach Zone 3 to win gold in overall medal standings. She also was the Dressage Team Head Coach for Team BC at the 2014 Canadian Interprovincial Equestrian Championships and was able to coach one of her students to an Individual Silver Medal on a leased horse that had never before placed in the top 20.

Horse Council BC Board member Terre O’Brennan presented the HCBC 2014 Horse of the Year Award to STLA Hey’s Dance Class at the All Arabian Horse Association of BC Award Banquet at the Rendezvous Restaurant in Abbotsford on January 17.

The 2014 Horse Council BC Horse of the Year – Competitive Division Award was presented to an Arabian mare that had an outstanding show year. Bug, as she is commonly known around the barn, was born and raised in Langley at Herman Steunenberg and Sandra Arabsky’s horse breeding farm, Sky’s The Limit Arabians.

In 2014, this little mare was the highest scoring horse that competed in the Sport Horse in Hand Division at the Scottsdale, Arizona Arabian Horse Show and she also placed in the top ten in her Open Liberty Class at the same show. In May 2014, she took home 12 first place wins and Championships with three second place finishes and Reserve Championships at the AAHABC Concurrent show at Thunderbird Show Park.

Then in August of 2014 at the Royal Red in Manitoba she took home the Canadian National Championship Arabian Mares Sport Horse in Hand Dressage Type Open, Canadian National Reserve Championship in the Hunter Type Open, Canadian National Top Ten Championship in the Amateur to Handle Sport Horse Mares Dressage Type, and Top Ten in the Canadian National Sport Horse In Hand Amateur to Handle Hunter Type.

Congratulations to Bug’s owner, Sandra Nickolls of Armstrong, trainer, Brenda Driediger of Aldergrove, and breeders, Herman Steunenberg and Sandra Arabsky of Langley, for raising and training such an amazing horse right in our own backyard.