Chuck Shewen rides Jake during the scurry race. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News)

Gymkhana tests Yukon horses and riders

‘I don’t ever want somebody to leave feeling like they didn’t accomplish some kind of goal’

Sunny Skies Equine Services held its second gymkhana of the season on Aug. 4 as riders put 35 horses through their paces in 10 speed events over the course of the day.

Organizer Angelique Bjork said the day was a success.

“Everything went great,” said Bjork. “Everybody did great, the weather was great, it was a really great day.”

Bjork holds two gymkhanas each season — one in June and one in August — with the overall champion and reserve champion in each category winning championship blankets.

This year, Olivia Halliday was the peewee points leader riding on Northern Twinkle Little Star and Ava Shewen was second riding on Breeze.

In the junior category, Paige Stockley riding on Trixie was the winner and Sidney Stahl on Mr. Bojangles was the reserve champion.

Bjork won the senior category on her horse Cricket and Maranda Halliday was second riding on Cassie’s Lucky Star.

Although it is a competition, Bjork said the event is also a chance for riders and horses to get more comfortable with each other and with competing.

“It’s a fun place to just kind of let loose,” said Bjork. “You can go fast if you want, or you can just take your time and get your horse used to things. It’s a great environment for everybody to learn.”

Bjork said when horses are having a hard time with an event, there is no hesitation to jump in the ring and help out.

“We want everybody to succeed and have a good time,” said Bjork. “I don’t ever want somebody to leave feeling like they didn’t accomplish some kind of goal.”

This is the 10th year Bjork has put on gymkhana events and she said watching riders and horses improve year over year is something she enjoys.

“Everybody evolving is a huge highlight for me,” said Bjork. “Everybody did really well, I can’t pinpoint one person … Everybody has gotten way better and (is) moving ahead. Nobody is going backwards.”

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at john.hopkinshill@yukon-news.com

Sunny Sky Equine Services Gymkhana 2018 Overall Results

Peewee

1 Olivia Halliday (Northern Twinkle Little Star) 98

2 Ava Shewen (Breeze) 83

3 Bailey Nolan Klondike (Jade) 79

4 Abigail Shewen (Midnight Rebel) 35

5 Hayes Bjork (Sonnys Best Yet) 34

6 Mahek Mallet-Nayer (Tequilla) 30

7 Isabella Demers (Penny) 28

8 Lucy Ennis (Tequilla) 17

9 Brooklyn Beecher (Koni) 11

10 Brody Nolan (Jade) 4

Junior

1 Paige Stockley (Trixie) 98

2 Sidney Stahl (Mr. Bojangles) 66

3 Annika Brewster (Guiness) 54

4 Presley Bjork (Jackson) 44

5 Dannika Mikkelson (Cinder) 37

6 Erin McBryan (Itchy) 25

7 Britney Eckervogt-Brewster (Mobilly) 24

8 Marina Boulerice (Zeus) 22

9 Elisabe Caws Geick (Kiki) 19

10 Bria Lemoine (Mardigras) 17

11 Rowan Nehring (Koni) 3

Senior

1 Angelique Bjork (Cricket) 91

2 Maranda Halliday (Cassie’s Lucky Star) 82

3 Chuck Shewen (Jake) 63

4 Maranda Halliday (Sundance) 62

5 Amber Schewen (Diesel) 37

6 Heidi Miller (Moonshine) 24

7 Jordyn Cowan (Jade) 17

8 Ann-Marie Stockley (Trixie) 11

8 Rachel Arsenault (Kahlua) 11

10 Angelique Bjork (Chico) 7

11 Tiffiny Maclean (Jade) 6

12 Kayla Evans (Cantina) 3

13 Carolin Kraenes (Ladybug) 2

Equestrian

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Annika Brewster rides her horse Guiness across the finish line during barrel racing. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News)

Maranda Halliday competes in barrel racing. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News)

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