This past weekend marked the end of an era for the Yukon Horse and Rider Association.
After more than 20 years at its showgrounds near Porter Creek, the association hosted the Whitehorse horse show – the season’s premier horse event in the Yukon – at that location for the last time.
The Yukon Horse and Rider Association will be leaving the grounds in September, following two competitions planned for August. The location of the new showgrounds will be announced later this year once the lease has been signed and paperwork completed.
Expansion of the new, nearby Whistle Bend subdivision is the reason for the move.
The 2012 Whitehorse Gold Rush Open Horse Show over the weekend had plenty of variations from past years.
Even its name was different. Last year it was called the Whitehorse Series Finale Horse Show.
“What really kicked it off was that this year we held our first bronze sanctioned show, sanctioned by Equine Canada, which means we can use a higher level of tests and can collect points at that first show in June,” said show manager Anne Lewis. “Shows of that calibre normally have a specific name, it’s not just a horse show.
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“Based on that, we decided to come up with a theme name for all of the shows this year. And since this is a significant year, this being our last year at the horse show grounds, we wanted to do something special.”
Show organizers also revamped the schedule, mixing the events. So instead of a day of dressage, a day of English riding and a day of western events, the various disciplines were mixed together.
“This year we scattered it completely,” said Lewis. “One of the real big objectives of the association right now is to really encourage, not just versatility of horse and rider, but a greater sense of horsemanship. So what we wanted to do was to make sure the various clubs and competitors had a chance to watch some of the events they don’t compete in.
“We had really great feedback. Everyone was really excited to see all the different kinds of (disciplines), and from an organizational perspective it was wonderful for us. It increased the potential for volunteering and everyone getting together socializing.”
Organizers also added a new, fun team event called the Gold Rush Challenge on Saturday night. Ten squads of three horse and rider teams, in costume, competed in an obstacle course.
A total of 65 horse and rider teams competed over the weekend’s show, 10 more than last year, including a handful of teams from Watson Lake and Haines Junction. No Juneau teams were present for the second year in a row.
The two events still planned for the showgrounds will be a Pepsi Cola Dash for Cash on August 4 and August 25.
For more information visit the Yukon Horse and Rider Association’s spiffy new website at www.yhra.ca.
Contact Tom Patrick at