Horse club hosts first nationally sanctioned event

The Yukon Horse and Rider Association is no longer just a blip on Equine Canada's radar. It's in full view.

The Yukon Horse and Rider Association is no longer just a blip on Equine Canada’s radar. It’s in full view.

The Yukon association increased its ties with the national body as it hosted the first-ever Equine Canada sanctioned event in the territory over the weekend at the YHRA’s show grounds in Porter Creek.

The YHRA Bronze Bridle Dressage Show was not only the first Equine Canada sanctioned event in the Yukon, it was likely the first North of 60 in Canada.

“I’m going to out on a limb and say it probably is,” said YHRA president Heidi Neufeld. “Yellowknife is the only one (of the two other territories) that has a horse base, and it’s pretty small.

“The people working in the office in Ottawa at Equine Canada were pretty excited that we were holding it. It seemed to cause a little bit of a stir that we’d be holding a sanctioned event here.”

The idea of hosting a nationally sanctioned show has been considered by the YHRA and the governing territorial body, the Equine Association of the Yukon, for a few years. The YHRA even conducted a test run a few years back, to see if they could meet the standards.

“(Equine Canada) sets the national standard of the judges, the tests you can use, how the whole thing is run, and it really increases the level of the event,” said show manager Anne Lewis. “In order to use the tests that are Equine Canada tests, you have to have a sanctioned show.

“This year we decided we were going to bite the bullet and go the sanctioned route and find out how it all comes to be.

“It’s slightly more expensive, there’s more administrative work to it and we weren’t sure how it was going to work in terms of working with the Equine Association of the Yukon, which is the new governing body for horses.”

The Equine Canada tests used in the bronze-level dressage show were the principle benefit. The tests, which require sanctioning to be used, are superior to ones used by the YHRA in the past, said Lewis.

And that’s a boon to riders. “The benefits they receive is access to these tests. You can only use Equine Canada tests at an Equine Canada event,” she said.

“There are other types of test out there … but the preference is for the Equine Canada tests and that’s why our show community decided to do it.”

“Our local riders here were requesting Equine Canada tests,” said Neufeld. “The only way were could legally use those tests was to have a sanctioned show through Equine Canada.”

Another benefit for local riders, who required Equine Canada sport licences to compete, is they could use the event to accumulate points that can be put towards Outside competitions and help helps give riders experience in a sanctioned event. “For anyone who is competing outside the territory, they have their sport licences – all riders have to have their sport licences to compete in this event,” said Lewis. “And they can accumulate points they can use if they are competing nationally.”

Dressage is a competitive equestrian discipline in which riders display “the highest expression of horse training,” as defined by the International Equestrian Federation.

“Dressage is based on demonstrating the natural athleticism and gymnastic ability of the horse,” said Lewis. “So you are taken through a number of different gaits, which is the different movements of the horse, from the walk-trot, canter, as well as different patterns.”

The weekend’s show featured about 15 horse and rider teams.


Walk/trot A – junior

Kelsie Olsen (Sparky) – 49.05 per cent*

Walk/trot C – open

1st Terri Inglis (Hollywood) – 62.27 per cent

Training Level 1 – junior

1st Maren Sinclair-Eckert (Wilson) – 67.50 per cent

2nd Faith Larose (Blue) – 65.42 per cent

3rd Laura Holmes (Highlands McDuff) – 61.25 per cent

Training Level 1 – open

1st Vibeke Coates (Catch Me Boomerang) – 61.67 per cent

Training Level 2 – junior

1st Cayley Sparks (Sir Lancelot) – 63.21 per cent

Training Level 2 – open

1st Vibeke Coates (Catch Me Boomerang) – 61.43 per cent

2nd Taylor Gunn (Dance In The Dark) – 59.46 per cent

3rd Nina Vogt (Luke Skywalker) – 54.11 per cent

4th Terri Inglis (Hollywood) – 52.68 per cent

5th Dermot Flynn (Griffin) – 52.32 per cent

Training Level 3 – open

1st Vibeke Coates (Catch Me Boomerang) – 63.60 per cent

2nd Valerie Holmes (Highlands McDuff) – 61.40 per cent

3rd Dermot Flynn (Griffin) – 52.40 per cent

First Level 1 SEnD open

1st MJ Warshawski (Mona) – 65.52 per cent

2nd Valerie Holmes (Highlands McDuff) – 63.79 per cent

3rd Sarah Hougen (Wo Girl) – 63.10 per cent

4th Dermot Flynn (Wyn) – 58.62 per cent

First Level 2 – open

1st MJ Warshawski (Mona) – 63.12 per cent

2nd Sarah Hougen (Wo Girl) – 62.70 per cent

3rd Dermot Flynn (Wyn) – 53.78 per cent

First Level 3 – open

2nd Dermot Flynn (Wyn) – 58.87 per cent

Second Level 1 – open

1st Heather McCann (Rosatta) – 60.57 per cent

Second Level 2 – open

2nd Heather McCann (Rosatta) – 57.50 per cent

* Less than 50 per cent = no placing

Contact Tom Patrick at