Mirjam Henderson organized a competitive trail riding clinic held at Carol McNeil’s in Birch Island. Saturday, June 22 started off with torrential rains yet eight horse and rider teams attended.
Instructor and mentor Joanne Macaluso of 70 Mile House explained the rules and regulations of this sport. CTR is a timed distance event and the course is flagged. There are three levels of classification, with distances varying from 10 – 12 miles and an average speed of five miles/hour for Level I to 20 – 50 miles and seven miles/hour for Level III. Points are deducted for such things as horse’s condition, breathing, heart rate, hydration, gut movement, attitude, gait, capillary refill, wounds, temperature, and muscles/back/joint/legs if they are not 100 per cent, according to a pre-race vet check.
Score cards are kept with the rider, which are filled out and calculated at the completion of the course.
Marlene Cousens, Mitch Miller, Melanie Buis, Amber Zuk and I (Vera Walker) participated in the clinic, which included an amazing rider introduction to CTR. Our course included swamps, creeks, a baby bear crossing our path, steep inclines and descents, all the while looking for the “flagged” trail and maintaining our speed. Everyone of us is at a different riding level, our horses ranged in age from five to 20 years and the breeds of horse included Arabians, Morgan, Quarter Horse and TB. All were amazing.
To learn more go to BCCTRA’s web site www.bctra.ca.