Riders compete at Buster Creek Horse Trails
by Jordan johnston
Saddled up and geared up, equestrians from Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan arrived at the Thompson Country Pony Club to compete in the Buster Creek Horse Trials from July 7 to 9.
Competitors looked forward to the horse trials, also known as three-day eventing, with the opportunity to challenge themselves and compete against fellow equestrians to see how much they have improved after a year of training. The horse trials test participants in dressage, cross-country and show jumping.
Addison Lentz, 10, attended from Ponoka. Addison has been riding for three years and decided to start competing this year.
The Buster Creek Horse Trials was her second competition.
“My favourite part is all the fun I have competing,” said Addison. “I think this is a really great competition, they have a very nice cross-country course.”
Her friend Elle Rehmann, 10, from Camrose added that she really enjoys all the hills and trees Thompson Country has.
Elle said she has been riding horses her whole life but has only competed for the last three years.
Both Elle and Addison train year-round, Addison even takes weekly lessons to prepare for competition season.
Mackenzie Kreutzer, 18, drove from Calgary to begin her second year of competitions. Kreutzer has been riding for 10 years and got into competing for the thrill it.
“It’s always exciting how Silver Arrow and I stack up against everyone,” said Kreutzer. “I love getting to see all the hard work we put in, in the winter, pays off.”
Kreutzer likes attending the Buster Creek Horse Trials because most competitions are held in large hay fields or just hilly areas.
“It’s nice getting to enjoy nature while I’m riding,” she said.
Greg Benoit, 38, travelled from Cold Lake. He has been riding for over 30 years but only got back into competing this year.
“Life made me take a long vacation,” Benoit laughed. “But I’m a really competitive person, so I enjoy the challenge of it.”
This year he hopes to be able to out-ride his wife at the horse trials.
Matt Vinden, 39, came in from Cochrane and said he was excited to be doing his first serious season of competing. He’s been riding for about 36 years and had taken almost 20 years off from competing.
“It’s been a pretty good year. I’m having a lot of fun,” he said. “It’s nice getting to put all your hard work to the test [by competing].”