Story by Sherry Clemens
Photo by Karen Knox
Moose Jaw, SK - An AQHA Versatility Ranch horse competition was held at the Golden Mile Arena in Moose Jaw on August 14 and 15, 2015. The Versatility competition was once again a huge success with competitors coming from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba to compete for cash, buckles and prizes. We were proud to offer the first ever World Para Reining class in Saskatchewan. This was also only the second time the event has been held in Western Canada. . Two competitors amazed the audience with their courage, enthusiasm and ability as they went through their level one reining pattern. This event inspired a young lady to compete in her first ever competition and her first Para Reining. Jennifer McFarlane of Moose Jaw came to the show initially just to watch the Para Reining. She told us her dream was to compete in this event but her horse was not ready. We just happened to know of the perfect horse for Jennifer. Major Twist It Up owned by Jody Eyolfson was called upon to partner with Jennifer. After a warm up and some quick instructions to Jennifer, the seasoned mare showed us all an example of the excellent disposition of our AQHA horses. “Twister” had never carried a rider with disabilities before but complied completely with Jennifer’s commands. The team successfully completed their pattern. It was a special moment to see Jennifer’s dream come true.
Courtney Braun from Beechy, SK also competed in the level one WPR class on her horse Solanos Smart Chic. Courtney’s Mom, Vicki Braun said that Courtney pestered them for weeks wanting to know how soon they would be leaving to come to the event. Following her winning pattern, Courtney gave the spectators her signature high five. Courtney’s enthusiasm and obvious joy that she has for competition was a pleasure for everyone to see. Both riders are members of the newly formed World Para Reining Association. Courtney Braun compete several times throughout the year and finished the year ranked in the WPR Top Ten standings.
We could not be more proud of these two riders. Plans are underway for our show for August 13 and 14, 2016. We will once again be offering World Para Reining.