April 29, 2017, was a clear, sunny day in Worthington Valley, Maryland, United States. Crowds were gathering as restless Thoroughbreds full of anticipation were being saddled and warmed up for the 121st running of the Maryland Hunt Cup, a steeplechase over solid fences. On the board, 13 horses were listed as entered, but after three scratches, 10 horses lined up.
Click. Nothing. I pressed the button on top of my headlamp again. Click. Still nothing. Oh crap. My headlamp batteries had just died, and on the worst morning possible. Today was the day I would be riding Chocolate through 912-metre long Bulldog Tunnel as part of our 550 kilometre solo journey along the Trans Canada Trail (TCT).
This article shares the careers and stories of extraordinary horse industry builders who blazed new trails and took Canada’s equine industry to new heights, while at the same time motivating and inspiring the next generation of equestrians. Driving the growth and success of Canada’s horse industry are thousands of people who demonstrate an amazing level of skill, talent, dedication, diversity, and vision. This feature profiles just a few of these luminary individuals who have helped place Canada among the very best of the world’s equestrian nations.
He stood there. Distant. Detached. From the centre of the ring, his blue eyes cruised the riders in the equitation hunter class as he called for them to change gait. Yesterday, I would have assessed the gaze of this horse show judge as critically observant of the skills and presentation of the riders.