By Sheila Skene, Victoria-Saanich CADORA Director

On June 10, 2018, Berit Turner riding Swallowfield Eno Hilaire rode a First Level Test 3 at the Victoria-Saanich CADORA Horse Council competition, held at the Saanich Fairgrounds to become the third member of this CADORA club to be honoured as a member of the Century Club. 

The US Dressage Foundation, at the suggestion of Dr. Max Gahwyler, a renowned dressage judge and clinician, established the Century Club in 1996. The purpose of the Century Club is to honour North American senior dressage riders and their horses who are still actively riding and or competing. There are now over 300 members, which includes a small but growing number in Canada.

To become a member, the ages of the rider and horse must add up to 100 years or more. The ‘team’ must ride a dressage test of any level at a recognized competition where they are scored by a dressage judge.

Berit Turner and Swallowfield Eno Hilaire

On Sunday June 10th, Berit, an honorary member of Victoria Saanich CADORA who is 82 years of age, and her horse Hilaire, a Canadian Horse gelding who is 20 years of age, rode a successful First Level Test 3.

Berit tells us that on her way to reach this milestone, her passion for horses grew out of her non-riding experiences at her family’s stud farm in Finland. Since then she rode in several countries as she and her husband’s academic careers took them first to Switzerland, where she sustained a broken back; the USA where she experienced dude ranches and wilderness riding; and finally to Canada where she spent many years as a Pony Club mother and discovered dressage and CADORA.

Berit’s inspiration for dressage has been helped by such luminaries as Col. Christian Carde and Stephen Clarke and closer to home, by Dawn Ruthven (Victoria Saanich CADORA’s first Century Club member), Lisette de Rooy, and for the last ten years or so by Roanne Tyson who has provided great instruction and immeasurable support and encouragement toward this goal. Berit thanks them all for sharing their expertise on her dressage journey.

As well, Berit expressed her gratitude to all of her friends and stablemates for their assistance as she planned and prepared to ride toward becoming a Century Club member. Last but certainly not least, Berit says she is very lucky to have had such an equine friend as Hilaire.

After the ride was complete, Berit and Hilaire were surrounded by their supporters congratulating them on accomplishing the 100-year goal, and for inspiring all of us to pursue our riding journeys for as long as our equestrian dreams continue.

Thanks were expressed to the US Dressage Foundation who had sent a beautiful gold and black rosette which was presented to Berit by Heather Cormie, President of Victoria-Saanich CADORA. She also presented a floral hanging basket as a token of appreciation for Berit on achieving this milestone and for all her volunteer efforts to Victoria-Saanich CADORA and CADORA Inc. over many, many years.

Main photo: Centre: Berit Turner and Swallowfield Eno Hilaire: on their left: coach Roanne Tyson; judge Deborah Fox; CADORA Vice-President Claire Vessey. On their right: VS CADORA President Heather Cormie; and supporters.

All photos courtesy of Lorna Moth.
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