Interviews & Profiles

beth underhill at spruce meadows with the canadian show jumping team

Beth Underhill is one of Canada’s best known show jumpers, having competed in over 25 Nations’ Cup competitions as well as multiple Olympic Games, Pan Am Games, and World Equestrian Games. I have distinct childhood memories of sitting in front of the TV cheering her on as she and the black Monopoly flew over the fences at Calgary, Alberta’s Spruce Meadows.

Why did Jessica McNutt lose amateur status? Jessica McNutt speaks out against Equestrian Canada, Should Jessica McNutt have accepted money from Dalhousie University?

In 2015, Jessica McNutt, who lives with her family in Truro, Nova Scotia and competes in hunter classes at the amateur level, was approached by Dalhousie University Agriculture Campus to provide volunteer coaching for their equestrian team as their (then) current instructor was no longer available. The school did not want to lose the program and, as a Dalhousie alumnus, McNutt was eager to offer her assistance. She had attended the university for six years, then returned as a distance student to obtain her Masters in Social Work in 2017.

Ian Millar interview, horse rider Ian Millar, legendary Ian Millar, Ian Millar on horse riding, canadian legend

Then he was mine for forty-five minutes or so, way past my initially allotted ten minutes. Thankfully, it turns out Ian loved to talk about his mental game. I think everyone can learn something from what Canada’s most successful rider had to say about the psychology of his ride.

jessica phoenix, eventing, off the track thoroubred, ottb, World Equestrian Games eventing, Pan American Games, Equestrian, Equine Canada

Born in Uxbridge, Ontario in 1983, Jessica Phoenix is a veteran Olympic, World Equestrian and Pan American Games competitor. She was named 2011 Equestrian of the Year by Equine Canada following a historic individual gold-medal finish at the 2011 Pan American Games in Mexico. “Probably my most successful off-the-track Thoroughbred was Exponential,” she says. “I rode him at the World Equestrian Games in 2010 and the Summer Olympics in London in 2012. I’m trying to retire him because he’s 19 years old. But he’s such an incredible athlete that he prefers to be kept in some sort of work. He was seventh at Rolex at the Horse Fair in 2011 and he also went to Burghley (UK) and finished in the top 25.”

bill desbarres canadian horse council, bill des barres canadian equestrian federation, bill debarres ec breeds and industry division

2012 Readers' Choice Award Winner - Since 1953, when he first volunteered as a board member for a local Nova Scotia exhibition association, Bill desBarres has devoted himself to promoting equine welfare in Canada. He has served on committees, chaired associations, and volunteered countless hours, all in service of the horse. When once asked why he worked so tirelessly as an equine advocate, Bill responded, “My horses raised good kids, and now it is time to give back.”

reaching your horse riding goals, Karen Brain, Judi Island, Lauren Barwick, horse riding spinal cord injury, horse rider psychology

In the previous article, we shared the first half of an interview with para-equestrians Lauren Barwick, Karen Brain, and Judi Island. In this, the second part, they share more about what they do to stay fit to ride and compete, advice for developing riders, athletes, and parents, and how to “be all you can be.”

reaching your horse riding goals, Karen Brain, Judi Island, Lauren Barwick, horse riding spinal cord injury, horse rider psychology

As I learn about para-equestrianism and work with people with disabilities in my own fitness training practice, I never cease to be humbled and impressed by the sheer athletic spirit I encounter: discipline, determination, winning attitude, and pure hard work. When I look at athletes for examples we can all learn from, it’s hard to miss noticing the achievements of our Canadian Paralympians.

Chantel Dunlop, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, WCVM, Jill Henselwood’s show jumping team, equine vocation, Manitoba equine students, Ali Ramsay

This summer, Chantel Dunlop of Seven Sisters Falls, Manitoba, was standing in a warm-up ring at Calgary’s Spruce Meadows when she read an email message confirming her acceptance into the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM).

Jay Duke, A True Horseman jay duke Canadian Equestrian Team in show jumping, course designer Equestrian Canada

A Canadian Legacy Lives On - Growing up, not every child dreams of one day being just like their parents. They may find inspiration in the accomplishments of their mother and father, or strive to overcome the challenges they faced. For Jay Duke, following the path of his parents was never a question or a conscious choice. That path was one that led to a lifetime as a true horseman. For Jay, there was never any doubt that it was exactly where he belonged.

Canada’s Wild Horse Herd, sable island horses, 150 years canada horses, ancient horse in canada, equus lambei, sable island national park reserve, horses in chilcotin's brittany triangle

Wild horses are a fabric of the ancient Canadian landscape going back 56 million years to when they first appeared on the North American continent as dog-sized mammals. They evolved with the changing habitats and climate to become the familiar grassland equine that, some four million years ago, spread to Asia, Europe, and Africa.

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