QMS year finishes on high note in Kelowna

Equestrian riders from Queen Margaret’s School wrapped up a very strong show season with successful appearances at the Kelowna Spring Classic and Thunderbird Canadian Premier Show in Langley.

It was the first time in recent history that QMS had sent a team to Kelowna, and it proved to be a worthwhile trip.

"It was a new venue for us," QMS head coach Cheryl Keith said. "Yet our team felt very comfortable there and enjoyed really strong performances."

Christine Coels was champion in Short Stirrup Hunter, champion in Pre Child Hunter, and placed second in the Leigh Payne Memorial Classic aboard Landmark. Catherine Rankin rode Go Shorty and was champion in Children’s Hunter Reserve and champion in Modified Hunter. Olivia Austin on Del Rio won the Leigh Payne Memorial Classic and was reserve champion in Pre Child Hunter.

The Canadian Premier Show at Langley’s Thunderbird Show Park is a long-running tradition for QMS riders.

"Thunderbird is a fabulous facility," Keith said. "The high level of competition allows our students to push themselves in the hunter/jumper ring."

Kassidy Keith, a Grade 10 student, had to persevere through the event, but was rewarded with first place in Junior Hunter on Watch Out, and champion in Junior A Equitation, first place in USEF Show Jumping Talent Search and first place in Washington Hunter/Jumper Medal Phases on Will I Am, and first place in Children’s Jumper on Quintera.

"I fell so many times throughout the competition," she said. "But it made me work that much harder to improve my riding and connect more closely with the horses I rode. What an incredible experience. I want to thank everyone who helped me."

Rankin rode Go Shorty again and had consistent placings, while Austin was on Del Rio once more and was reserve champion in both Show Park Hunter and Pre Children’s Hunter, and placed second in Pre Children’s/Adult Hunter Classic.

Lauren Bailey on Loustik de Breuil was champion in 1.0m Junior Amateur Jumpers, Alley Millar on Mistral had consistent placings, and head coach Cheryl Keith on Go Shorty was second in USHJA Hunter Derby and had two wins in First Year Green Hunter.