Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Canada: Local equestrians take gold in Quebec

Horse that was expected to die defies odds to come back as champion
Tim Murphy, New Hamburg
New Hamburg Photo
TIM MURPHY, INDEPENDENT STAFF

Tom Paleczny and Steve Bond recently rode Raemes Magiciann to gold medal wins a few weeks ago. Magiciann is considered to be a bit of a miracle horse.



(Sep 20, 2006)

Rather than ride his horse, Steve Bond sometimes chooses to chase after it.

Bond was recently in Quebec with his parents Lesley and Tom Paleczny, competing in the Northwind Challenge Canadian Championships.

The team brought home gold in both the 20-mile ride and tie, and the 50-mile endurance race.

"We have to be fit too," said Bond, sitting down in his family's equestrian centre on Puddicombe Road.

A ride and tie isn't a new event, but is a relatively unknown event outside of equestrian circles.

Two humans and one horse make up a team -- in this case, Bond and friend Eric Schmidt, along with 13-year-old Anglo-Arab breed Raemes Magiciann.

In this case, the course was 20 miles along. In a mass start, horses line up with one rider, and one person on foot. The first rider takes off ahead on the trail and ties the horse to a tree. That rider then takes off on foot, while the other teammate catches up, hops on the horse and continues to ride.

This leap frog practice continues until the end of the course, and the fastest team wins.

"Endurance racing is quite a popular sport right now," said Tom Paleczny.

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