August 17, 2008 Media Release
Alberta sweeps seven team Medals at the Canadian Nationals
Calgary - The Rocky Mountain Challenge - 2008 Canadian Nationals represented
over 170 long distance riders from across Canada and the United States from
July 31 - August 4, 2008. Three sports crowned their Canadian Champions:
competitive trail riding, endurance and ride n' tie. The events were hosted
at Red Deer River Ranches a working cattle and guest ranch west of Sundre,
Individual Gold - Leanna Marchant, Calgary, AB; Individual Silver - Natasha
French; Individual Bronze - Cathy Kolesar
Gold - Natasha French, Millarville, AB - Cathy Kolesar, Coutts, AB - Holly
Tibble, St. Albert, AB
Silver - Linda Riley, Leslieville, AB - Kandace Krause, Canmore, AB -
Christine Smith, Calgary, AB
Bronze - Elaine Steel, Mountain Grove, ON - Laura Rye of Alliston, ON - Anne
MacKay of B.C.
Canadian National Junior Champion - Leah Brunner, Red Deer, AB
50 Mile Endurance
Winner - Elroy Karius, Kelowna, BC
Best Condition - Bill Miller of Fairfield, MT
Gold - Nancy Haughian, Grande Prairie, AB - Dave Getzinger, Drayton Valley,
AB Karen Badger, Grande Prairie, AB
Silver - Carol, Rae-Anne and Robyn Wadey of Edson, AB
Bronze - Lori Brewza, Chase BC - Gail Jewell, Kelowna, BC - Wyatt Laing,
Okanagan Center, BC
100 mile Endurance
Winner and Best Condition - Gail Jewell, Kelowna, BC
Gold - Christy and Jaylene Janzen of Devon, AB - Crystal Fulcher, Seba
Silver - Gail Jewell, Kelowna, B.C. - Tunie Russeau, Westbank, BC - Terre O’
Brennen, Delta, BC
No Bronze team.
20 Mile Ride N' Tie
Gold - Alison Douglas, Banff, AB - Heather Price, Canmore, AB
Silver - Rae-Anne Wadey, Edson, AB - Jenny Mooney, Winfield, AB
Bronze - Prue Critchley of Hamiota, MB - Kristine Erb of Oakbluff, MB
"The ranch was an excellent venue to showcase long distance talent.
Beautiful, scenic trail provided our wide range of competitors with a
challenging and unforgettable experience." Declared Sandra Nielsen, RMC
committee president. "It was terrific to see the varying ages of riders and
the many breeds of horses participating; among the many Arabians were
standardbreds, quarter horses, mustangs, even a Norwegian Fjord. One
particular favorite was Leah Brunner's 13.1hh pony, Willow, a very strong
competitor in the junior 80-mile Competitive Trail event."
With Alberta as host of the event, both endurance and competitive trail
events qualified two teams a piece and this strong contingent of teams
claimed five of the possible six Canadian National team medals in those two
sports including three gold and two silver.
"In numbers, Alberta has the strongest competitive trail club (Trail Riding
Alberta Conference) in Canada as well as a very strong endurance club
(Endurance Riders of Alberta). These clubs sanction several regional
competitions held throughout the year all over Alberta, so it was no
surprise to have the "home team" in the medals," commented Nielsen.
Competitive Trail Riding
In the competitive trail riding, a two-day eighty-mile ride was hosted in
superb competition weather conditions with partly cloudy skies and
temperatures from sub to mid twenties. The trail wound its way through the
foothills region of the Rocky Mountains and challenged the horses with
elevation gains of 2223 meters. "We threw at them everything the foothills
of the Canadian Rockies provides: Hard climbs, long flats, lots of
technical riding, plenty of water, and some bog. It was a challenging but
fair test of distance horses competing at a national championship." Stated
Brent Seufert, trail committee.
In total, 30 riders started, 20 riders finished. Competitive trail riders
have a minimum and maximum time period in which to complete the course and
were scored on how their horse’s handled the challenge. Team scores were
tabulated to determine the 2008 Canadian Champions.
Gold was awarded to Alberta A team - Natasha French of Millarville, AB
riding her twelve year-old bay Arabian mare Savannah, Cathy Kolesar of
Coutts, AB riding a seven year-old Arabian named Classical Dancer and Holly
Tibble of St. Albert, AB riding King Sera, a nine year old Arabian. French
also won the individual silver and Kolesar captured the individual bronze
The silver medal was won by Alberta B team despite the unfortunate
circumstance of Kandance Krause’s horse losing a shoe on day one resulting
in her time penalty disqualification. The team included veteran long
distance rider Linda Riley of Leslieville, AB riding sixteen year-old
Kittasha, Kandace Krause of Canmore, AB riding Jasmin, a sixteen year-old
Arab cross and Christine Smith of Calgary, AB riding her eleven year-old
Arabian, JV Prism in their first Nationals appearance and only their second
season in the sport.
The bronze medal was awarded to team Ontario, which included Elaine Steel of
Mountain Grove, ON riding Chanticleer Shadow, Laura Rye of Alliston, ON
riding Touch of Steel and Anne MacKay of B.C. riding Dante.
Leanna Marchant of Calgary, AB riding her solid Arabian, Samson’s Fire put
together a stellar ride finishing with an individual gold medal.
Nine year-old Leah Brunner of Red Deer, AB and her trusty pony 'Willow' were
named the Canadian National Junior Champions in their first open season and
first National event.
"I love this sport. I'm always going to be in this sport - competitive trail
and endurance." beams a self-assured young Brunner.
50 Mile Endurance
In the fifty-mile endurance event, the Alberta team of Nancy Haughian of
Grande Prairie, AB riding Buckaroo Heart, Dave Getzinger of Drayton Valley,
AB aboard Prince Charming and Karen Badger of Grande Prairie, AB riding
eight year-old Anglo-Arabian Pilgrim claimed the gold medal. Twenty of the
twenty-nine starters finished the event including Carol Wadey of Edson, AB
and her two young daughters, Rae-Anne (17) and Robyn (13). These talented
riders comprised Alberta's second team and were the only team in both the 50
and 100-mile events to finish all three team members earning them their
With over 23,000 combined miles between them this was the first time they
have competed at nationals. It was also only the second time that they have
ridden together in a team event. Robyn rode nineteen year-old Spanish
Mustang named Gypsy while her Mom; Carol rode Gypsy's offspring, a half Arab
named MR Ladybird.
Rae-Anne rode Jet, her fifteen year-old 14.1 hh polish Arab "I’ve been
riding him for ten years." Says Rae-Anne. "He's naturally easy at the start
of ride, it’s so nice. He's slowing a little now. I have put on about
500-700 miles per year, but last year it was barely over 100. I'm slowing
down a little too. A lot of slow miles, we never go fast. I like it, its
fun, it's a challenge."
Mom Carol has been competing since 1983. Rae-Anne started at age 5 in
limited distance; Robyn started limited distance age 5 and started 50s the
British Columbia secured the bronze medals with riders Lori Brewza from
Chase BC riding her twelve year-old Morab Black Majik, Gail Jewell of
Kelowna, BC and Wyatt Laing from Okanagan Center, BC riding a part-bred Arab
Overall, the individual gold medal in the 50-mile was Elroy Karius of
Kelowna riding Jolly Holiday, a six year-old Arabian with a ride time of
"When you do this sport and the horse gives you everything they can give you
and you get it done…It's a gift." Said Karius of his win.
Bill Miller of Fairfield, MT rode his Arabian HA Lady Valarrie and captured
the silver and the coveted best condition accolade with his time of 5:39:21.
Doug Swingley of Lincoln, MT rode JV Laredo, a seven year-old Arabian to the
bronze medal finishing in 5:47:31.
100 Mile Endurance
In the 100-mile event, Alberta's contingent of consummate riders also
captured gold. This gold-medal team included Christy Janzen of Devon, AB
riding Salate's Victory, her fifteen year-old daughter Jaylene aboard SLSF
Halite's Comet and Crystal Fulcher of Seba Beach, AB riding Bardo Grey
While their day started out in a similar weather pattern of earlier days in
the week, the winds of change erupted with showers about eight hours into
the event followed by two storm cells rolling through the area after the
eleven hour mark. Out of 26 starters, only ten riders crossed the finish
line. The torrent of rain was influential in preventing any riders from
attaining a sub 13 hour 20 minute ride time to qualify in the FEI event for
the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky in 2010.
The silver medal was awarded to British Columbia. The team consisted of Gail
Jewell of Kelowna, B.C. who won the ride on her ten year-old Arab NL
Temptation. Jewell's teammates included Tunie Russeau of Westbank, BC riding
thirteen-year-old Arietta and Terre O’Brennen of Delta, BC riding
twelve-year-old Arabian, Koszaar.
Jewell also commandeered the much sought-after title of best condition in
both the AERC and FEI events with her ride time of 14:18:54, which was well
ahead of Sue Summers from Gifford, WA who finished in 15:42:33 riding Mags
There was no bronze team awarded.
Individual Canadian Championship 100 Miles: Gold - Gail Jewell DVM, Silver -
Trisha Dowling DVM (St. Denis, SK), Bronze - Crystal Fulcher.
In the Ride n’ Tie twenty-mile Canadian Championship event, Alberta teams
emerged with gold and silver titles. Gold was awarded to Alison Douglas of
Banff, AB and Heather Price of Canmore, AB who complete the challenging,
muddy course in 3:28, pursued closely by Rae-Anne Wadey and Jenny Mooney of
Winfield, AB in 3:35 who captured the silver medal. Wadey and Mooney teamed
up after Wadey’s original partner backed out. They rode 'Tonto' a horse
owned by Alberta rider Christy Janzen for the event. Wadey competes in track
and field, cross-country and also did the K-100 relay in Kananaskis country.
"We get off our horses a lot when doing endurance riding.” Says Wadey of the
running portion of the ride n' tie. "I went to the World Champion ride n'
tie in Montana three years ago. That one was a bit easier than this one.”
Claims Wadey who had to battle slick, mucky conditions following Sunday's
Prue Critchley of Hamiota, MB, a few generations Wadey's senior, and
Kristine Erb of Oakbluff, MB showed dogged determination in completing the
course in 6:15 riding sixteen year-old Morab, Fort William.
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