The Mane Event – Chilliwack – An Incredible Journey

An all in the Family Adventure

My pride and joy has always been my family, and as a family we have worked hard to become better horsemen/women, riders and trainers. We chase our goals by being dedicated horse people with an open-minded attitude towards all aspects of horsemanship. It is for these reasons that my journey to The Mane Event in Chilliwack BC was nothing less than incredible.

On the morning of October 19th my wife Caroline and I excitedly loaded up the horse trailer and headed out for what would be an “all in the family” adventure. Yes, we were off to The Mane Event where I would be participating in the Trainer’s Challenge with Chris Irwin and Doug Mills.

But hold on – there is more! Our daughter Erin would be flying out to meet us in Chilliwack; making the family unit complete. We were hauling out a registered Canadian Warm Blood by the name of “Lucci” for Erin to ride. Lucci is a talented five year-old Holsteiner Thoroughbred that I started under saddle for my wife as a three year-old. From this solid foundation Caroline has trained Lucci to be the special horse he is today.

Imagine how excited we were to see Erin riding him in the Beth Underhill clinic? Being one of the featured trainers at the Mane Event, Beth Underhill is an international show jumping rider who has been a member of the Canadian Equestrian Team since 1990. What an honor it was to have our daughter riding for her on a horse Caroline and I have trained. Erin and Lucci demonstrated their individual talents and professionalism at all levels as they worked together in harmony. Needless to say, they managed to catch a lot of attention from both Beth and the audience.

I am happy to say that our “all in the family” adventure did not end here. Once the excitement of the Trainer’s Challenge, and the positive experience Erin had riding for Beth Underhill was all over, Caroline and I took some much deserved time off. Located on the outskirts of historic Fort Langley. We had made plans to hang out at “Time Out Farms” with our friends Diane Hanson, Willy Wright and Elizabeth Wride. Of course they spoiled us beyond belief — to have such good friends is truly a privilege!

To further compliment our adventure, Caroline and I were now on a bit of a holiday with our personal horses Lucci and Coco. What an opportunity it was for the both of us, to spend time together, ride together, talk together and enjoy our horses together. This is where I brag about Coco — he is beautiful — not only in the physical sense of the word, but also in temperament with a desire to please. Each day I look forward to spending quality time together. Our bond is growing!

Besides finding, vetting and finally purchasing a new horse for one of Caroline’s clients we had yet another reason for staying longer on the West Coast. Thunderbird Showpark in Langley was hosting a Canadian National Coaching Symposium with George Morris, Leslie Law and Geoff Teall. Missing out on this opportunity with all of its learning benefits was something Caroline was not going to let happen. I should mention Caroline is currently working towards a personal goal of becoming a Certified Level Three, Jump Canada Equestrian Coach. By attending this symposium Caroline was awarded an official “Certificate of Attendance”, which now compliments her portfolio. Yet one more step towards becoming a certified level three jumping coach.

When we arrived home on the evening of Nov 3rd, all of the horses and the two dogs were very happy to see us, after all, as a couple, we have never been away so long together. In closing, I must say that I am proud of my wife and my daughter for the dedication they have put into their horsemanship and for being professional with the people they meet and the horses they work with. Through it all, they have raised the bar within themselves, not only with their riding skills, teaching abilities and training techniques, but also with their individual horse savvy. What an incredible journey we have had together — an “ all in the family” adventure!

Remember, “Success with horses, starts with us”!

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