By Justin Seward
The Dunmore Equestrian Centre is looking forward putting a challenging 2020 behind them with a full-fledged schedule of equine events in 2021.
There will be allowed a maximum of 150 people in the stands to comply with Alberta’s Stage 2 reopening and that number will change if the province opens fully by early July.
The events calendar kicked off with the Chinook Rodeo timed event on June 5-6.
“Actually, it’s good,” said Cathy Schnell, Equestrian Society director.
“We had a timed event on the (June 5-6) weekend and it went really well. We couldn’t have any spectators—so the stands were empty. But the competitors—everybody was really happy to be out with their horses again and enjoying their sport. So, that was wonderful to see.”
Schnell admitted with the Equestrian Society being a non-profit, last year was a struggle with very few events ,rentals being down and not being able to hold their annual auction.
Schnell agreed with fans in attendance the atmosphere will come back.
“It’s the mental health and wellness of our rural community and the city people that would like to come out,” said Schnell.
“It’s more of if we can keep the doors open and help people feel good and get out and enjoy. If you look (at)what our mandate is, it is just to preserve our western heritage and promote community spirit.”
A hope is to bring back the Equine Facilitative program with the seniors in the summer.
Riders can pay a $20 drop-in fee or an adult can buy a pass for $105 to ride at the Centre.
A full list of events can be found at https://www.dunmoreequestrian.com/calendar.
The Chore Team Competition will be hosted June 19 and will have a $10 spectator entry fee.
Spectators will be able to witness competitors drive up to a gate, drop their lines, and then walk behind the horse to open the gate before going back around the horse, picking up the line and going through the gate where the clock starts.
Competitors will also hook on to a 16-foot log navigate through the course.
All other events are free.