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Hungry Horse Ranch hosts wildcard dressage show

Horse show attracted a number of riders to the Wawota-area facility.
Hungry Horse drassage
Jolene DeVries rode her horse Tex in the second level of the wildcard show at the Hungry Horse Ranch.

WAWOTA - A wildcard dressage show was put on by the Prairie Arabian Working Western and Sport Horse Association (PAWWSHA) on Sept. 24 at the Hungry Horse Ranch, which is located west of Wawota and owned by Ken and Roxanne Appell.

Roxanne Appell, who is an avid horsewoman, said the PAWWSHA was founded in 2017 by a handful of horse enthusiasts to increase the sport of riding in several disciplines, with the focus being dressage.

Two shows were planned for this year in Melville and Brandon, but due to low entries they had to be cancelled, so the wildcard shows came into place.

Dressage has 11 levels, beginning at the entry level and ending with the grand prix special.

Scoring is done out of 110. Each horse and rider will be judged on ease of handling, the horse and rider’s movement and their ease of transition from one gait to the other.

The Appells’ ranch has a dressage ring and indoor arena, and she easily has 30-40 horses on her ranch, either owned by her or the boarder.

People of all ages, from babies to grandparents, attended the show, including 17 riders awaiting their turn to be evaluated and judged by Elaine Banfield from Winnipeg.

Each rider had two tests at the level where they felt comfortable.

A wildcard show was also held in August, and one is planned for October, providing the weather continues to co-operate. Banfield will be the judge at that one as well.

Jolene De Vries was among the participants, riding her appaloosa-paint gelding Tex. He is approximately 11 years old with a unique history.

D.J. Cairns, a well-known trainer went to an auction with her 11-year-old son, Nolan. Nolan saw this pen of weanling foals. Although Cairns did not want to purchase any of them, young Nolan had other ideas.

Tex came home to be on the family farm. According to Cairns, she was not even sure if the young animal would make it, as he was in rough shape, but he did.

Nolan put the work into this young horse, and this horse would work all day. He even took him branding for seven days straight and the horse continued to work.

It was now time for Tex to find his forever home, as the Cairns always have young stock to work. Tex found his partner in De Vries.

De Vries had taken lessons on Tex before she became his owner, and they now do Level 2 in dressage.

The atmosphere is friendly and relaxed. Everyone encourages each other to calm nerves and give words of inspiration.

The rules are according to the Saskatchewan Horse Federation. Although most riders donned dressage tack, it is not required. Western is also welcome.

Although the weather was sunny, the wind was something to contend with, along with the moose in the early morning hours.

This event is at a low cost to encourage others to join. Competitors had a chance to win some cash, based on their score.

Appell said these two wildcard events have seen new participants, which is exactly what they are looking for.

With a show coming up in October, it is their hope to attract even more riders into this sport.