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WECan enthusiasts enjoyed a horse show at New Hope Ranch

There are several levels, beginning with children and moving up to Level 7, and then the master’s level is the top.

NEW HOPE RANCH — Nineteen Working Equitation Canada (WECan) enthusiasts joined in on a clinic and horse show last Saturday and Sunday at the New Hope Ranch near Qu’Appelle.

Riders came from across southern Saskatchewan to learn about the discipline and then enter the show.

WECan is growing very quickly, and many are enjoying the laid back and enjoyable sport.

On Saturday, each rider was given a time slot and pointers from coach DeeAnna Lyke, who has been involved with horses since she was child and is a huge advocate for WECan.

Lyke teaches the group how to do straight lines, bended circles and halts, as this is what the sport is all about.

Points can be collected in certain areas that double when a halt is executed perfectly or near that level. Riders also earn points for straight lines and the bend of a person's horse while doing a circle.

From the sideline, it looks relatively easy, but once in the saddle it is much more difficult than anticipated.

This was a licensed WECan show, and all points are accumulated and posted on the rider' and horse's number.

Judge Diane Bolen from Fort Qu’Appelle came out on Sunday to watch the equestrians perform their dressage test. The rider must perform a series of halts, circles, straight lines and back ups. Judging is done on the clarity of these efforts.

There are several levels, beginning with children and moving up to Level 7, and then the master’s level is the top.

Jennifer Russel from Indian Head was the scribe for the day. It is her job to write the score and comments the judge may have during a test. At the end, the judge will add her own remarks.

There is also a show secretary. Becky Oliver enters everything into the computer so the marks are recorded through the WECan site. Susan Turpin was the gates person. She made sure the gate was opened at the right time to allow a rider in or out, and also called the next person in line to ride.

Krista Cieckiewicz was the announcer. She is also a women's ranch bronc rider. Payton Mason was the official photographer that day through her Secretly Wild Photography business. She captured all the riders in that moment.

Also in attendance were two women through the International Rural Exchange Canada program.

Emma Lang from Germany and Nina Gave from Switzerland came to Canada to learn the cowgirl way, and they felt this was the perfect place to learn all about this growing sport.

These two women did not sit on the sideline; they were put to work as the arena crew. It was their responsibility to ensure the markers were in the correct spot and obstacles were put back up when knocked down.

Lang and Gave said that the experience was so enjoyable and they met a lot of great people throughout the weekend.

Sunday afternoon the Eaze of Handling course was done. This course consists of making perfect circles around barrels, going over a wooden bridge, grabbing the garrocha pole, opening and closing a gate,  and picking up a ring that was located at the top of a wooden bull and placed in a barrel. One also needs to ring a bell, back out of the corridor, ride up to a cup and move it from one pole to the next, which is all done with the right hand.

There are rules to follow and if they are broken the rider will receive a disqualification and not be marked.

Allison Holzer from Estevan joined the WECan group five years ago and she will be attending the Cross National Cup in Moose Jaw that will be held at the end of August.

She feels the mixture of events and the great horsemanship are amazing. She went on to say the group of people is always incredibly supportive and offers encouragement throughout the show.

Children's level went to Grace Dinwoodie riding Jazz. Rachel Offiah on Oakley won the introductory youth level. The introductory open class went to Debbie Allen riding Archie. Laurie Stringer won novice A riding Fynn, and the intermediate open and speed round went to DeeAnna Lyke riding Braam.

Another award was presented by the judge for Judges' Choice. This award went to Stephanie Zoer, as the Bolen said her smile and enthusiasm was shown throughout the whole ride.

Denny Moody supplied the prizes of handmade ponies, which had the ribbons sewn on them.

Many of the riders will attend the next WECan show that will be held on June 22 and 23 at the New Hope Ranch.