As good as one can learn to be at home, one can always benefit from a little international perspective.
That's what two young Scottish Pony Club champions discovered upon their arrival at Dreamcatcher Meadows near Pemberton.
Rebecca Dunn and Samantha Martin, both 16, came over to the stables to improve their riding and learn more about proper horse care.
As part of their educational adventure the girls were allowed to ride top horses like Lordsley DMV, who emerged as the reserve grand champion at the Spokane Sport Horse Casual Qualifier on July 11 and 12.
Through a joint email, the girls explained that they haven't able to ride horses of this calibre back home, and felt their riding would develop because now they know exactly what they're looking for in a horse.
"We learned how important it is to have the chance to feel the movement at the higher level — to understand how it should feel," they agreed. "It makes sense to us now — once you feel what it is like on a horse trained to perfection, then you know what you are trying to aim for on another horse."
Dunn, the niece of stable co-owner John Dingle, and Martin also noted they learned how to teach their own horses back home, so they feel equipped to proceed in their development as riders.
Both hope to return to Canada for a full year in 2016.
At the Spokane show, several other horses in addition to Lordsley showed strongly. D-Trix DMV scored 80.85 to top the three-year-old colt and gelding class while also taking the reserve champion title in the colt and gelding championship. He also won both materiale classes under saddle with scores north of 80.
Ballerina DMV won a fourth consecutive mare champion title and, under saddle, advanced to September's regional championships in Sherwood, Oregon with strong scores. Her daughter via embryo transfer, Wishing Star DMV, took home the young mare championship in addition to the yearling filly champion title.
Dancier's Dream DMV, ridden by Australian import Andrew Rae, also made it to the regionals.
Lordsley and brother Leopold DMV both hit the mid-80s in their materiale performances while Dreammaster DMV, later named reserve champion stallion, helped Dingle capture his first FEI overall championship as they won both the intermediate I level classes.
Windcatcher DMV captured the two-year-old filly reserve title and Wonderful Dream DMV won the three-year-old filly class.
Kirsten Mitchell, a former residential rider now employed by the stables for the summer, won the junior young rider division while riding Lady of the Dance DMV.
BMX riders cruise to wins, set to fundraise for BC Children's Hospital
Pemberton BMX shook, rattled and rolled to gold at the Rattler Nationals in Vernon over the weekend.
Only one rider, Sam Tierney, took gold in the triple-points portion of the event, winning the 7 novice title. However, four riders — Tierney, Erin Tierney (36-40 women), Robbie Tribe (9-10 open) and Lucas Cruz (14 expert) — topped the podium in the double-points event to open the weekend on July 17.
Numerous other riders posted podium finishes in the triple-points action. Graydon Petrie (11 intermediate), Erin Tierney (41-45 women's cruiser), Ian Tierney (41-45 intermediate) and Lucas Cruz (14 expert) all won silvers. Meanwhile, Sami Teitzel (10 intermediate), Tegan Cruz (9 expert), Steve Petrie (41-45 expert), Padrick Allen (7 novice) and Erin Tierney all won bronzes.
Tegan Cruz, Allen, Teitzel, Graydon Petrie, Ian Tierney, Tigerlily Noble and Bendigo Noble all hit the podium in the prerace.
Christopher Beaton, Liv Teitzel, Liam Dodds and Stephanie Dodds also performed strongly for the club at the race.
The next Nationals action for the club comes in Langley from Aug. 14 to 16.
However, there will be some worthwhile racing on July 29 as the club is hosting Race For Life. The international campaign honours Todd Kingsbury, a Michigan rider who was diagnosed with leukemia at age 12 in 1981. BMX Canada tracks in B.C. have raised over $400,000, including over $35,000 in 2014, to help fight leukemia.
By donating $15 from every $20 registration fee for the double-points race, Pemberton BMX hopes to raise $5,000 for the cause. Donations will also be accepted. For more information, visit www.pembertonbmx.com.
Racing gets underway at 6 p.m.
Robinson third at GearJammer
Michael Robinson didn't get jammed up at the GearJammer in Squamish on July 18.
The Whistler rider hit the podium with a third place finish behind Snoqualmie, Wash.'s Toby Swanson and Squamish's Greg Day. Robinson, clocking in at two hours, 36 minutes and 2.4 seconds (2:36:2.4) was two minutes and 34.1 seconds behind Swanson's winning time in the pro/elite men's category.
Darcy Trevelyan was third in the recreational category and tops in the men's 30 to 39 division. Michael Judge was 10th overall and Mike Boehm was 16th.
As for the women, Mila Wittenberg placed sixth overall in the recreational division and second in the 14 to 19 category as a 14-year-old. Kate Whitley notched an 11th-place overall showing as well.
Complete results are available at www.webscorer.com.
Team Whistler struggles at cross-country nationals
Team Whistler's two riders found themselves in the bottom half of their respective packs in Quebec.
At the 2015 Canadian MTB XCO Championships in St. Felicien, Que., both Austin Reith and Chloe Cross were closer to the tail end of the competition.
In the junior expert men, Reith was 17 out of 28 finishers. In the elite women division, Cross placed 11th out of 13 finishers. Full results are online at www.cyclingcanada.ca.
Whistler Valley Trail Run rebounds
Roughly 60 people took part in the Whistler Valley Trail Run on July 18.
The race was hampered by low registration in 2014, but with some revamping, attracted some runners out to boot around the Lost Lake Trails.
David Arnott and Lisa Smart, both of Whistler, won the respective 10-kilometre races.
Ironman Canada runner-up Jeff Symonds of Vancouver won the men's five-kilometre offering, with Whistler's Laura Spence capturing the women's crown.