Lo­cal Eques­tri­ans fin­ish best year

Stanstead Journal - - FRONT PAGE - Vic­to­ria Vanier, Ayer's Cliff

CEPWE, the lo­cal non-profit horse rid­ing club that has been pro­mot­ing eques­trian sport for decades, has just fin­ished the 2015 sea­son with the best scor­ing in the club’s history at West Fe­ria, the provin­cial cham­pi­onship. “It’s been very ex­cit­ing for us,” com­mented

Christine Le­tourneau, the pres­i­dent of Club Equestre Per­for­mance Western de l’Estrie, bet­ter known as CEPWE. “We fin­ished with sixty-nine points and came in sev­enth over­all,” added Ms. Le­tourneau, her­self an avid rider and the cap­tain of the team that at­tended West Fe­ria.

This lo­cal club, which trains and holds its horse shows on the Ayer’s Cliff Fair­grounds, has over one hun­dred and fifty en­thu­si­as­tic mem­bers. “There is no age limit to be a mem­ber. We have a mem­ber as young as three and other riders in their fifties and six­ties. Mem­bers can come from any­where in Que­bec and we have some from Mon­treal, Stan­bridge East and Farn­ham, but most are from around here,” ex­plained Christine.

The mem­bers be­gin their sea­son in the spring, at­tend­ing train­ing clin­ics. The club also holds tack sales reg­u­larly, giv­ing its mem­bers a chance to buy sec­ond hand equip­ment. Com­pe­ti­tions held through­out the sum­mer then de­cide which riders will make it to the provin­cial cham­pi­onship held at the end of Au­gust, in Sorel. “What’s un­for­tu­nate is that the West Fe­ria provin­cial cham­pi­onship is al­ways held the same week­end as the Ayer’s Cliff Fair. Some of our riders will opt out of West Fe­ria so they can com­pete at the fair,” said Ms. Le­tourneau. Those mem­bers who gave the club its record-break­ing score at West Fe­ria this year were: Shawna Pax­ton, 1st, Open English Plea­sure, 5th, Adult Western Plea­sure; Jenny St. Jac­ques, 2nd, Open English Plea­sure; Jen Cot­ton, 1st, Adult Western Plea­sure, 2nd, Novice Western Plea­sure; Kim­ber­ley Audet, 2nd, Rein­ing 18 and un­der; Ben­jamin Boivin, 3rd, Rein­ing 18 and un­der; Anissa Bes­lisle, 8th, Adult Show­man­ship; Ste­fanie Pa­que­tte, 8th, Open Trail; and Christina Young, 3rd, Western Plea­sure 13 and un­der, 4th, Western Eq­ui­tation.

One CEPWE mem­ber who de­serves spe­cial men­tion is Shawna Pax­ton who, be­sides do­ing well at West Fe­ria, earned a Mer­i­tas Equitas, an award for the high­est num­ber of points in a di­vi­sion for the prov­ince. An­other mem­ber, Kim­ber­ley Audet, went on to take part in the CIEC Cup where she had 1st, 2nd and 5th place fin­ishes, help­ing the team from Que­bec win the Cup.

The club held its end of year ban­quet ear­lier in the month at the “Hut”, in Len­noxville. “We gave out prizes and tro­phies, and had a dance af­ter,” said Ms. Le­tourneau. CEPWE’s High Point Cham­pi­ons of the year were: Fred­erique Moreau, youth 18 and un­der, with his horse Hi­dalgo; Shawna Pax­ton, English and Western Cham­pion, on Mighty Sweet Version; Marie Eve Gagnon, Gymkhana Cham­pion, on Betsy; and Em­i­lie Morneau, All around Cham­pion, on Sleepy.

CEPWE’s pres­i­dent, who got her first horse when she was twelve years old and has been rid­ing ever since, un­der­stands why so many riders love their horses and, in par­tic­u­lar, the com­pet­i­tive side of rid­ing. “It’s a great chal­lenge to work with an an­i­mal and to get them to do what we want. To be able to com­pete and work with horses re­quires a spe­cial bond; it’s a great feel­ing when you walk into the barn and they perk up their ears. Own­ing a horse is definitely a long-term com­mit­ment, and they need a lot of care. I’ve been pas­sion­ate about horses all my life and I find them to be a great ther­apy.”

For more in­for­ma­tion about CEPWE you can visit their web­site or go to the club’s An­nual Gen­eral Meet­ing at Princess El­iz­a­beth El­e­men­tary School, in Ma­gog.

“We are al­ways look­ing for new mem­bers and for new Board mem­bers; po­si­tions are avail­able ev­ery year,” con­cluded the club’s pres­i­dent.

Shawna Pax­ton com­pet­ing on Mighty Sweet Version.

Kim­ber­ley Audet ex­cels in rein­ing on A Funny Sur­prise.

Jen Cot­ton rid­ing her horse UR Cor­dially In­vited.

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