Local Equestrians finish best year
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.