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  • Writer's pictureLorna Hamilton

Vermilion 4-H Light Horse Club Holds Demo Day And Achievement Day

Vermilion 4-H Light Horse members with a cheque from the Vermilion Credit Union. Photo Lorna Hamilton

The Vermilion 4-H Light Horse Club recently hosted a successful Demo Day and Achievement Day, showcasing the dedication and hard work of its members. The event, held on May 22, brought together young equestrians from the ages of six to 18, who demonstrated their skills and achievements in various categories.

Andrea Usenik, one of the project leaders of the 4-H Light Horse Club, explained the journey leading up to Achievement Day. “We start in September and have as many clinics as we can with clinicians throughout the year. These clinics focus on specific areas like horsemanship, trail riding, or gymkhana,” she stated.

The preparation for Achievement Day didn’t happen overnight. Throughout the year, club members devoted their time and effort to caring for their animals. They meticulously documented monthly feed, expenses for farrier work, deworming, vaccinations, and any other purchases made for their horses. These records played a crucial role in showcasing their commitment and responsibility as horse owners.

On May 21, the club organized a Demo Day, where members had the opportunity to learn practical skills. Led by Janice Savile from Marwayne, the session covered making reins. The members also polished their tack ensuring that all equipment was polished and ready for Achievement Day. Additionally, the young equestrians pampered their horses with a spa session, which involved clipping and bathing the horses in preparation for the upcoming event. The Demo Day also included a potluck meal.

The Achievement Day began on May 22 and started at 9 a.m. with the showmanship category. The English discipline, being the first, saw four participants showcasing their skills in English Equitation and Pleasure. Judge Kim Eremko presided over both categories, evaluating riders’ posture, presentation, horsemanship, and overall etiquette in Equitation while assessing the horse’s performance in the Pleasure category. Once the English classes concluded, it was time for the Western riders to take the ring, performing Equitation and Pleasure categories.

Following the morning classes, a well-deserved lunch break was provided. During this time, two ribbons were presented: the “Most Dedicated Member” and the “Most Improved Rider.” These awards acknowledged the commitment and growth demonstrated by the club’s members.

In the afternoon, the members engaged in the Gymkhana portion of the day. This thrilling segment featured timed events such as barrel racing, pole bending, and keyhole races. The young equestrians showcased their agility, speed, and precision while competing in these exciting events.

The Vermilion 4-H Light Horse Club’s Achievement Day attracted participants of all ages and skill levels. The event saw two Cleavers (ages 6-8), three Juniors (ages 9-10), four Intermediate members (ages 11-14), and three Seniors (ages 15-18) showcasing their equestrian abilities.

Junior, Senior, and Intermediate members who participated in showmanship, western equitation, western pleasure, barrels, and poles—high point classes—had their points tallied up at the end of the day. The participant with the highest score in each category won the high-point award for each group level.

The club would like to thank the Vermilion Ag Society for the use of their grounds throughout the year, Lakeland College for the use of their riding arena for its riding clinics, G3 Canada Ltd. Integra Tire, AFSC, and Gerry Maire for hand-making their high-point trophies.

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