Central Canada Paso Fino Horse Association

Wind Rider Challenge 2009

Victoria and Pia at WindRiderPart one

After the first round on Saturday, the participants were informed of their scores and the top three returned for the next day’s Final. After a last obstacle course and a musical freestyle presentation by each of the riders, the judges tallied up their scores. The three Finalists in Norwich were: Champion, Camilla Willings of Kenilworth riding Mercenario deLa Libertad (aka Mercy), an 11 year old Paso Fino stallion; Reserve, Victoria Poe of Kenilworth riding Pianola, a 14 year old Paso Fino mare and Third was Heather Gill riding Justin, a 3 year old Appaloosa gelding. Congratulations to all three riders! Part of Camilla Willings’ prize as Champion is a free spot at the Can-Am Wind Rider Challenge Finals, so we will be seeing her again in London, Ontario; March, 2010. From the Can Am report, read entire document here PDF Report from Can Am

Report from Camilla, taken from an email...

"It did get super busy on Sunday with the rodeo. amazing to see the kids roping. It sure was a learning experience for all the horses... with everything going on from Bulls to Bouncy castles.

As you know we all did a 12 item obstacle course on Saturday with the top 3 scores moving to finals on Sunday.
Mercy and Pia and the Appaloosa were the 3 that moved on to the finals on Sunday. Saturday we had the obstacle course with a generous time limit. On Sunday we had a new course, a bit harder, and now it was timed with the fastest time earning a bonus point. Mercy and Pia were both a bit more wired on SUnday for some reason. There was a jump again, but much bigger this time.

The Appaloosa was much steadier on Sunday and the course was perfectly designed for him. lots of cantering in circles, etc. he did the course perfectly.

Course on Sunday was: halt in a box, canter depart left lead slow circle, left lead fast circle, flying lead change in the box, canter right lead to a stop pole, 2.25 turns on the haunches to the right, trot or gait over pretty big jump (not allowed to canter, argh!, but all three of us cleared it, Mercy from fino), proceed at gait/trot to a hula hoop on ground, 360 turn on the forehand with front feet in hoop, take sword with apple in cup on top in one hand and gait/trot in circle over 3 trot poles without dropping ball, return sword to Bob and take a javelin in same hand, canter across ring and throw javelin at a canter at target on hay bales, round a barrel to left and gallop back across finish line. pretty tough course!

The Appaloosa did everything right, only flaw was slowing to a simple change of lead, not a flying change. Appaloosa even got javelin in centre of target - really hard! Mercy got the flying change, and did most things fast but ok, except messed up the turns on haunches at the stop pole- way too wired. pulled off the hula hoop one fast, but ok. I think we got the fastedst time. I did not see Pia as I was changing for the freestyle, but Victoria reported that she was really wired and flubbed both the turns on forehand and haunches, but got most other things, including jumps, nice circles, good javelin and a flying change that was late, but did it.Camilla and Victoria

Afterwards we all had to perform a freestlye routine to music. Luckily that is where our Pasos kicked some butt. We had costumes, and the horses looked lovely. Victoria looked beautiful in Spanish lady attire, with black skirt and shawl etc, and flowers in Pia's mane. SHe performed to latin groove number with garrocha pole and it was very pretty!! Pia was relaxed and they both had fun for sure. beautiful sidepasses. I wish I had video! it was beautiful. It was super windy all day, too.

Mercy and I went more manly, in bolero tux with gold trim, a lovely valu village gold necklace on him and flowers in his mane and tail, with his Spanish headress. We came in carrying champagne glass and performed to a fast paced Gyspy Kings medley with lots of quick fino work, jumping, sidepass box, pirouettes, etc. at one point this crazy balloon sculpture with legs and eyes flew into the ring and everywhere we turned it seemed to be right in front of us, we practically had to jump over it to get to jump! so crazy... with cows and bulls lowing in pens all around us, a lawnmower race going on in next ring and much crazy stuff in very windy outdoors mucky rodeo ring. what an experience.
The appaloosa's freestlye was very simple, clean but not much wow factor.

In the end, we all got big fancy ribbons and the Appaloosa was 3rd, and got $100 and a bucket of prizes, Pia and Victoria were 2nd and got $200 and a bucket of prizes, and Mercenario and I got 1st, $500 and a bucket of prizes. Mercy and I also got a free spot into the Can-Am Wind RIder Finals (costs $200) in March, 2010. Yikes... now we have a lot of work to do! we made lots of mistakes and competition will be tough, but very exciting.

Victoria said she has never worked soooo hard for a ribbon and I have to agree! It was a lot of work, but our horses were great troopers and we all learned a lot!

Winnie and Bill Stott had their Lusitanos there for the Saturday, and they can testify to the crazy atmosphere there... and the size of the bulls in pens around the ring!
Afterwards we were invited by a local lady to trail ride at her farm. had a great ride with storm clouds but no rain. the pasos were both still full of beans after that ride and would have gone again but it was time to get home.

It was such a great training opportunity and definitely similarities with Working Equitation, with a bit more flexibility and focus on learning. The organizors, Suzanne and Bob, are very supportive and helpful and approach the whole thing as an educational experience, disguised as a competition.
Victoria and I are both super indebted to Jeannie for lending us the truck for the weekend for 2 trips to Norwich... thank you Jeannie!!!!!!!"

© 2009 Central Canada Paso Fino Horse Association, Inc.