Sundre rider off to Kentucky for championships
Sundre dressage competitor Natalie Marsden and her horse Zeffiro are heading to Kentucky this week for a prestigious riding competition.
Since starting riding dressage in 2006, Natalie says she has dreamed of competing in the Junior Young Rider Championships – and now her dream has come true.
“I’ve very excited,” she said. “The competition will be great and I’m looking forward to the whole experience.”
The July 12-22 championships in Lexington cover a number of disciplines, including dressage, which is a riding event where the rider and horse are put through a series of patterns and judged.
The championships also include show jumping, reining and eventing, with competitors coming from across Canada, the U.S., Central America, the Caribbean and Bermuda.
Natalie is part of the Canada West/East team made up of one rider from B.C., one from Newfoundland and Labrador, and two from Alberta.
Her horse Zeffiro is a 16-year-old Anglo-Arab she purchased in the U.S. last year.
She said she has been riding and working with Zeffiro a lot these days in preparation for the trip to Kentucky.
Natalie rides and trains at the James River Horse Palace north of Sundre.
The James River Horsemanship Society, based at the Palace, has helped fundraise for Natalie’s trip.
The society sponsors young riders attending local, provincial, national, and this year, international competitions, clinics and workshops to improve skills and further learning, Natalie said.