Although they knew they had a good pony on their hands, they didn’t know how good she really is.
They found out on the weekend of September 8-11.
That’s when four Sarabeau Stable riders and their ponies competed at the Trillium Provincial Equestrian Championship at Caledon Equestrian Park at Palgrave, Ontario, and while “everybody did amazing, and everyone had good rounds,” it was Sweet Cherry Wine who stole the show.
Owned and ridden by Rayanna Marcellus in the Medium Pony Division, Sweet Cherry Wine was judged overall champion thanks to some really good rides.
On her first day, Sweet Cherry placed eighth and 10th, over fences. Day two saw her finish first and second over fences and third on flat. The combined points gave her the overall ‘medium pony’ championship.
“It’s a tough competition,” said Sarabeau Stable trainer Cheryl Levere. “There are a lot of horses there that compete at top level shows. We are just doing a little local circuit.”
“Sweet Cherry’s two rounds were absolutely amazing. I was able to watch 10 others go and none of them compared to Sweet Cherry’s rounds.”
While the competition is judged on the horses, Levere credits Marcellus for her part in the win. “It’s purely judged on the horse. However, it’s an overall picture, and you have to have a good rider.”
Also riding at the Trillium were Courtney Casselman on Piccolini, Julie Julien on Palakari and Josee Marleau Vallieres on Sentimental Journey. In addition, Marcellus rode Short Notice in Small Pony and Picco in B Equitation.
“It was a great learning experience for all of them,” said Levere. “They all had amazing rounds and you have to remember that none of them had ever done anything like this before. They all stepped up. It was a great first year for Sarabeau. Every year is going to get better. They all know what to expect now.”
Sarabeau Stable owner Sandy Marcellus (Rayanna’s mom) was extremely proud of the riders and the horses, particularly Sweet Cherry Wine.
“We knew she was a good pony, but for us to have a champion pony is fantastic. We were up against a lot of big barns and there was a lot of competition there. Every division had between 35 and 50 riders. It’s great.”