Following an exceptionally good summer season, and several weeks to settle in to her school requirements at that University of Ottawa, local equestrian, Rayanna Marcellus will be back in the saddle on her horse “Keepsake” to prepare to ride at the prestigious Royal Agricultural Winter Fair and Horse Show in Toronto, November 7-16.
Marcellus has been riding competitively for about six years. This will be her second trip to the Royal, having experienced it in at the age of 13 years when she rode the pony, Skip the Frosty.
However, while Marcellus herself has experienced the thrill and excitement of riding at the Royal, this will be a whole new experience for Keepsake (stable name) Louis.
Keepsake is an off the track thoroughbred horse, explains, mom Sandi who operates the Sarabeau Stable on Pigeon Island Road east of Morrisburg, where Rayanna rides. Three years ago, he was enjoying success on the track. “Last year was his first year to show,” explains Sandi. “From race track to the Royal in three years is amazing, and he is only seven years old.”
Keepsake ran six races during his race career and had one win, two seconds and three thirds when purchased by the Marcellus family. “He is actually a really lazy horse, but he is absolutely beautiful to watch,” says Sandi. “And he is like a sponge, he soaks everything up, and he is just going to keep getting better and better.”
During the summer riding season, Rayanna and Keepsake competed in both the AERSO A and B circuits which meant two schedules and a very busy season. It is the A circuit that has the opportunity to qualify for the Royal, and Rayanna and Keepsake finished the season fourth overall for a qualifying spot.
In the AERSO B Curcuit, Keepsake finished the season, second overall in Children’s Hunter, third overall in Sandridge Medal and third overall in A Equitation.
At the AERSO B championship September 19-21, he and Rayanna won gold medals for firsts in Children’s Hunter and A Equitation.
“All summer Louis has done really well,” says Rayanna. “I have competed in Toronto before, so I think I should do well. But it is so scary up there for the horse. It’s indoors, and they have been riding outdoors all summer. There is so much going on, the noise and the music. I think he will be okay, and I am really looking forward to the trip.”
Cheryl Levere, who has been coaching Rayanna since she began riding competitively, is extremely proud of her student and also impressed with Keepsake.
“This was Keepsake’s first real year of showing,” says Levere. “He showed last year, but he was still learning. He is much less experienced than the horses he shows against, but you would never know it by watching him in the ring.”
Levere explained that in trying to earn a spot at the Royal, Rayanna also rode Keepsake in some Ontario shows in the Toronto area this past summer. “Showing there is tough with the best of the best showing, and Rayanna proved she belonged by winning a class and always bringing home some ribbons. She also did all this while getting ready for her first year in University. Rayanna is a very talented and dedicated rider which shows in everything she did over the summer. She proved that hard work pays off.”
The Royal Agricultural Horse Fair is the number one ranked horse show in North America. Over 900 entries will compete in their respective divisions.
In addition to preparing horse and rider, Sarabeau stables is lining up sponsorships to assist with the many cost which comes with being part of the show including horse transport costs, stabling, entry fee, etc.
“People are certainly welcome to sponsor,” says Sandi. “We have the McIntosh Inn and some friends. Any little bit helps as it’s very expensive. This is just such an amazing opportunity for a young rider. Just to get Keepsake there is absolutely amazing.”
BROCKVILLE – The Seaway District High School intermediate cross country team of 23 runners finished a very rewarding season at Memorial Park in Brockville on Wednesday, October 30, in the first running of the Upper Canada Cup Cross Country Championship.
According to a school board press release: The event brought together 1,270 junior and intermediate athletes from schools across the Upper Canada District School Board.
The winning team in the Intermediate category was the cross country powerhouse Thousands Islands Secondary School (TISS) of Brockville, while Queen Elizabeth Public School of Perth took the junior category.
Finishing in second spot overall in the intermediate division was the Seaway Team, which, along with TISS were the only two schools to score points in all four divisions, grade 7 boys and girls and grade 8 boys and girls.
“Finishing second to a school who has twice as many students as us and beating all other schools big or small was a result of hard work from our athletes and the philosophy of team first-individual second,” said Seaway coach Robin Gibbs. “I am extremely pleased with the performance of this team at the championship meet as well as all the meets this season.”
“Despite our small team in numbers, we were able to compete with any school out there,” added Gibbs.
In the media release, meet convener Randy Givogue said the event was organized to provide our students with an additional athletic opportunity at a time when issues of childhood obesity and wellness are concerns in our society. The high school teacher said that in his youth he did not have access to high-quality athletic events such as the Upper Canada Cup, and he knows how beneficial they can be for students.
“When you have an end goal of creating student wellness, hosting a first-class meet like this snowballs into success for students because they are training in the weeks leading up to it,” said Givogue. “There is no sport as good for your heart and lungs as running.”
The awards ceremonies were presided over by former NCAA All-American track star Matt Leeder, a graduate of TISS.
Individual champions at the event were: Mason Gavin, grade 8 boys, TISS; Lilly Meek, grade 8 girls Athens District H.S.; Claire Cushing, grade 7 girls, TISS; Dylan Butcher, grade 7 boys, Brockville Collegiate.
The Seaway High team had some big results with the Grade 8 boys leading the way for a second place finish overall. They were led by Grant Wells with a sixth and David Swerdfeger with a ninth. Adding their points for the second place finish were Noah Pederson, Devin Dumoulin, Kurt Cutler and Hunter Murphy.
The Grade 8 girls posted a third place finish overall. The team consisted of Abigail Jordan, who led the girls with an eighth place finish, and included Katie Buter, Grace Brooks, Sydney Piquette, Maiah Horne and Julenea Barnhartd.
At the Grade 7 level, the boys team of Trystan Pos, Aaron Tibben, Owen Orendi, Ryan Wiltshire and Colin Minish finished fourth overall. Tibben crossed the finish line in fourth, and Minish added a 10th place finish.
At the grade 7 level, the girls team of Keira Cameron, Kristin Van Hoof, Rebecca Ferguson, Sarah Backes, Cameryn Broad and Ashley Hanna finished sixth overall. Cameron crossed the finish line in seventh spot.
It may be near the end of the season, but the Morrisburg Curling Club’s senior citizens are still curling up a storm.
Last week, eight men journeyed to Gananoque for a bonspiel. Dave King, Jack Barkley, Doug Jarvis and Bill Magee dropped their first game against a foursome from Kingston, but had better luck after lunch, defeating a Brockville team. Sid Morrell, Raymond Benoit, Neil Williams and Al Harriman, in the late draw, played two Gananoque teams, defeating both of them. Their score was just three points behind the overall champions in the 16-team bonspiel, so they had to settle for second place. No problem, though, for every one of the sixty-four curlers took home a pork roast as a prize.
It was the first time in the rink for many of the fellows, and the club impressed them. It was older, but very well maintained, and besides, they had a private meeting room.
Friday, the same two teams represented us in Cornwall for the four club, two-team McLennan Bonspiel. Dave’s team defeated Lancaster and Prescott, leaving Sid’s men to try to match them. They did it in style, knocking off the top Cornwall team in the morning and defeating Lancaster handily in the afternoon.
Unfortunately, the scoring method Cornwall uses, total points for both teams from each club, left our boys short by two points against –you guessed it, the Cornwall hosts. Even though we had bested their top team in the morning, they had run up a high score in the afternoon match, and that was enough to keep the trophy in Cornwall. Well done anyway, Morrisburg.
Saturday and Sunday, the Morrisburg club hosted the Bantam Mixed Regional Playdowns, although we had no local teams involved in the bantam or junior regional play. Foursomes from R.C.M.P, Perth (2), Huntley (2), Cornwall, Quinte and Carleton Heights competed. The winners, Calwell of Quinte and Leslie of R.C.M.P., will be in the Provincial Championships March 28-31.
Ian McGillis, from the OCA, officiated, and our ice technician, Wally Baker, and President Mahlon Locke and his volunteers made sure things were ready and ran smoothly.
There’s a notice in the lounge at the club for the last two-person ‘spiel of the year this weekend. Sign up for the competition if you’re interested.
A closing bonspiel is scheduled for March 31st. Included in the event will be lunch, an evening banquet, the annual meeting, and the club championship final. See the sign-up sheets in the lounge for the bonspiel and for the banquet. A lunch will be provided for those in the bonspiel. We’ll have more details and information next time.
Don’t forget to follow our men in the City of Ottawa Bonspiel. We also have some men and women in what will likely be the last bonspiels of the season for them. We hope to have those results for you next time. With the Scotties, Canadian Women’s Championship, in Kingston next year, our executive is looking to see whether there is interest in renting a bus to get people there. Look for the survey sheet in the lounge to help your board of directors gauge interest.
That’s it for this week.
Good curling to all!
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