Sandy Marcellus is absolutely delighted that after just two complete seasons of operation her Sarabeau Riding stable has seven riders who have qualified, or will have qualified over the next couple of weeks, for the Trillium Ontario Riding Championships at the Caledon Equestrian Park at Palgrave, Ontario from September 6-9.
“I am very pleased,” says Marcellus. “They have all done very well this year. Last year we had five riders, and this year we have seven who have qualified. That is pretty good.”
The riders have all worked under longtime trainer Cheryl Levere who has been with Sarabeau since it opened two years ago.
Marcellus explained that the top seven riders from each of seven regions in Ontario will compete at the Trillium.
“Even getting there is a big thing,” she adds, “And when they get there, they can be riding against 40 plus other riders.”
Sarabeau Stables rides in the Kingston Region of the Trillium Circuit and the riders amass points at five shows.
Sarabeau Stables has been steadily growing with up to 20 students outs for lessons on a regular basis. According to Marcellus they come from throughout the area from Cornwall to Iroquois. “That’s a good number really. We don’t have any crowded lessons.”
Marcellus says she has also had a good response to summer riding camps.
In addition to riders, Marcellus has worked on building up her riding stock and is very pleased with the ponies now in her stables.
Amongst the Sarabeau qualifiers are the sister duo of Brianna and Serena Armstrong of Iroquois.
Brianna, 16, has qualified in the Children’s Hunter and Low Division riding Shez Justa Dream and Serena, 14, has qualified in medium pony on My Time to Shine. Both are Sarabeau horses. My Time to Shine is a six year old Welsh Quarter Cross Pony who is a relative newcomer to Sarabeau and who is in her first year of showing.
“She is a really good pony,” says Marcellus. “We use her for our camps as she is really good with kids.”
Shez Justa Dream is a 12 year old registered quarter horse, and a particular favourite of Marcellus’.
“She was my very first horse. She was my trail horse and last year she did the fairs. This is her first year showing.”
Of the riders, Julie Julien, 26, of Cornwall is the most experienced. She will be making her third trip to Trillium, her second consecutive as a Sarabeau rider on her family horse Palakari, a nine year old thoroughbred gelding.
Julien has qualified in Adult Amateur Low division and will collect enough points to qualify in Adult Equitation in two remaining shows in Kingston.
Riding Palakari, Jeana Lamothe, 14, of Ingleside has qualified in Modified Child Adult, while Troy Webb, also of Ingleside has qualified in Modified Child Adult riding Morganfield, an 18 year old thoroughbred gelding.
“Morganfield is kind of a rescue,” says Marcellus. “He’s been everywhere and he’s done everything. We’ve had him for a year.”
A first year rider, Teisha Mullin, 13, of Ingleside is expected to qualify in the Long Stirrup division as she is now sitting in second spot overall. Teisha rides My Time to Shine.
The final qualifier for Sarabeau is Rayanna Marcellus, who at 15, is a very experienced rider and has qualified or will qualify to ride in four events.
Rayanna is currently sitting second in the Large Pony Division and in Equitation Over Fences. In both she is riding Piccolini. She is also first in Children’s Medal and second overall in Children’s Hunter riding and for both she is riding Morganfield.
Piccolini, is a 10 year old large Arabian Welsh cross pony that was a rescue horse for the Marcelluses prior to the formation of the family stable. Rayanna has worked with him with great success, and “now he’s amazing,” says Sandy.
With the Trillium Championships now just three weeks away, the riders are busy raising funds to assists them in their expenses which are expected to be between $1,500 to $2,000 per rider.
Expenses include transportation for both the riders and horses, accommodation for the riders, stabling fees, feed hay and stable shavings.
“The riders pay all their own costs so they are trying to raise a little extra money to assist in the expenses.”
Unfortunately, Friday’s rainy day did not bode well for a car wash at the McIntosh Inn in Morrisburg but coming up this Sunday, August 19 in Ingleside another car wash is planned. In addition, there will be a bake sale, a yard sale and a silent auction.
“We also advertise for sponsors which are showcased on the doors in the stables. Everyone likes to look at and pet the horses so they walk up and down the stables. The signs provide great advertising.”