ond consecutive year, Sarabeau Stables, has had an impressive seven riders and seven horses qualify for the prestigious Trillium Ontario Riding Championships at the Caledon Equestrian Park at Palgrave, Ontario, from September 4-8.
Sarabeau Stables, owned and operated by Sandy Marcellus is a young stable located east of Morrisburg, just now in its third complete season. In each of the three seasons, Sarabeau has been represented at Trillium, beginning with five riders in year one.
“We’ve been having a really good year,” said trainer Cheryl Levere who has been with Sarabeau since it opened. “All of our horses have qualified, and that is really something. We have some really good horses.”
Levere points out that Sarabeau Stables has attracted some really good riders, many of whom she has watched grow, both physically and within their riding abilities.
“Some of our riders are finding it a bit harder this year, as they are now having to juggle their riding with work. Sometimes, some of them aren’t able to ride as often as they should,” she added.
Marcellus and Levere are pleased to have two horses return to the stable this spring, Skip the Frosty and Sweet Cherry Wine, both of which have been great horses for Sarabeau.
“We have re-schooled both horses. Both have new riders and both are doing well,” said Levere.
“Ours riders are all second year (or more) riders now. They are working hard, and they all now know when they have done something wrong. They have all improved over the years so much…they have really grown as riders. It has been good to watch them grow up,” says Levere.
Riders to qualify for this year’s Trillium competition are 16-year-old Rayanna Marcellus of Pigeon Island Road, 14-year-old Madison Drenna of Morrisburg, sisters Serena, 15, and Brianna, 17, Armstrong of Iroquois, Julie Julien, 27 of Cornwall, 16-year-old Troy Webb of Ingleside and 15-year- old Jeanna Lamothe of Ingleside.
Horses to qualify include Sweet Cherry Wine, Simply Irresistible, Piccolini, Keepsake, Morganfield, Skip the Frosty and Alexus owned by the Armstrong family.
With one more points show left before Trillium, all riders have qualified or will have qualified at this show for one or more Trillium events.
The top seven riders from each of seven regions in Ontario compete at Trillium
Rayanna Marcellus is currently in first place in Children’s Hunter riding Keepsake, and in first place in A Equitation over Fences riding Picco and Keepsake. She and Picco are in second place in Large Ponies. Rayanna and Keepsake are second in A Equitation and third in Children’s Medal.
Madison Drennan and Sweet Cherry Wine are second overall in the small-medium Pony/Hunter division.
Serena Armstrong and Skip the Frosting are first in small/medium ponies and second in B Equitation. Riding her sister’s horse, Alexus, she is eighth in Low Hunter and fourth in B Equitation on the Flat.
Brianna Armstrong and Alexus are first in Children’s Medal and fifth in Children’s Hunter.
Troy Webb is third in Children’s Hunter riding Morganfield, fourth in Children’s Medal and fifth in A Equitation over Fences.
Jeanna Lamothe and Simply Irresistible are fifth in Children’s Hunter.
Although she will not be making the trip to Trillium, Julie Julien is fifth riding Morganfield in Adult Equitation over Fences.
Hunters categories ride on simplified courses meant to mimic traditional hunting field obstacles and the horses are judged.
The jumper category rides a more technically difficult course with twists and turns and judging is on the fences etc. knocked down as well as time. The horse is judged.
The Equitation category is a hybrid between hunters and jumpers in which the rider’s abilities are judged over a jumper type course. The horse itself is not judged.
In over fences and flat, again it is the horses that are judged. In over fences there is one horse and rider at a time and the horse’s skills are judged. In flat all horses gather in the ring and are judged in a group at different paces, walk, trot and canter.
The Sarabeau riders are busy working with their horses in preparation for Trillium and running fundraisers to help with expenses.
For each rider the cost to go to Trillium is about $1,400 which includes entry fees, transportation for themselves and the horses, lodging for themselves and stable costs for the horses, and food for themselves and the horses.
In addition to sponsorships, the riders are most appreciative of support from the public at their fundraisers. These have included car washes, spaghetti dinners and bake sale.
Individuals/businesses/clubs interested in sponsoring the Sarabeau riders/horses can call Sandy Marcellus at 613-543-4561.
Pictured above, l-r are Julie Julien, Madison Drennan, Serena Armstrong, and Rayanna Marcellus. Horses l-r, are Morganfield, Sweet Cherry, Frosty and Picco.