”Everyone rode really great,” says Sarabeau Stables owner Sandy Marcellus of her six riders who represented her stable at the Ontario Trillium Championship at the Caledon Equestrian Park at Palgrave, Ontario, September 5-9.
In just her second season of operation, Marcellus has been impressed with the steady improvement of her riders, which resulted in four qualifiers for the provincial final last year, and six this year.
“We brought home a few ribbons,” says Marcellus. “We did well.”
Leading the riders was Marcellus’ daughter Rayanna.
Riding Morganfield, an experienced 18 year old thoroughbred gelding, Rayanna picked up third place ribbons in the Children’s Medal and A Equitation Over Fences categories.
“Both Morganfield and Rayanna rode well They were tough divisions,” said Sarabeau trainer Cheryl Levere.
Then on Piccolini, a 10 year old large Arabian Welsh pony, Rayanna placed sixth in the Hunter Classic which saw over 84 competitors.
Levere explains that the Classic feature more jumps and more difficult turns. “It tests both horse and rider. A sixth place finish was really good. I didn’t really expect she would do that well, mostly because of the way Piccolini was showing before that. It was really good. The pony pulled it together and Rayanna pulled it together.”
“Last year they had a complete melt down and that was scarey to watch.”
Rayanna added that “I was really happy. I knew I had a good ride, but I didn’t expect my score.”
Also riding well was Troy Webb, 14, of Ingleside on Morganfield. In just his second year of riding, and his first experience at such a high level of competition, Webb had fifth and 10th place finished in Modified Children’s out of 48 competitors.
“Troy had a good classic round,” says Levere. “He rode the way we planned,” and that was in spite of the heavy rain that marked the day.
Levere describes 14 year old Serena Armstrong’s ride on My Time to Shine in the Medium Pony Hunter division as “really, really good. It was Serena’s first year doing Hunter and the pony’s first show season. They pulled it together and they did the job.”
The job resulted in a 10th place finish in Medium Pony Hunter.
Also riding was big sister Brianna on Shez Justa Dream. Brianna picked herself up after a fall (and a resulting trip to the hospital) during her Children’s Hunter ride to complete her ride in Children’s Classic.
“Brianna came back, She was sore but she got on the horse and did her Classic,” said Levere. “Shez Justa Dream is a small horse and at Caledon, the lines are there for bigger horses, so the horse just physically couldn’t do it.”
“When you get to Trillium, the jumps are more difficult. They are wider and scarier. There is no air anywhere. Shez Just a Dream did great all year and she made a couple of the shorter lines up there.”
Also riding for Sarabeau was Julie Julien of Cornwall on Palakari. Although Julien did not return home with a ribbon, in either Low Hunter or Adult Equitation Over Fences, “they rode great. Julie gets the jitters and they got the better of her. But the last day she had the best ride she’s had all year. So she finished off the season really well.”
Also riding Palakari was Jeana Lamothe, 14, of Ingleside in Modified Children’s.
“Jeana had a great round. At times she was nervous but at times Pall wasn’t listening. Pal doesn’t like mud. He’s a bit of a wuss. And the second day there was a lot of mud and it got the better of them. Their first round that day was a disaster, but for their second round they pulled it together. They didn’t place but Jeana rode really well.”