Oct 11, 2012 / 8:19 am
An Armstrong rider represented Team BC at the Canadian Interprovincial Equestrian Championships this September 21-23th in Bromont, Quebec, a national competition that includes dressage, show jumping and reining.
She was even nominated for the Sportsmanship Award at the champions.
Alix Schoenberger, 28, is a nurse at Vernon Jubilee hospital but spends her time on the family’s "Long Road Farm", where they bred and race thoroughbreds.
“It’s kind of a family operation. I’ve learned from my mom and dad. My dad is an ex-jockey and my mom also competes against me, and my sister,” Alix says with a laugh.
“There’s the three of us that go show jumping and it’s friendly competition. It keeps our skills up. We all ride horses that have been bred here (on the farm). My sister and mom are both talented, so it keeps me motivated.”
Alix was one of nine riders out of 25 who rode donated horses at the competition. She was assigned a Warmblood owned my Roger Deslauriers, father to International show jumper Mario Deslauriers.
“It was a good learning experience. It was a totally different kind of horse than I’ve rode. You had one day to get to know the horse; the next day, you’re in competition.”
“My team coach, Jan Blachall from Langley, was really good at helping me. She was able to look at the horse and look at me and know what we need to change and adapt and what our strengths were.”
Alix’s goal this year is to qualify again for the championships next year, tentatively scheduled to take place in Alberta. This means she’ll be able to compete on her own horse, Topper, whom she’s owned for 10 years and is a third-generation horse on the farm.
“It’s really rewarding to have had him. I broke him. I was there when he was foaled, and I’ve brought him every step of the way.”
“I think he (Topper) and I could have quite the edge. He’s a good speed horse. He loves to jump.”
Horse Council BC paid for most of Alix’s trip, except for the lease of the horse. It’s part of a long-term athlete development program that targets talent scouting at a grass roots level.
“It provides people from smaller areas a chance to go and compete against those people who might have more options.”
“It’s really hoping to reach people at that grass roots level,” says Alix, who encourages local riders to aim for a spot on Team BC.
“I stumbled upon it on the horse council website, and it’s been a really great experience.”
Riders looking to compete in next year's CIEC have until June 25 to qualify.
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