The Canadian Equestrian Championships’ Reining Event came to a spectacular conclusion following the second run of the competition, which took place at l’Académie équestre de Waterloo. The provinces battling for the title were Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, British Columbia and Quebec. Gold, Silver and Bronze medals were awarded in each of the Junior and Senior categories. Brooklyn Braun from Saskatchewan won the gold in the Junior category with a combined score of 141.5. In the Senior category, Quebec natives Stéphanie Briggs and Vicky Tzournavelis also tied for gold.

Reining is a Western saddle discipline in which the rider must demonstrate complete control of the horse’s movements, with no apparent resistance from the horse. The rider must master the technical aspects pursuant to the execution of various compulsory figures such as varying circles, slow circles, spins, lead changes, roll-backs and the crowd-pleasing slide stop. Cues should be subtle with reins kept long, in order to demonstrate the horse’s level of training. The maneuvers are executed at canter, in a distinct order and following a predetermined pattern.

Going in the arena, the rider starts off with a score of 70. Points are substracted or added according to the quality of execution. A score of 70 is thus considered a good performance. First competitor for Saskatchewan, Christie Reiber, who had tied with Myriam Jolin St-Laurent from Quebec for 4th place in the first run, finished with a score of 68 in the second run. For her part, the 14 year-old Jolin St-Laurent earned a score of 69.5 in the second run. Soon thereafter, Vicki Tzournavelis sets the tone with a score of 71.5. Her rival throughout the trials season, Stéphanie Briggs keeps closely in tow, earning a score of 71. The combined results of both tests bring her head-to-head with an equal score of 141. After winning top spot in the first run, 13 years old Brooklyn Braun finishes 3rd in the second run with a score of 70. Her combined results for the first and second runs earn her a total score of 141.5, worthy of the Gold medal.

Team Saskatchewan was very competitive throughout the competition, their riders heading back home with a Gold medal in the Junior category for Brooklyn Braun, as well as a Silver medal for Christie Reiber in the Seniors. Dallas Pope, Head Coach for Team Saskatchewan, is very pleased with the experience as a whole. “We came in with no particular expectations, just wanting to do well for our province and show what our riders could do.” Interesting fact, Team Saskatchewan shows the biggest age gap on record for this discipline, with one rider 13 years of age, and another one aged 65. “Everybody had a great time competing in those first class facilities.” Nova Scotia representatives earned the Bronze medal in the Senior category thanks to Laura Perry’s fine performance, while Erin Huntington clenched the Bronze in the Juniors. In addition to its tie for the Gold medal, Team Quebec also won the Silver medal through Myriam Jolin St-Laurent’s fine runs. “This was a great experience for all our riders. Our co-Champions are also head-to-head in other finals organised by the Quebec Reining Association”, said Lise Roy, Chef d’equipe for Team Quebec. “We all had to come together in order to devise a strategy. The Canadian Equestrian Championships are a formidable tool in the development of our sport. Welcoming riders from Dressage and Show Jumping is condusive to very positive exchanges, and it’s a great opportunity to learn from other competitors and other disciplines.”
Organisers and representatives of the different provinces unanimously agree that this first edition of the Canadian Equestrian Championships is a great success. All hope for a great continuance in 2012.

Second Run – Results
1st Vicki Tzournavelis – Wiz IB a Star – (QC) -71.5
2nd Stephanie Briggs – Dunit N Starlight – (QC) – 71
3rd  Brooklyn Braun – Peppys On Top – (SK) – 70
4th Myriam Jolin St-Laurent – Top Boggies Tag (Qc) 69.5
5th Darcy Woods – Mr Star Chic Olena (BC) 68.5
6th  Christie Reiber – Amigos Lil Opal (SK) 68
7th Adrienne Smith – Juanaboogie (NE) 67.5
8th  Laura Perry – Sweet Lil Jack (NE) 67
9th  Erin Huntington – Max Last Flash (NE) 66.5
10th Kathie Fitzmaurice – She A Hot Step (SK) 65.5 
Medals – Junior Category: 
 Gold : SK – Brooklyn Braun (141.50 points)
Silver  : QC – Myriam Jolin St-Laurent (138.50 points)
Bronze : NS – Erin Huntington  (131.50 points)
Medals – Senior Category
Gold : QC : Vicky Tzournavelis and Stéphanie Briggs (141 points)
Silver : SK Christie Reiber (137 points)
Bronze : NS Laura Perry (135.50 points)