Hi everyone! Queen Meagan here!
Today I am going to give you the inside scoop on our Equestrian Program with the expertise of our very own equestrian committee member, Janelle Phillips! Janelle was part of the 2009 Royal Trio as a Princess. Since then, she has been passionate about Stampede, our horses and our equestrian program. She describes how “Once the Calgary Stampede gets their hooks in you, it’s hard not to be a part of it.” And that I can definitely agree with!
Janelle discovered first-hand the impact of the Royalty program as a development opportunity—it changed her life. She wanted to give back her time through the Equestrian program. She couldn’t imagine having to say goodbye to our “Princes” at the end of her year, so she didn’t! She now helps our committee with anything horse related and rides with the Trios. Janelle and her Trio were the first to ride Hawk, Kansas and Snoopy through the program. She describes how the horses have come a long ways since then through all of their training and experiences and is so proud of them.
Here are a few facts about our horses:
Hawk: He is a 15-year-old Dunn, from a ranch owned by Deb Ward. He has roping and working cow experience and is the most solid, quiet and reliable of the bunch. He will soon be retiring as we have a new addition to our family! We will miss him dearly as he has been so good to all of his riders.
Kansas: He is a 12-year-old Palomino that comes from John Scott Productions. He has been used on the set of Heartland and various movies. They call Kansas the “Yoga horse” and “Beautiful” for his handsome ways and long strides as he flies through grand entries. He is also our most cautious horse and will think twice about a scary object or a dark corner. We love him nonetheless.
Snoopy: An 11-year-old Palomino, also from John Scott Productions, Snoopy has also appeared on the set of Heartland and various movies. Kansas and Snoopy have acted as a double in their roles for each other! Snoopy is known as our most speedy and messy horse. His favourite song is O Canada, which is sung at every Calgary Stampede Rodeo. The anthem lets him know he can soon exit the arena as fast as he can.
Blue: Our newest addition! She is a 5-year-old Blue Roan who comes from our equestrian trainer and sponsor, Clay Webster. Since she is so young, ‘Blue’ will be slowly integrated into our program so that she can be exposed to everything at a safe pace. Blue attended her first parade in September of 2016. She has an absolutely wonderful disposition and has taken on the nickname of “Sweet and Sassy”. She will be replacing Hawk eventually, and has some big horseshoes to fill!
Our horses are boarded at Clay Websters’ and are ridden one to three times a week. If the Trio is too busy with events, committee members will ride them to keep them in shape. Clay will do many clinics with the Trio throughout the year to keep the horses stimulated. Our horses participate in the Fitness to Compete program to ensure their health and fitness. They also receive chiropractic and massage therapy along with osteopath. Committee members bathe and braid the horses with sparkle and shine before big parade days.
During the Royalty competition, riders are judged on their riding ability and confidence. Riders must be ready for anything. If selected for the Trio, so they must be the boss of their furry companion and most of all, smile through all the chaos!
We are absolutely thrilled to have such a great team of sponsors and volunteers to support us and keep us safe. Thank you to all of our committee members as we are grateful for the time you have donated. Calgary Stampede is truly one of a kind!