Riders, horses, supporters and members of the Trail Horsemen Society (THS) and the Back Country Horsemen – West Kootenay Chapter (BCH) officially opened the recently completed Mountain Trail Course last week.
Local horsemen and women met at the Trail Horsemen’s Grounds for an official opening ceremony on Oct. 9, and a course demonstration by riders Tammy Peitzsche, Angela French, Brent Wray, and Barb Vincent.
“It is my observation that big plans and ambitious dreams take time, commitment, unfaltering determination, and great community support, the MTC was no exception,” said BCH chair Wendy Morrison at the official opening on Oct. 9. “This ambitious dream was initiated by Rick Fillmore, Chair of the BCH for 10 years, with Jacqui Doucet Howes helping with course design and obstacle planning.”
The course was created for both the BCH and THS to train their horses on obstacles they may encounter in the backcountry and for mountain trail competitions, explained Morrison.
“It makes it a lot safer while in the back country to get your horse used to bridges and walkways before they are tested on the trail.”
Competitions were cancelled this past summer due to COVID, but Morrison hopes to see competitions resume and looks forward to inviting the public back to the horsemen’s grounds.
“We are most certainly going to plan an exhibition of the Mountain Trail Course next year that the public will be invited to, once COVID has subsided,” she added. “I am very excited that youth and the general public have a chance to see the amazing abilities of horse and rider here in Trail.”
The course was over five years in the making, with an investment of about $20,000, roughly 750 volunteer hours, and countless hours of community support.
Morrison thanked the THS and all the BCH-WKC Board of Directors, who gave their unfaltering commitment to see this project through to it’s completion. The dedicated board includes: Richie Mann, Graham Jones, Rick Fillmore, Shauntelle Harding, Lorna Henschke, Fern Labounty, and Gail Rite. She also recognized Teck for the use of the property, Columbia Power for a community grant to help complete the course, and local businesses and supporters.
For more info visit: trailhorseman.com/mountain-trail-course.