SUBMITTED BY SHARON GATES
For the ten riders in the Vern Sapergia clinic July 27-29, it was a weekend not to be forgotten. Semi-private classes 1 ½ hours long provided opportunity to learn from a clinician with insightful understanding of the horse’s mind and body born of thousands of hours of practical experience.
Reiners, Ranch Competition competitors and those just looking for better horsemanship signed up early for Vern’s 2012 clinic at Wildwood Reining Horses with participants from Armstrong, Terrace, Williams Lake and Riske Creek. Although dark skies threatened rain, the weather could not have been more perfect. Even a sharp shower Saturday night was just what was needed to wet down the arena dust!
Spectators gathered at arena edge every day to learn as much as they could from Vern’s matter-of-fact, no-nonsense style of coaching as riders refined, perfected and corrected under his guidance. Clinic participants camping under the Douglas firs enjoyed each other’s company during and after the clinic and, at the Saturday night potluck around the fire pit, a special treat – Vern picked up the guitar and entertained everyone with a few cowboy songs!
Although Vern Sapergia is Canadian, he now resides in Austria and is one of the most respected reining trainers in Europe. His accomplishments there include Equitana Reining Cup Champion, German Open Futurity Championships and multiple NRHA bronze trophy championships. He has also represented Canada on the Canadian Reining team at the World Equestrian Games and has qualified for the finals at the NRHA Futurity.
Vern is one of the most popular reining clinicians in Europe and his clinics are limited in Canada due to his commitments there. British Columbia is indeed fortunate – for the past three years, as he has come to the Chilcotin!
At the end of three days, everyone was eager for more and Vern for something different. Demonstrating he is a man of many skills, he changed his “reining hat” for a “roping hat” at Chilco Ranch, team roping with the cowboys there!
Wildwood Reining Horses will be hosting a Vern Sapergia clinic next year again. Watch the web site for information Wildwood Reining Horses.