Canadian Quarter Horse Nationals

Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the Quarter Horse Association of Alberta has much to be proud of! Over 2,800 entries swarmed Westerner Park in Red Deer, Alberta, this week for the Canadian Quarter Horse Nationals & Goldrush Futurities.

This year’s Canadian National Show held a very special futurity class – The non-pro Western Pleasure futurity was dedicated in memory of Shannon Burwash, a very special lady who was an integral part of the fabric of the QHAA for the past 40 years.

Shannon’s favourite class was western pleasure. To honour this amazing horsewoman, the QHAA executive invited all amateurs and youth to ride in the last class of the day on August 23, to celebrate the shared passion and love of the American Quarter Horse. As Shannon was adored by many, the class saw a big turnout with 17 horses entered. Congratulations goes to futurity champions Angela Cawsey and She Loves To Rock, as well as Reserve Champions Jenna Salmon and My Bow Tie Affair. The trophies were emotionally presented by Mr. Wayne Burwash and his granddaughter. All competitors received bling bracelets from Good Ride and a tube of Shannon’s favourite colour of lipstick in tribute.

I had a chance to stop by the show grounds this week and with the help of my trusty comrades, Emma Jekabson and Nancy Pratch, was able to snap a few shots behind-the-scenes.

We love Nationals.

Everything is shinier.

And the horses are turned out to perfection.

Plus, in a day and age where we have become very “discipline specific” in some cases, the Nationals is a chance to admire some of the other great events and equine athletes. It’s also a chance catch up with old friends or folks you may not have seen in a while.

Of course, I mustn’t forget about the stall decorations…! At the Nationals, riders go all out when it comes to decorating their stall space. This year, the kidlets and I even delighted in popcorn and slurpees from Silver Line Farms (thanks Lisa Schiestel!)

If you’re in the Red Deer, Alberta, area this weekend, be sure to check out the happenings at the Nationals at Westerner Park. Entrants have come from the United States, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

The numbers are still tallying but so far, it’s looking to be a record turnout year!