CALGARY, AB – The Running Fox CET National Medal Finals wrapped up yesterday at the Royal West Tournament with a newly crowned Champion for 2014; British Columbia’s Haley Stradling!
Haley is trained by Laura Balisky, Brent Balisky and Laura Jane Tidball and credits her support team for her win aboard her best friends horse; Stanley SM.
“I want to thank her for trusting me with him and allowing me to take him here to the Royal West. Stanley performed amazing, I couldn’t ask for any more from him. He really put himself together for me and kept himself going every single day.”
Running Fox has sponsored the CET Medal Finals for 14 years, providing Walsh halters and coolers to the top eight, as well as a Childeric saddle to the overall Champion. Owner, Debbie Smith made the trip down to support the program at the Royal West.
“Its so nice to be appreciated! The competitors came a long way for this competition and did a great job. I’m so happy for Haley Stradling for capturing the win, and I’m really proud to be the sponsor of this class.”
2014 Reserve Champion, Chelsea Walsh won both the first phase yesterday and the jumping phase today, but just missed out on the Championship title after her ride in the final four ride off. Chelsea is trained by Erin Taylor and was happy and proud of herself, and her horse for their two-day effort.
“I was really happy with my horse Parker; she’s very sensitive and I was nervous going into the top four in the ride off. I think she picked up on that a bit and that it showed up in my riding. I’m very happy to have competed here and won both phases and ultimately to be Reserve Champion for 2014.”
Sixteen riders competed over the two phases of the CET Finals, hailing from four different regions across Canada. John Anderson, President of RMSJ, was honored to host the event given the special connection the program has with the Anderson family.
“My mother founded this program twenty six years ago. It was founded to help develop young equestrian athletes to get the skills in a real jumper type medal competition. The goal is to develop the skills that will help them in future years in the sport. What we’ve seen here in the last couple of years is a real development of young riders. The tests today and yesterday were very difficult; Peter Holmes did a fantastic job designing these courses. I think the cream rose to the top with the top four riders. I can’t say enough about how happy I am with the results.”
The National CET Finals are one of the most prestigious Medals in Canada for an aspiring equitation rider to win. RMSJ President, John Anderson, expressed his gratitude to the Jump Canada committee for allowing a Western indoor venue to host the Medal Finals.
“We really owe Kudo’s to John Taylor and the rest of the folks at Jump Canada, for allowing us the opportunity to shift the program to another venue. Canada is lucky to have the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair and now they’re even luckier to have another top indoor venue in the Royal West. This venue is state of the art! It’s going to provide great memories for riders for years to come. In allowing this program to shift to the West, the federation is really showing us that they truly believe that this is a National Program, and I think that’s great!”
Winning the Running Fox CET National Medal Finals is a huge accomplishment for Haley especially given her young age of seventeen. “I’m really really happy about it, its taken me three years to achieve this goal of winning. I come back every year, and this year I finally felt truly ready for it.”
Congratulations to Haley Walsh and her team on her thrilling victory today in the 2014 Running Fox CET National Medal Finals, and to Reserve Champion Chelsea Walsh. The Royal West Tournament would like to congratulate all of the riders on their strong performance these past two days at the Royal West Tournament.
Check out these links to filmed CET interviews:
CET Champion: Hayley Stradling Interview:
CET Reserve Champion: Chelsea Walsh Interview:
Jump Canada President: John Taylor Interview:
RMSJ President: John Anderson Interview:
Book your tickets to be front and center for the action as we host elite equestrians in the heart of downtown Calgary!
*Photo credit to Anna Skripets Photography. To use this photo please email firstname.lastname@example.org