CALGARY, AB – For the first time in history, the Running Fox CET National Medal Finals were held outside of the province of Ontario; at the inaugural Royal West Tournament. Four riders from each of the four separate regions, qualified in their own circuits to compete in the National Medal Finals for a total of sixteen top equitation riders.
The Flat & Gymnastics Phase took place yesterday and was won by sixteen-year-old, Calgary, Alberta, Native Chelsea Walsh and her fourteen year old mare; Parkmore B. “Today my class went amazing! I had a really good round; although there were definitely good parts and bad parts! I had a lot of fun and I’m excited to have the Running Fox CET Medal finals in Western Canada this year. I competed at the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto last year, and I enjoyed it, but I’m really enjoying the Royal West. It’s so nice to be at home and to have all my horses here with me.”
Jessica Jia rode to a close second place finish aboard Quidam’s Ramiro. Third place went to Haley Stradling and her mount Stanley SM. Rounding out the top four was a rider representing the Ontario region; Sarah Barker and Coeur de Baloubet.
Fran McAvity, a steward herself, and a longtime representative of the CET committee was present to help shape the first ever National Medal Finals held in the West. “I think it has been a great thing to happen in Canada; that a National Championship is coming to this side of the country is amazing. Kudos to all the riders that have made the trip! I think they’ve had a great experience; being able to travel and to learn to be part of a traveling team, is a great thing. John Anderson and his team have done a fabulous job at setting it up and making it possible.”
Jump Canada President John Taylor believes strongly in the importance of supporting equitation programs like the CET. “We’ve always believed strongly in the equitation programs, with the jump Canada medal and CET Finals. The equitation is a basis in North America for all our major and top riders. Many team riders and grand prix rider’s start off in the equitation divisions. It teaches them the correct way to be slick and effective jumper riders.”
In an industry that is often slow to change, hosting the Running Fox CET Medal Finals in the West for the first time in history is a big step in creating a new tradition of travel and sharing between Canada’s two top indoor venues; The Royal Winter Fair and the Royal West Tournament.
John Taylor was thrilled at the tone of the day and the show in general. “I think it’s really exciting to have the Running Fox CET National Medal Finals out west for the first time, especially with the history with the Anderson family. It’s a great fit, a great match and were glad that Running Fox and Debbie Smith were able to continue their long standing tradition of supporting it.”
Phase One winner, Chelsea Walsh, was cool as a cucumber in the show ring, and feels she is well set up heading in the Final round of competition. “After my win today I feel really good going into the final phase. It’s all about what’s going on in your head and your mental preparedness. I always try to ride like I’m not being judged. To me its about riding not equitating. Going into tomorrow I’m just remaining focused on getting my head in the right space to compete.”
Congratulations to all our equitation riders that made the trip out to be part of the first ever Running Fox CET National Medal Finals hosted by a Western venue. Best of luck to all of our riders as they head into the final round of competition today!
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