2013 Awards Nominees...
We are pleased to announce the nominees for the 2013 HCBC Awards! The Nominations Committee had an incredible number of submissions for this years awards and a really tough decision to make in every category. The winners will be presented with their awards at the 2014 HCBC Awards Gala on Saturday, March 8th, 2014 at the Hilton Vancouver Airport. Purchase your Awards Gala Tickets here!
Join us for an evening of celebration and fun to award the Best in BC for 2013!
Awards Gala Host: Crystal Darche
Awards Gala Singer & Band: Karen Lee Batton and her Band
Please note the biographies that accompany the nominees are just short snippets. If you would like the full bio's please send a request to our Marketing & Communications Coordinator .
- Pam Arthur
- Deb Oakman
- Deb Oakman, a member of the North Vancouver Island Chapter of the Back Country Horsemen of BC Society (BCHBC) was able to facilitate the development of the first equine campsites on Vancouver Island, the Memekay Campsite and the Brewster Campsite, as part of the Salmon Brewster Equine Campsites and Trail Corridor Project. In addition, she was instrumental in having a 40 Km trail designated as a section 57 trail, to be protected for all recreational users. All necessary requirements by First Nations, Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) and the Campbell River Resource Office were met because of Deb’s involvement.
- Debbie Rogal
Debbie has been an active member of the BC horse industry for many years, including 6 years as the manager of Southlands Riding Club. This past year, as in previous years, Debbie has been known as the person to call when you need a hand with anything. Debbie has been involved with the dressage shows at Thunderbird and Maple Ridge as well as The Rising Stars Show in Chilliwack. She has been on the Officials Committee for Dressage Canada for the past few years. Debbie was the BC Summer Games Provincial Advisor for both the dressage and hunter jumper discipline.
- Vicki Kokesch
- Vickey volunteers her time and horses to teach children to ride who would normally never get the chance. She loads up horses and gear in her trailer and drives to the Kitimat Fairgrounds almost every Saturday in the Spring, Summer and Fall. There is always a small group of children grooming the horses and then they later get to ride. Vickey is always welcoming new families and kids to participate. She meets the kids at the fairgrounds and lets them groom and ride the horses for at least two hours. From time to time she organizes a fire with a hot dog roast. She devotes a good portion of her Saturday to teaching anywhere from three to eight or nine kids about horses. She teaches them grooming, tacking and riding. She has given children who wouldn’t necessarily otherwise have the opportunity to have experiences with horses the chance to interact with these magnificent creatures.
- Terre O'Brennan
- Terre has a history of countless hours put back into horse sport. She contributes her talent, skills and enthusiasm at the local, Provincial, and National level in the promotion and improvement of Endurance Sport. Terre is one of the original members of the Endurance Riders Association of BC and continues to be a director. She has dedicated over 30 years to this club and has recently introduced a new program for riders who are new to the sport. This year Terre spent her free time attending every ride throughout the competition season and has played the role of Entry Secretary for most of them. Terre's endless hard work, time, energy and commitment to the sport of Endurance is second to none.
- Margot Vilvang
- Margot is a long time coach from Southlands who specializes in dressage, jumping and eventing. Margot also works extensively with the Canadian Pony Club where she is an instructor and National level 'A' Examiner. One of Margot's passions is Mounted Games, a field in which she is internationally recognized as a coach. You will often see Margot with students at a variety of competitions. In addition to local shows and events, Margot's Vancouver Pony Club PPG team won the Canadian Championships in 1997, 2001, 2002, and 2003.
Margot uses her vast knowledge gained in her own days of International competition to help team members out in so many ways, from the logistics of travel to riding unknown horses, dealing with difficult horses, show nerves - you name it, Margot's got it covered.
- Cheryl Keith
- Cheryl is the Head Trainer at Queen Margaret’s School 4 days per week and also has outside clients she coaches from Campbell River to Victoria. When we go to a horse show Cheryl coordinates the QMS students as well as her outside riders. We all know each other and just join together as one big team at shows. Not only does she coach all of us and remember all our quirks, she does all of our entries, coordinates trailering, stalls, hotel rooms, rides to and from the show everyday, horse feed schedules and even horse show concession tabs.
Cheryl’s ability to multitask and manage a multitude of things going on is most impressive. Not only does she manage riders and horses but parents and husbands and all the personality issues that come along with that. Cheryl manages our anxiety in the saddle, sometimes our issues at home, and is always looking for ways to keep things as affordable as possible. She remembers who is scared, who needs pushing a little harder and somehow knows where all our limits are, pushing you right to that line and maybe a little beyond if you’ll let it happen.
- Colleen Frisby
- Imagine a young woman of only 23 years of age who has an innate gift with horses and an even more extraordinary gift with the people who need horses. As a testimony to young adults everywhere Colleen Frisby possesses a maturity, work ethic, and professionalism that surpasses that of many of her elders. She is dedicated to safety, she strives to deliver the best care to the horses under her charge and she grasps every opportunity to learn and grow as a coach. Moreover, Colleen is zany, ready for anything and just a whole lot of fun. She coaches young and old alike with the same amount of enthusiasm.
Colleen is the stable hand at the Comox Valley Therapeutic Riding Society. (She works under the guidance of Teg Harper, the lead instructor.) In the year and a half I have known Colleen I have watched her blossom in her equestrian pursuits. She completed her CanTRA AI certificate with flying colours and has most recently obtained her Equine Canada Instructor of Beginners.
- David Goodsole
- David's dedication to the horse and putting equine welfare at the forefront of his program with all his students appeals to many. He goes above and beyond in his efforts to teach his students not only how to ride, but also tries very hard to teach them horsemanship in the classic tradition, how to care for your equine partner, and to keep your horse happy and healthy.David has given many of his students the confidence to ride, being there every step of the way with training and encouragement.
- Jennifer Van Leeuwen
- Jennifer is working on building up her own professional coaching clientele and business as an Equine Canada Certified Level 1 Coach. Jennifer's clients range in age from 6 to over 60 and they have a wide range of skills. Some of her students commented that, "Jennifer is a natural teacher." Jennifer loves to teach and her students love her passion, dedication, and natural skill around horses.
- Monique Fraser
- Monique has been the proprietor of Rosewyn Stables for over a decade and that has allowed her to carry on the tradition of high standards and quality of care for her clients and horses. Students are developed from complete beginner to as high a level as they can possibly achieve. Monique's students range in age from 5 to riders into their 70's and Monique continuously offers national rider exams and training for competition in dressage and eventing. Monique is also involved in developing grass roots dressage riders into an organized group of competitors under the Dressage BC umbrella.
Monique is a wealth of knowledge and inspiration. Many of her students have gone on to complete their EC Instructor exams or their CanTRA instructor exams. Monique encourages all her students to work together as a team and to accomplish their own personal goals. Monique instills confidence and knowledge within all her students and allows them to be the best they can be.
- Natalie Vonk
- It is evident that Natalie is passionate about her vocation. She does an exceptional job communicating with her students, so that they, in turn can improve their riding skills, no matter what discipline they are endeavoring to excel in. Excellent communication skills were evident at the Canadian Mountain Trail clinics and the Canadian Mountain Challenge events at Twisted Terrain Park in Hope, this year. Many horses (and riders) that were initially reluctant to cross bridges, rock debris and water obstacles, after fine tuning and further practice, were able to master these same obstacles at the end of each clinic. Natalie created a positive environment whereby everyone improved their obstacle competence.
Natalie is a great coach with excellent communication skills, she has a wonderful sense of humour, and her positive, specific feedback continues to have a strong influence on her students' achievements. She encourages students to reach their full potential, and then she takes great pride in their subsequent accomplishments. Indeed, effective coaches and teachers display excellent communication skills. Natalie truly promotes the “well being of all horses.” She anticipates their moods and adjusts her schooling and lessons accordingly. Natalie recognizes that every rider and their horse is unique; modifying lessons, to suit individual horses and their riders, is another great indicator of a gifted coach and clinician.
- Brent & Laura Balisky
- Raising the bar the new heights in the Equine Canada National Coaching Certification Program for Equestrian Show Jumping, well known professional trainers Brent and Laura Balisky have recently successfully completed all of the component module requirements for certification as "High Performance Coach" certification with Equine Canada. One of the predominant criteria of the High Performance Coach certification are the results of the coach's students competing at the FEI International Level. Tiffany Foster, a member of the Canadian Olympic Show Jumping Team, is one protege of Brent and Laura's coaching who developed and trained for several years at Thunderbird Show Stables in Langley, prior to forming a business partnership with Eric Lamaze and being named to the Canadian Olympic Show Jumping Team in London 2012.
Brent and Laura have owned and operated Thunderbird Show Stables in Langley, BC for over 30 years. They train and coach a long list of horses and riders at all levels of the hunter jumper sport with consistently top results and success.
- Stella French
- Stella is an outstanding coach who has made a significant impact on the performance and development of individuals and teams at competitive and recreational levels in equestrian sports. She has made an impact in the local community through coaching therapeutic riding athletes, organizing demonstrations at local community events, and providing opportunities for people to become involved in equestrian sports. Stella promotes the all-round development of her students. She has gained the respect, admiration and appreciation for the parents and families of club members and community groups. She is a strong leader and a positive role model. her students are very dedicated to her and seek to emulate her excellent communication and empowering non-judgmental teaching style.
- Keelly Reggelsen
- Keelly develops and coaches individual and group riders and horses of all ages and abilities. Her students set goals and together she works with them to provide direction and achieve their goals. Keelly promotes a fun, positive and safe environment at her barn. From the ground up she sets high safety standards ensuring the care of horses and riders are a priority. Keelly continually teaches and instills the responsibilities of a horse owner in her lease and lesson program. Teamwork is valued and with it creates an environment of fun, friendship and horsemanship. Everyone is provided the opportunity to learn; learn to do by doing not watching.
Keelly eat, sleeps, and breathes for her 'kids' and horses. She gives with her heart to provide opportunity to her students to dream big in the world of horses, at any age, any riding ability to reach individual desires. Keelly's kids come first! Keelly goes out of her way to ensure that local equestrian events are filled with students and horses from her barn. She thinks nothing of making multiple haul loads of horses to the local riding grounds to make sure all her students have the same opportunity to compete and show their weekly learning's. most recently, Keelly has reignited the Pony Club in the community and she is there to help bring the unique Pony Club experiences to her younger students.
- Ayla Martinoff
- Ayla has had a successful 2013 season. Ayla qualified to be part of Team BC and compete in Calgary in 2013. Ayla also went double clear and placed 4th in the $15,000 Direct Energy Cup at Spruce Meadows and received an individual gold medal and the Canadian Interprovincial Equestrian Championships in September.
- Kaylie Martinoff
- 2013 saw Kaylie and her horse Lucky Boy win a brand new golf cart at the Southlands Riding Club Grand Prix, a new Luc Childeric Saddle as High Point at the Milner Downs show series and a second place finish in the Maui Jim Grand Prix in August at Thunderbird Show Park. Kaylie also won the $10,000 RSA Cup on opening day at the Spruce Meadows Masters and placed second in the $15,000 Direct Energy Cup.
- Brian Morton
- 2013 was a stellar year for Brian. He retained his shortlist status from 2012 with the Canadian Show Jumping Team. He added numerous important wins to his already lengthy list of triumphs including, $5000 1.45m Jumper and $5000 Jimmy Williams Classic, Thunderbird's Tommy Bahamas Grand Prix, $10,000 Super Save Grand Prix, and the $5000 Cobblestone Hunter Derby. In the Super Save and Cobblestone competitions Brian made history when he became the first ever rider to win the SSG riding Gloves "Go for the Green" promotion in both the Hunter and Jumper rings. Brian also won the $25,000 Evergreen Classic Grand Prix and concluded his season by being named Top Canadian Rider at the Spruce Meadows Masters.
- Karen Pavicic
- Karen is a currently listed athlete with Dressage Canada, competing at the highest level of competition - Grand Prix, in the CDI Arena. Karen is an accomplished rider and has represented BC and Canada many times over since becoming a Young Rider in 1989. She is now one of Canada's top dressage riders and hopefuls for the World Equestrian Games Team in 2014.
- Natalie Alves
- In 2013, Natalie won multiple National and International Championships competing in Arabian Breed shows throughout North America. In the biggest show of her career, Natalie and her horse placed 1st in the Junior to ride Half Arabian Ladies Side Saddle,1st in the Show Hack, 1st in the Show Hack Championship,won the Costume Qualifier, won the Costume Championship Class and came in as Reserve Amateur to Ride Half Arabian Ladies Side Saddle in the 10 day Scottsdale, Arizona Arabian International Horse Show. Natalie is a dedicated young horsewoman and has accomplished an amazing amount while being able to keep her grades up in high school. Natalie is also a very active participant in the horse industry, belonging to a number of clubs, associations and enrolled in a variety of programs.
- Sydney Holme
Over the years Sydney has had many instructors help her become the top quality rider she is today but it is her tremendous desire to learn, total dedication to her horse’s well being and the strength, determination and commitment to competitive dressage that makes her a true athlete.
After the 2012 NAJYRC Sydney was bound and determined to qualify and win in 2013, her last year as a Young Rider. By July Sydney and Davey were the highest qualified Canadian Young Riders for the 2013 NAJYRC having worked hard to condition Davey and polish their tests. For a second year they were named to the Canadian Equestrian Team for the BC Young Rider team.
Traveling to and competing at the NAJYRC was a very trying experience. It involved 4 days of trailering each way with overnight stops, a week of recovery and training, 4 days of international competition then the return trip home (a total of 10,000 kms). Sydney’s number one priority was Davey, keeping him healthy and fit.They left the NAJYRC with a ninth place individually in the Team Test (the BC YR Team placed 7th), eighth place in the Individual Test and an amazing fifth place in the Freestyle (only ¾ of a percent separated third and fifth). Sydney is planning to continue training Day Dreamer to the Grand Prix level with the goal of attending the Pan American Games in 2015.
- Dr. Robyn Kopala
- "Dr Robyn Kopala was originally just my veterinarian. I would see her a couple times a year for the yearly shots, teeth, etc.. for my horse. Back then I was still young just in high school, but Ive always expressed interest in becoming a veterinarian myself. Robyn would never hesitate to answer any of my questions, and always explained what she was doing in a manner that made sense to those with no background in the field. As I became closer to graduating, I began job shadowing Robyn, this was all I needed to convince me that I was on the right path for my career choice. Yes, the hours are long, the work is tough but never once have I seen Robyn turn down a call even after she has already worked a 10 hour day. She is honestly a machine and so full of knowledge. One example being when I met her in the morning, I could tell she was under the weather. I drove the truck all day so she could still do her calls. The evening wrapped up pretty late as it was, and a non-client asked for her opinion on a fetlock mass. Realizing that this was no small issue, Robyn suggested we come back tomorrow and take a good look with the X-ray, as one night would not make a difference at this point in time. However the clients insisted that it happen tonight. Therefore we drove back to Cloverdale to pick up the equipment and back to Delta to treat the horse. Even though she was under the weather, had been struck in the head by a draft horse’s knee, and not on call, Robyn will always be there to help whoever it is, client or not" - Olivia Carr
- Tammie Blewett
- A keen supporter of the Canadian Pony Club, Tammie encourages and often requires younger riders to take advantage of the excellent educational opportunities it provides. She is proud to say that Unicorn Stales is the long-time home to the Boundary Bay Pony Club. Through her coaching, she has helped many of her students achieve the senior B and A levels.
Tammie also strives to give all her students access to a wide range of networking equine professional coaches in different areas by organizing specialized clinics in dressage, show jumping, cross country, saddle fitting, horse health and nutrition, dressage days, sports psychology, custom summer camps for beginner and advanced riders and continues to support all her horses and riders with their education. She allows the rider to think for themselves which allows the barn to be a very educated "family" that works together. The Unicorn family could not begin to think what or where they would be without Tammie and her devotion, dedication and equine education.
- Jack Polo
- Jack is known as one of the owners, facility managers, horse show organizers and he is the Cross Country Course Designer for all four Horse Trials held at MREC each year. Jack is also chief burger cook on Wednesday nights for MREC’s famous burgers, bartender, entrepreneur, and in his spare time, building riding rings all over the Lower Mainland and on Vancouver Island. He is a man of many hats both big and small.
Over the years that Jack has been at MREC the face of MREC has totally changed. All five outdoor rings have been updated or are brand new. Each arena consists of a sand mix, which Jack uses to make the footing superb no matter how wet or dry it may be. The Judging tower has been rebuilt and the pub has had a facelift both inside and out. All of the cross-country jumps have been rebuilt and he has purchased over one hundred portable fences for the various levels. Jack always has a great story to tell and is always willing to lend a helping hand. Jack is very devoted to the Horse Industry and does everything in his power to improve and promote the business
Horse of the Year Non-Competitive Category
- Arius is a 1993 purebred 15hh, Flea Bitten Gray, Egyptian Arabian. He came to Queen Margaret’s School in 2002. He was purchased from a family in Courtenay and began work teaching beginners at Queen Margaret’s School After 11 years of invaluable service Arius continues to be a mainstay of our Equestrian program. Arius has a kind and willing personality; he is a fantastic teacher and the perfect horse for any rider looking to move up to the next level. Arius is not for the beginner, but someone who has developed some riding skills. Arius is not a speedy horse; he requires leg and maybe even a little spur. Once you let him know that you intend to keep moving him forward he willingly maintains a steady pace and takes you around the Hunter course. He goes with his head upright, which is perfect for those of us who get ahead and throw ourselves into him as we approach the jump. He just keeps his head up so you can get yourself back in the saddle and carries on! Arius rarely stops at a jump – really only when it is the best decision for all involved – he knows best. He’s an amazing creature that has fostered so much confidence in riders at Queen Margaret’s School.
- How Bout Jose
- Jose was foaled on March 6, 1997 and comes from very impressive lineage. He was sired by graded stakes winner, Drumalis, and is out of Pranke’s Pride by Pranke. Jose made headlines as a racehorse. During his career, Jose was in-the-money over 75% of the time and earned $229,787 in 33 starts. He registered a whopping 12 wins and a number of those came under the skillful riding of Kentucky Derby winning rider and local Hastings racecourse success story, Mario Gutierrez. Jose raced extensively in British Columbia as well as other parts of Canada and all over the U.S.
While Jose’s win percentage made him popular, it was his heart that made him unforgettable. Although Jose retired in 2007, we regularly receive comments from fans who watched him race. Fans often recount how Jose raced as though he was the biggest horse in the field, despite standing only 15.1 hands. Jose never gave up, ever. Jose raced until an injury forced his retirement at 10 years of age. His owners donated him to New Stride Thoroughbred Adoption Society in 2008.
Jose has been an absolute gentleman from the moment he arrived. Despite being gelded quite late (at 11 years of age!) he has been the most well-behaved and easy to handle horse that we have ever had in the program. He is also stunning. Jose has near-perfect conformation and a tail that is the envy of the Lower Mainland.
Jose’s injuries preclude him from adoption so we have instead accepted him into our program as a permanent guest. Jose plays a very important role with New Stride. He is the face of our sponsorship program; a program that allows fans to sponsor retired racehorses and provide them with the well- earned retirement they deserve. Jose is also an integral part of our volunteer program. Due to his kind disposition, he is the first point of contact for new volunteers. Everyone starts out with grooming and doing some in-hand work with Jose. Jose provides our new volunteers with a safe environment to get accustomed to the program.
- Cynder is a 15.1hh 30 year old Dutch Warmblood mare, living at Whispering Falls Stables in Maple Ridge. Her registered name is Silver Dawn and she was born in 1983. Cynder loyally stays along the rail regardless of what her charges may do or how their arms may flail. This horse is so calm and loving and she just loves her job as a lesson horse! It doesn’t seem to matter how many lessons she has done in a day, I’ve never seen this mare cranky. Ever. One student has had fewer than 10 lessons and is able to canter around on Cynder. Cynder seems to have a special understanding of the young, beginner riders placed on her back day in and day out.
- Day Dreamer
- Day Dreamer is a Rheinlander sired by Dream of Heidelberg, from the Donnerhall line, out of Ormaine, a Dutch mare by Gabor. During the 2013 show season Day Dreamer earned scores of 70.46% in the Team Test, 68.487% in the Individual Test and 71.563% in the Young Rider Freestyle, he qualified for the North American Championships with the highest scores in Canada.
Day Dreamer showed exponential growth progressively throughout the show season; he brought more cadence, expression, relaxation and ride-ability to every test, and he showed true sportsmanship and partnership in Kentucky. The first day of showing in Kentucky Day Dreamer went down the center line completely in tune with his rider and he listened to every aid. During the individual test Day Dreamer carried his exhausted rider throughout the test, delivering the most obedient test that could have been asked. The freestyle proved to be the best test of the week, with much more relaxation and cadence than the other two tests, and Day Dreamer hit all of his cues effortlessly earning a score of 69.5% and Fifth place. Day Dreamer proved to be a superior athlete throughout the scorching, humid climate of Kentucky; he traveled down and back to Canada with no issue, and he performed like the top athlete he is proving to be. After a small break from work upon returning home from the North American Championships, Day Dreamer was put back to work to begin training for the higher demands of Intermediare I and II. Day Dreamer has developed even more expression, dynamism and thoroughness over the past few months than he has ever displayed before, and he is showing the talent of a top Grand Prix mount.
His willingness and talent have combined to create an incredibly rewarding partner to share such a challenging journey with. On top of Day Dreamer's talent, he is also the most laid back and kind soul to ask for in a barn mate; he will lick every passer-by and never demands treats, only love. His barn manners are exceptional and his inexperienced owner couldn't have asked for a more patient, willing or incredibly talented partner. Day Dreamer is the mount of BC rider Sydney Holme.
- Don Daiquiri
- Dono, as he is lovingly called, is the only horse in BC competing Grand Prix Dressage in the CDI ring. He is currently ranked 6th in Canada and 123rd in the world by the FEI world ranking system. He is the mount of BC Dressage rider, Karen Pavicic. He came into his owner and Karen's lives as a horse no one wanted. He was damaged goods with behavioural issues. After the first few years of bucks, bolts and spins emerged a loving, talented, deeply sensitive superstar. Dono had to overcome much to be where he is today.
- Lucky Boy
- As a late 3 year old, Dutch Warmblood Lucky Boy arrived at the Martinoff farm as a sales project for his breeder John van Dongen. Ayla Martinoff started him and began his show career in 2007. 2013 saw Lucky Boy and his rider Kaylie Martinoff winning or placing in the top 3 in every show they entered. Lucky Boy only stands 14.3 & 3/4 in height but his heart is huge. Kaylie and Lucky Boy have an amazing partnership and they are able to make slices and turns on the show jumping field normally only seen in the top pro competitions. This little horse has twice won speed classes at Spruce Meadows by a huge gap of 9 seconds!
- Shake It Up Baby +//
- In 2013, Shake It Up Baby +//, fondly known as Stella, won multiple National and International Championships with her owner and rider Natalie Alves. Stella is an 8 year old Arabian/Saddlebred mare. Stella traveled with her owner to Scottsdale, Arizona for the 10 day show in February 2013. Stella placed 1st in the Junior to ride Half Arabian Ladies Side Saddle,1st in Show Hack, 1st in the Show Hack Championship and won both the Costume Qualifier and Costume Championship Class. They ended the show with a Reserve in Amateur to Ride Half Arabian Ladies Side Saddle. The Arabian Horse World Magazine was so impressed with the results that Natalie and Stella were featured last spring in an article with the Scottsdale show coverage.
Stella is a horse with presence, passion and heart. It is evident to everyone who has ever seen her show that she LOVES what she does. She is a joy to wathc and to be around. Stella and Natalie have taken on every new task or discipline they have learned with enthusiasm. The trust and bond that they share is magical to witness.
- Spitfire is a very special horse. He is a 16.3hh 16 year old Selle Francais gelding. He is not flashing looking but he makes up for it with a big personality. 2013 was a very successful year for Spitfire. He had numerous top 10 placings in classes throughout North America. Some of these include 1st in the Evergreen Classic Grand Prix, 2nd in the Oregon High Desert Classic, 2nd in the Super Save Group Grand Prix at Thunderbird, 3rd in the 1.40 Richardson GMP Cup at Spruce Meadows and finishing 3rd out of 75 horses in the FEI 1.45 AltaGas Cup at Spruce Meadows. He also defended his titles from the year before winning the 1.40 Rogers Sugar Challenge at Spruce Meadows and winning the Tommy Bahama Grand Prix at Thunderbird.Spitfire is the mount of top Canadian Show Jumping rider, Brian Morton.