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Lorie Duff & the Gobi Desert Cup

Supporting Nomadic Culture and The CHEO Foundation: The Gobi Desert Cup is a Race That Makes a Difference

Gobi Desert Cup Competitor galloping across the Gobi Desert

The Gobi Desert Cup is an endurance race that makes a difference. Each rider lived with nomadic people; rode endurance-trained Mongolian horses, and traveled 480 kilometers to test their endurance and challenge their horsemanship through an international endurance race all while secluded from the world. Following a marked course, riders started every morning at 7 AM and completed the course before 7 PM. Two FEI-qualified veterinary checks were held each day; one at 40 kilometers and one at the end of the 80 kilometers.

2018 Gobi Desert Cup Contestants

For the second year in a row, all horses and riders completed the race, and there was less than a 5% elimination on course, well below the global average of 40% in endurance riding. Eighteen riders competed each day over different terrain on different horses but were brought together as a community in their passion for adventure and horsemanship.

Eighteen equestrians from seven countries united to race for the Cup. The Australian riders were Amy Eighteen; Cecilia Stone; Tania Orlov; Ruth Benney; Claire McManus; and Michael Shaw. The New Zealand riders were: Kasmira Graham; Mathilde Schwarz; Stephanie Scott, and Peter Breidahl. The European riders consisted of Jon Pieszak Heebøll from Denmark and Sweden and Elodie Maillard from France. Finally from North America were our experienced endurance riders: Jeffrey L. Stuart; Bob Gauthier; Christoph Schork; Allan Horn, and Howard Kent from the United States and horsemanship trainer Lorie Duff of Canada.

Canadian competitor in Gobi Desert Cup Lorie Duff

Canadian Lorie Duff of Liberty Lane Horsemanship, based in Ottawa, was inspired to race on behalf of the CHEO foundation. Lorie was driven to complete the race for the children despite suffering an injured knee and dehydration. While she was unable to ride the full six days, she pushed on determined to learn about endurance and raise money for CHEO. As a result, she finished the race in 18th place with the encouragement of her fellow riders. Lorie said, “I could not have chosen a perfect setting other than the big sky of Mongolia and the Gobi Desert Cup for my heart to be taken by the sport of endurance racing, and of course by the Mongolian horses.”

In the end, the Gobi Desert Cup and Overall Best Managed award was earned by world-champion endurance rider, Christoph Schork (US) with a tie for second place from Elodie Maillard (FRA) and Jeffrey L. Stuart (US). The team award was won by Team USA consisting of Christoph Schork, Jeffrey L. Stuart, Allan Horn, and Bob Gauthier.

Herdsman from the Gobi Desert Cup demonstrating horsemanship.

To learn more about the Gobi Desert Cup or to apply please visit http://www.gobidesertcup.com.

About the writer: About the writer: Heather Wallace is a certified equine and canine sports massage therapist, author of Confessions of a Timid Rider, and Media Consultant for The Gobi Desert Cup. Visit her at timidrider.com or learn more about The Gobi Desert Cup at gobidesertcup.com.

BMO Farm Family Award Winners Announced

EDMONTON, AB (November 10, 2018) – At the 50th annual BMO Farm Family Awards on Saturday, November 10, Northlands and BMO were pleased to recognize 18 family-run farming operations throughout Alberta for their outstanding contributions to agriculture and their community.

“Northlands is proud to recognize these farm families who are working hard to make a difference in their community and the agriculture industry,” said Gordon Wilson, President, Northlands. “These families have all shown tremendous pride and commitment for their business and their community. Northlands salutes all 18 winning farming operations and thanks them for their continued dedication to the agriculture industry in Alberta.”

“BMO has a long standing commitment to the agriculture industry, and for many years, the BMO Farm Family
Awards have recognized the leading business and environmental practices of Alberta’s farmers and ranchers,” said Vanessa Laroque, Regional Vice President, Business Banking, Alberta North Community. “We’re proud to honour the leadership of these families in the agriculture sector and their unmatched support of the Alberta
economy.”

The following families are recipients of the 2018 BMO Farm Family Awards and will receive a commemorative gate sign signifying their accomplishment:

County  and Award Recipient 

  • Athabasca County Kelly & Anna Olson
  • Big Lakes County Dwayne & Chris Pollack
  • Brazeau County Vant & Ethel Hayes
  • County of Grande Prairie Eugene & Ruth Slette
  • County of Minburn Larry & Tracy Rudolf
  • County of Northern Lights Ken & Lynne & Bryan & Dyla Kover
  • Flagstaff County Roger & Linda Johnson
  • Lac Ste. Anne County Donald & Joyce Drews
  • Lamont County Rudy & Theresa Warawa
  • Leduc County Johan & Riekje Ter Borgh
  • Municipal District of Bonnyville Murray & Linda Pikowicz
  • Municipal District of Fairview John & Heather Kerschbaumer
  • Municipal District of Wainwright Ken & Doris Ford
  • Parkland County Tony & Sue Kirkland & Hazel Dandeneau
  • Smoky Lake County Barry, Frank & Emilee Feniak
  • Sturgeon County Phillip & Norma Soetaert
  • Westlock County Terry & Roseanna Sheehan
  • Woodlands County Robin & Charlene Hagman

About the BMO Farm Family Awards: 

Since its launch in 1969, farm families from northern and central Alberta communities have been recognized as the recipients of the BMO Farm Family Award. The Northern and Central Agricultural Service Boards select outstanding families who best represent values of the family farm within their rural community. The award honours both their farming business practices and community involvement. Winners receive a commemorative gate sign and are honoured at the BMO Farm Family Awards Gala. Northlands is deeply rooted in the community and is poised to undertake a remarkable transformation. As Canada’s largest agricultural society, Northlands has cultivated the knowledge and experience to bring people together, spark interest and shine a light on Alberta’s agricultural industry. Northlands will foster an appreciation for the industry and give insight into the journey from gate to plate through educational programs, special events and the province’s culinary/food distribution channels. For more information, please visit northlands.com. For more information: Mackenzie Parish Event and Communication Specialist, Northlands Office: 780-471-8103 Mobile: 780-266-2567

Wild Rose Welsh & Open Pony Show

2018 Wild Rose Welsh & Open Pony Show
By Karen Podolski

The community enjoyed another Wild Rose Welsh & Open Pony Show on August 10 – 12, 2018 at the beautiful Amberlea Meadows Equestrian Centre, near Edmonton, Alberta.

Alvesta-Caelia

Following the usual format, three judges officiated over three days: the Friday Young Stock Futurity & Performance Stake offered the first judge, followed by a double-judged Saturday and Sunday.

A full slate of Welsh breed halter classes started off the event, followed by sport pony and model hunter divisions, ridden and driven classes, trail, showmanship, costume, gymkhana, and a few jumping classes—most being open to all breeds. 60 ponies and horses competed.

Slow Feeder

Eddie is too fat.

FatEddie

He has been living in the Jenny Craig pen all summer even though he has been my main riding horse. It is true this wasn’t a great summer for horseback riding. Some days were just too hot. Many days were too smoky. Then suddenly it was cold, snowing and windy. Eddie might not be quite so fat if I rode him more.

He used to get more exercise come fall and winter when he got to go out on winter pasture with the herd but he ended that luxury a couple of weeks ago when he decided he was now the boss of the herd and beat hell out of Dreamweaver.  Continue reading “Slow Feeder”

The Barn Cats

We have a few cats here on the ranch.

Most of our cats originated from a female whose previous owner dropped at the ranch. Pregnant of course. She managed to get herself run over on the highway about the time the kittens got their beautiful green eyes open. One of the grandchildren found them crying in the Quonset. We raised them the rest of the way and got them on the ranch medicare plan. I have a special bond with them. They think I am their mother.

OrphanKittens

Then there is FuzzyWuzzy. I’m not quite sure where she comes from but she meows to me, runs beside me, eats 2 feet away from me but doesn’t like me to touch her. She is afraid of the other cats. She will only come to the barn and eat if I am there. She is afraid of anything that moves. She has the same green eyes. Continue reading “The Barn Cats”