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Dianna Austad


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Event Report: Alberta’s Inaugural Prentice Creek H.T. Hits the Ground Running

We love sharing event reports from around the Eventing Nation! Many thanks to organizer Dianna Austad for sharing this recap of Prentice Creek H.T., a brand new event in Alberta, Canada. Have a report to share? Email it to [email protected]

Photo by Afillyate Photography.

Rocky Mountain House in Alberta, Canada, was a busy place on July 5-7 as 140 competitors contested the 1st Annual Prentice Creek Horse Trials.

The Prentice Creek Equestrian Center is already known as one of Western Canada’s nicest facilities, featuring great cross country terrain and a redesigned show jumping ring created to handle the amount of rain this area can receive. Competitors were in for a surprise with an all-new cross country course designed by James Atkinson and a show jumping course designed by Jay Duke. Starter through Prelim divisions were offered.

Dianna Austad, a member of the Prentice Creek Horse Trials Committee, said, “We wanted this event to be an experience for competitors. With thousands of dollars in prizes and prize money, ribbons as big as some kids, door prizes — including a free entry for next year — and a vendor trade show, we wanted to make our event an experience and make sure eventing stays alive and well here.”

Photo by Afillyate Photography.

“I come from a rodeo background, and I think eventing in Canada is under-appreciated for the horsemanship it displays and the nature of its ‘extreme sport’ side with the cross country aspect. If more people realized how hard this sport is and how fun it is to not only compete in but watch, they would be booking weekends off to follow these athletes.”

Photo by Afillyate Photography.

Cross country course designer James Atkinson came on site with a vision, and once he’d seen the facility he knew that he could create a course that left competitors wanting more.

“Some of the details that made our event fresh was upping the technical level of our cross country course for sure,” Dianna said. “Events should not be won on dressage — courses need to challenge riders while still allowing them to be successful.”

Video: Laura Hornung and Mito tackle the Beginner Novice course.

Dianna continued, “The show jumping course design used our amazing arena to its fullest, and having the pinning right after the last class allowed the winners to do a victory lap. The victory lap not only showcased our top competitors, but it was a great display for our sponsors. Many other events just hand out the awards at the office and you go home. What is the fun in winning if you don’t get to show it off a little?”

Congratulations to the winners! You can view complete results here.

Open Preliminary: Renee Kalkman & Qupid (43.8)
Open Training: Amy West & Bronte (29.1)
Regular Training: Mackenzie Hoffman & Heathcliff (29.7)
Open Pre-Training: Derek Jackson & Cosmic (25.5)
Regular Pre-Training: Declan Bast & Surilanka (24.0)
Open Entry: Courtney Benton & Samba (33.3)
Regular Entry: Alexa Hubl & Whiskey Whisper (33.5)
Open Pre-Entry: Kaylee Stegmaier & Fiona (19.8)
Regular Pre-Entry: Alison Bachand-Lapointe & Nascar Willie (31.9)
Regular Starter: Brittney Nelson & Babydoll (36.1)

Photo by Afillyate Photography.

“We also added a Youth Incentive Program to encourage kids to do good deeds over the weekend for prizes on Sunday,” she said. “The kids had a blast doing it, and it encouraged them to give back. We really tried to think of as many little details as possible to make the whole weekend a success.”

Photo by Afillyate Photography.

Prentice Creek H.T. hopes to learn from what worked well and what didn’t work so well and just keep getting better from year to year. They have had great feedback so far from the competitors and people who already want to be included in the event for next year. The organizers hope this will become the event of the year that people in Canada want to attend, and that each year they can add something that just keeps boosting the culture of this already amazing sport!

Like the Prentice Creek H.T. Facebook page here for updates on future events.